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Vet fires back over ‘no ice water for dogs’ Facebook post

ice water

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s an article that’s going viral across the web and terrifying pet owners.

The blog post, NO ICE WATER FOR DOGS… PLEASE READ ASAP, discusses one dog’s near deadly encounter.

You’ve probably had the story show up in your Facebook timeline or an email from a friend, so FOX 17 talked to a local vet to see how true the post really is.

“On the internet circulating right now is a story that seems very legitimate of a dog developing bloat after consuming ice cubes and water,” Dr. Randall Carpenter, DMV of Family Friends Veterinary Hospital said.

It’s the story of a dog who almost dies after his owner gives him ice water, claiming the cold water caused the dog to bloat.

Dr. Carpenter says bloats are life-threatening situations that actually flips the stomach while enlarging it.

He says he’s seen the viral post scaring dog owners since 2007, and it just recently made a comeback on social media.

“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 said.

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

He says just consuming cold water or ice cubes in moderation will not cause bloat, saying ice cubes and water when the weather is hot is a good thing.

Though the article seems very real, even scientific enough to scare the most educated pet owner, the findings behind it are simply false.

“Ice cubes and cold water are fine for pets as long as it’s done with some common sense,” Dr. Carpenter said.

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45 comments

  • Tim Francis

    just like for humans I don’t think that ice cold water is the thing to do , maybe cool water but not ice cold, so another question is popsices for dogs good or bad?

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    • km

      If you read, ice cold water isn’t a bad thing. It definitely isn’t a problem for humans either. Popcicles are good too.

  • patricia stone

    my dog starts coughing when he drinks water because he drinks so fast my vet told me to put his bowl up where he has to reach for it OR GIVE HIM ICE he is doing great and love the ice

    • Crystal

      This is true! Many “large chested” dogs are at risk for GDV (twisted stomach) and placing the food bowl higher can decrease the amount of air being taken in. GDV arises from a substantial gas build-up; the stomach then gets so large and distended from gas that it turns because it has no where else to go. It immediately prevents blood flow at the turning point and even if it is surgically reversed after several hours, the animal still may not make it because too much esophagus tissue has died.

  • Melissa

    shaking my head!! a little ice in the water bowl is not gonna hurt a dog…. My dog knows when u get ice out of the icemaker….. he is standing there or running to it for his share!!! Its HOT… my dog gets ice… and if he wants he get a candy bar… Not Dark Chocolate but Milk Chocolate… Yes he is spoiled!!

    • Louise Bloocheez Marshall

      Milk chocolate is just as dangerous as the toxic substance is cumulative (builds up over time). The specially prepared ‘doggy chocolate’ is the only one that is safe as it is made from carob with flavours and scents added.
      Dogs should be completely cocoa free to ensure there is no risk :)

      • Dave

        and people should be 100% free of peanuts…just so there is no risk. 1 dog out of a 1000 has chocolate reaction just like people and peanuts! Should we ban any peanut products from being sold for consumption?

    • Lynda

      You give your dog chocolate? Are you serious? That’s poision to a dog. You probably leave your dog in a hot car with the windows cracked too, don’t you? idiot.

    • Maureen

      Dogs cannot tolerate theobromine, which is present in varying degrees in all chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the higher amount of theobromine it contains. Even white chocolate has some theobromine in it, but the dog would have to eat a lot of it or be very small to suffer symptoms of poisoning. My rule of thumb, is no chocolate of any kind — ever. They’ve lived a long time without it, although they are very spoiled in many other ways!

    • Amy Kilby Myers

      for those freaking out over the chocolate comment. i asked my vet about the chocolate issue. just in case the dog got into chocolate. the vets reply was that it has to be about 8 dark chocolate bars to hurt the dogs. i’m thinking he was talking about bigger dogs. i bite of Hersey is not going to kill them.unless you have a rat dog.

      • Kyle

        Wrong if that’s the case then why did mine need her stomach pumped that’s so wrong either your lieing or the vet is if you people don’t know what hell your talking about then just shut up

      • athynz

        Kyle – my vet said the same thing but for bigger dogs. This was after my little dog had gotten into some dark chocolate and had to spend the night in an emergency vet. BTW the misspellings and the insults just make you look ignorant and uninformed.

