Giving your dog ice cubes or putting ice in his water can be one way to keep him cool on a hot summer day, but in the winter there can be risks if your dog eats ice or snow while having a walk.
In general, home-made ice with clean and properly chopped water is fine, the same cannot be said of the stalactites you find on the street, starting from the fact that they may contain pollutants or toxic substances. But the risks can also be other.
Breaking of teethGiving your dog something hard to chew on can cause wear of the enamel or even break a tooth. As long as your dog has healthy teeth, the occasional bit of ice is unlikely to damage his teeth. If, on the other hand, he has dental or mouth problems, it is better to avoid it. Same for the snow.
Lump in throatWhile the chance of your dog choking on a piece of ice is small, ingestion can cause intestinal damage or blockages that may require surgery. Dogs that have difficulty chewing or swallowing may be more prone to the problem so it’s always good to check where your four-legged muzzle is pointing at.
Swelling from waterBloat is a life-threatening condition that can occur when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists around, cutting off the blood supply to the intestines. Although the causes of this problem are not fully understood, ice or snow are not among them, unlike what one might think. Drinking too much water quickly, on the other hand, poses a significant risk.
Snow gluttonsOnly dogs know for sure why they like to eat snow, but there are several possible reasons for this behavior: they’re thirsty, they’re curious, or they’re just following their instincts. Well before dogs were domesticated, their ancestors often had to rely on consuming snow for hydration. Then, whether it’s the taste, the texture, or the sensation of cold, something provides him with enough pleasure to encourage him to keep going. As long as the snow is clean, it is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. The danger mainly comes from toxic substances that could contaminate the snow and from the quantities, which could suddenly and dangerously lower your dog’s body temperature. Never let your dog eat dirty snow or accumulated snow from a snow blower, which may also contain crushed stone and salt. If what your dog ate gives you cause for concern, call your vet.