Blue Cross reveals how to safely give a dog ice cubes in a heatwave

dog licking an ice cube on a colourful background
What a good boy (Picture: iStockphoto/Getty)

With the UK heatwave in full-swing, feeling sticky and uncomfortable is a rite of passage.

But spare a thought for the nation’s hairy dogs .

As temperatures soar, our four-legged friends will be looking to cool down, too.

Of course, there are a number of ways to help a dog stay comfortable in the heat – from investing in a pet sun bed to purchasing a paddling pool for pooches .

For those who don’t want to spend any money, there’s always ice cubes.

But are ice cubes actually safe for canines? After all, they could cause choking, broken teeth or a damaged tongue (from it sticking to the frozen cube).

Thankfully, Blue Cross animal hospital in London has provided some helpful advice. Caroline Reay, clinical lead at Blue Cross, stresses that the cube should be an appropriate size for the dog. For example, you don’t want to give a tiny dog a massive ice cube.

For pets who tend to wolf down food, smaller cubes or even ice shavings would be the best option.

In terms of whether ice cubes can cause bloating, Caroline told Tyla: ‘There’s no real foundation to the idea that ice cubes cause bloating in dogs – the two aren’t known to be connected.’

Blue Cross also suggests owners can make frozen cubes or lollies with a pet’s favourite food inside – this will keep them entertained in the heat, too.

Love your pet. You are your pet’s favorite thing in the whole world. He craves your love, attention and care. So show him the love and devotion he shows you!

Alternatively, the organisation adds: ‘You could fill a bowl with some low-salt stock scattered with a few treats and freeze it – or even throw in a toy or two, adding enrichment for your pet while cooling them down.

Frozen carrots or apple slices are also a tasty – but healthy – snack to refresh your pet on a hot day.’

Other tricks for cooling a dog down in the sun include covering them in a cool (but not freezing cold) towel and having a bottle of cold water – which can be used to mist a dog every once in a while.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch at [email protected].

The Fix

The daily lifestyle email from

Find out more