Summer officially arrives on Saturday, and as the weather gets warmer, you may be trying to keep your pets cool. But a new online article warning that giving dogs ice cubes or ice water can be dangerous, or even deadly, is FALSE.
In the post, which has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, a pet owner claims her dog almost died after she gave it ice cubes.
The article claims ice can make a dog's stomach muscles cramp, causing it to bloat, flip, and quickly kill the dog.
But veterinarians we talked to say that's simply not true, and many pet advocacy groups have posted online to debunk the hoax.
Because we are getting into the summer months, the hottest time of year in Central Florida and for most of the country, this does bring up a good reminder on how to properly protect your pets from the heat.
Dogs are much more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. One reason: They wear their fur coats year-round, and while dogs do have sweat glands on their feet, they don't have them on the rest of their body.
So, make sure your furry friend gets plenty of fresh water — and it's OK to cool them down with ice or ice water.
When your pets do play outside, make sure they play in a shady area.
Above all, never leave your dog in the car, even for a minute or two. It only takes a matter of minutes for the temperature inside a hot car that's turned off to jump to over 100 degrees.
Signs of dehydration in dogs
What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a lack of water in the body, and can cause serious complications for pets and people alike. Water is essential to all living beings, including dogs, who depend on proper daily fluid intake to maintain appropriate health. It makes up 80 percent of your dog’s body, and dissolves natural and unnatural substances as well as serves as the root of all his biological processes, including circulation, digestion and waste removal.
What Causes Dehydration in Dogs?
Dehydration occurs when fluid levels drop to less than normal. This is due to either reduced water intake or increased fluid loss. Fluid loss can be due to overheating in hot weather or a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, especially in puppies.
What Are the General Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs?
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Is Dehydrated?
Dehydration may indicate a serious underlying problem. If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, take him to a veterinarian immediately. You may be able to detect dehydration at home by gently lifting the skin on the back of your dog’s neck or between the shoulder blades—unless your dog is seriously overweight or very shin, it should immediately return to a normal position.
If he is lacking in fluids, the lifted skin may not quickly return to normal. Often, however, the signs of dehydration are not obvious, and only a veterinarian can provide proper diagnosis and treatment.
Are Certain Dogs Prone to Dehydration?
Dogs most at risk for dehydration are those who suffer from various illnesses such as kidney disorders, cancer and infectious disease. Elderly dogs and pregnant or nursing dogs may be prone to dehydration, as well as diabetic dogs whose condition is not regularly monitored.
How Is Dehydration Treated?
A veterinarian will administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, and run additional tests, if necessary, to determine the underlying cause of the condition.
How Can I Prevent Dehydration?
- Provide clean water at all times, and change it frequently to ensure freshness. Also, don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from forming.
- Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, a dog needs at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. If your dog is not drinking an adequate amount of water, seek veterinary advice. Monitoring water intake is especially important if he’s recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses.
- Purchase a water bowl with a weighted bottom to prevent your dog from knocking it over.
- Bring extra water when you’re traveling or exercising with your dog.
- If you notice your pet is drinking less than usual, check his mouth for sores or other foreign objects, such as burrs or sticks.
- Avoid chaining a dog outside, since he may get tangled up, preventing him from accessing his water bowl.
- Keep your toilet lid closed to interrupt your dog’s efforts to turn the bowl, which can be a source of bacteria, into a water fountain.