Do Ice Cubes Cause Bloat?


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Our question this week was:

I just received an email from a rescue about giving dogs ice cubes to eat or put in their water. It says it causes bloat and dogs should not have them. They should drink water out of spigot, not cold and never give them ice cubes. Is this true?

Ann Anderson


Hi – thanks for your email. I did some research and talked to several people about your question. There are several known risk factors associated with bloat but eating ice cubes has not been firmly documented. Apparently, an email has been floating around the internet identifying ice cubes as a problem. I found some information in blogs but nothing solid. I talked to several veterinarians and none of them confirmed this claim.

An article that might be helpful to you is Risk Factors for Bloat. For example, deep-chested large breed dogs are at highest risk. Dogs with a family history of bloat have a much higher risk of bloat. Other factors such as eating fast, exercising after eating or drinking and eating from an elevated food bowl may place dogs at increased risk. Also, eating one meal a day can be a risk factor.

Another article that might be useful is Bloat in Dogs.

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.