Do Ice Cubes Cause Bloat?

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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