      • Farty McPoopyButt

        Kyle if your vet told you that your dog needed its stomach pumped, either your dog did in fact eat way too much chocolate or you got scammed into paying for a procedure that didn’t need to be done.

    • Angela

      I am the same way with mine– if I can eat it so can he.. I looked they have to consume a ton of chocolate before it actually hurts them.. Once in awhile he gets some :)

    • Kyle

      Your not funny or are you retarted because cholcolet will kill dogs you must be lieing becuause your dog would be dead from that

      • athynz

        Chocolate. Lying. Stop with the insults as they do not help your cause. But tell me what your veterinarian credentials and your proof that people on here are lying?

      • tar

        No one with a 4th grade reading level such as yourself has any place calling someone “retarted” (it’s retarded btw).

  • Joyce

    I am relieved but this raises another concern…. I have a lab he is basically an inside dog. but loves going outside and sometimes perfers to live outside. (can’t get him in sometimes, he loves laying in the yard or on the porch) but my concern is the amount of water he is drinking when he comes in. Noticiable enough that we say “wow Tucker you sure were thirsty”. Is there any other symtoms of bloating? Should I take him to the vet to be checked?

    • Crystal

      Many “large chested” dogs are at risk for GDV (twisted stomach) and placing the food bowl higher can decrease the amount of air being taken in. GDV arises from a substantial gas build-up; the stomach then gets so large and distended from gas that it turns because it has no where else to go. It immediately prevents blood flow at the turning point and even if it is surgically reversed after several hours, the animal still may not make it because too much esophagus tissue has died. Just place your water bowl at mouth-height and watch for symptoms of a very firm abdomen (flick the stomach and a hollow sound usually indicates a lot of gas), difficulty breathing, lots of salivating and of course throwing up anything he eats because it won’t go down.

  • Niki

    “Dr. Carpenter says bloats are life-threatening situations that actually flips the stomach while enlarging it.” I hope this is a misquote. Bloat is when the stomach becomes abnormally enlarged and distended. Torsion is when the stomach flips. You can bloat without torsion.

    • mike

      Im sure he is speaking in lamens terms. Most of the general public does not understand the difference between GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus) which is the true emergency, vs a bloat which is just distention of the stomach. They are often used interchangeably, albeit probably to the detriment of the misinformed.

  • Morgan

    It’s DVM (Doctor of Vetrinary Medicine) not DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Big difference. lol…

  • Morgan

    It’s DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) not DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles. Big difference. lol…

  • Andnowyouknow

    University of Pennsylvania gives out the DMV distinction while all other vet schools give out DVM. They’re the same thing as far as education and training.

    • Casey

      University of Pennyslvania does not give out a degree called DMV. They give out a VMD, as in veterinary medical doctor because they wanted it to look similar to the human MD designation.

  • Ann

    I had a cocker spaniel that lived til she was 17. Ever since she was a puppy she ate oreo’s with my husband.

  • athynz

    I had heard this thing about the ice and ice water but have given my little dog ice water for years with no issues at all so I figured it was bogus.

  • leeanna

    I give my cowboy ice cubes all the time!! He loves them. But i would never ever feed him any kind of chocolate, or any people food other than some meats, that’s just silly.

  • Vicky Bandy

    So, what I am hearing is, that everyone who has given their dog ice cubes, has never had any issues. Well, except for the original posting on the blog. As for chocolate, has anyone given it to their dog and had a problem? My dog used to eat chocolate regularly, just not large amounts. I know a dog that ate 2 pounds of chocolate and all she got was the shits! So unless you know things first hand, there is no debate as to who is right and who is wrong!

  • Mia

    Just being helpful…
    I am a licensed veterinary technician, and you should NEVER give your dog any kind of chocolate. Dogs can not digest chocolate. Even I give in and give my “kids” table scraps once in a while, but too much human food can lead to pancreatitis. If you love your pet, you want them to be healthy. Listen to your veterinarian before believing anything you hear on the internet. Calling your vet and asking a question is always free. We care about the welfare of your pet!!

  • Ferd Berfel

    Dogs should not be given ice water. They prefer Jameson with soda back.

    I should know – I’m a veterinary bartender (Texas A&M ’12, William and Mary ’08, Nick & Tony ’06, UNC-Swan Quarter ’04)

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