Ice Water Does Not Cause Bloat

Ice Water Does Not Cause Bloat

The title says it all really.

The Myth

The majority of you will have read the article that’s being passed around right now, titled “NO ICE WATER FOR DOGS…PLEASE READ ASAP”. The article tells a story of a dog who almost died from bloat, after drinking ice water. I refuse to link to the article and give it more exposure, but if you’re interested in reading it, Google the title. This post has been doing the rounds since 2010, that’s 4 years. Each year as Summer approaches, this article rears its ugly head and puts dog owners into a panic. 

What Is Bloat?

Bloat is actually a condition where the dogs stomach fills with air, fluid or food. This can cause stress on the internal organs, cause respiratory issues and even lower the blood supply to the dogs vital organs.

People often use the term incorrectly, for example in the case of this particular myth. What the story is actually referring to is gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), which is a life threatening condition involving gastric torsion and a twisted stomach. It’s a very serious condition, with up to 40% of dogs who develop it, die.

When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.

Ice Water Does Not Cause Bloat

Vets have debunked this myth time and time again, but it doesn’t stop the hysteria. In fact, this year has been worse than ever. There probably isn’t a forum or Facebook group that hasn’t had this article posted at least once in the past week.

I have personally responded to hundreds of people who have posted the article and asked “Will ice water kill my dog?”. So I decided to write an article that I can link to, each time somebody asks the question. I’ve spent the past few days collecting evidence, quotes and videos to hopefully put this myth to rest once and for all. Ok, that’s probably wishful thinking, but at least our readers will be able to give their snow dogs ice water without fear.

Laying The Myth To Rest

“If the dog is overheated and dehydrated, and desperate for fluids and they consume huge, huge amounts of ice cubes or water all at one time, it could create a situation where the dog could bloat,” Dr. Carpenter

But that’s true for large amounts of any temperature water, he added.

Though undoubtedly well-intentioned, the problem is obvious: The writer is misguidedly offering up her story as a helpful truth. When, in fact, the information is unproven, unreliably sourced, unverified, and utterly unnecessarily disseminated to the public – to the potential detriment of dogs who may indeed benefit from drinking cold water or getting ice cubes in their water to brake their drinking binges.Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA

The moral Of The Story

Do not allow your dog to become dehydrated, as this could cause your dog to drink too much water at once and bloat. Ensure your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water at all times. If you leave the house, ensure you take a portable water dispenser with you. Bloat is a real, life-threatening medical emergency.

Huskies and malamutes eat snow both in the wild, have you seen the movie Eight Below?. Ice water is not the problem, it’s the volume of water they consume, regardless of temperature. 

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