Should you give your dog ice cubes?

Temperatures are still set to rise as Britain wilts under an unrelenting heatwave. While you might be enjoying the opportunity to top up your tan without going abroad, the hot weather can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous for dogs. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes, so it’s vital that they have plenty of access to shade and cool water. Water is healthy for dogs in both liquid and solid forms, so you can give them ice cubes to chew on or drop ice cubes into their water bowl. You can even make special icy surprises by freezing dog treats inside ice cubes. Think about the relief and satisfaction of an ice lolly on a blisteringly hot day. Your pup could feel that same delight too. Georgie Hearne, a vet at Blue Cross pet charity told that ice cubes are a good choice for pups in hot weather. She said: ‘Try preparing some cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a kong and pop it in the freezer.

better? ‘You can also put ice cubes into your pet’s water bowls to help cool them down. ‘Cooling mats will also help to keep your dog cool, or you can achieve a similar effect by wrapping freezer blocks or frozen plastic bottles of water in a blanket and placing them in your dog’s bed for them to lie against.’ Using ice cubes as a form of hydration might also help your dog to drink more slowly and prevent dog bloat, a condition that occurs when a large amount of food, water or air is ingested and trapped gas causes the dog’s stomach to twist. However, if you notice that ice cubes are making your dog gulp their water, it’s probably not a good idea to put them in your pet’s water bowl.Ice cubes have been associated with tooth breakage in dogs (particularly in pups who are aggressive chewers). Only offering small cubes or ice shavings can help to prevent this problem. If your pup has heatstroke or has become overheated, you should take them to the vets immediately. Ice cubes won’t cure a dog with heatstroke. You can start the cooling process by wetting your dog all over with room temperature water and offering them cool water to drink, but it is essential that your dog sees an emergency vet. Remember, your pup is relying on you to keep them cool this summer. If you spot any of the signs of heatstroke (collapse, excessive panting, purple gums and redness of the skin), contact your vet ASAP. Never, ever leave a dog alone in a hot car and if you see a pup trapped in a vehicle, call 999.
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