Can Dogs Eat Ice?

Many dogs love to chew ice cubes. The habit is usually harmless, but some ice cubes can be hazardous. Here’s how to prevent problems.


Dogs love ice cubes when temperatures rise, and even in cold weather, many dogs enjoy the satisfying crunch of ice.

Going too long without water causes dehydration, and consuming gently melting ice cubes helps prevent that condition. As a result, ice cubes are generally considered to be beneficial for dogs while the risk of health problems caused by their consumption of ice is extremely low.

However, the risk isn’t zero, for ice cubes can literally crack a dog’s teeth. According to Tennessee pet dentist Barden Greenfield, DVM, “Dogs have a tendency to chew too hard, and the force of breaking ice is substantial. This can lead to a slab fracture (broken tooth) of the upper 4th premolar, which many times exposes the pulp, leading to tremendous oral pain and discomfort. Treatment options are root canal therapy or surgical removal.”

The risk of breaking a tooth increases with the size of frozen cubes, so to avoid this possibility while satisfying your dog’s ice cravings:

  • Freeze small or miniature cubes instead of large ones.
  • Offer shaved ice instead of cubes.
  • Add ingredients that produce softer cubes, such as small amounts of honey or yogurt, to prevent a “too hard” freeze.

For added flavor and variety, try freezing:

  • Salt-free or low-salt bone broth.
  • Water pureed with a small amount of cooked meat or fish.
  • Broth or water mixed with unsweetened coconut milk.
  • A small treat added to each cube before freezing, such as a banana slice, blueberry, piece of cooked meat, or dollop of peanut butter, any of which can be a surprise present for your dog.
  • Store these ice cubes in airtight freezer bags.