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Why Do Dogs Like Ice? 5 Vet-Approved Reasons

Written by: Lorre Luther

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Golden retriever and a bowl of ice

Why Do Dogs Like Ice? 5 Vet-Approved Reasons


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Have you ever wondered precisely why your dog loves ice? Is it the taste, the sound of the crunch, or just plain curiosity that drives your four-footed friend to flirt with various states of canine ecstasy after snagging that errant ice cube from the floor? And just in case you’re wondering, it’s generally safe for dogs to consume ice.

Opt for ice chips or shavings to minimize the chance of injury to your dog’s teeth, as older animals that have bitten into large ice cubes have been known to end up with a broken tooth or two. But other than that, it should be fine for your canine companion to enjoy an icy treat. Read on for five reasons your dog loves ice.

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The 5 Reasons Why Dogs Like Ice

1. Cool Refreshment on Hot Days

Dogs love to play outside on hot summer days. And just like with humans, this fun in the sun leads to an increase in body temperature. Just in case you’re wondering, dogs’ temperatures typically fall somewhere between 100.2–103.80º F. But because canines don’t sweat, they quickly become overheated in hot environments.

Dogs keep things cool by panting, lying in the shade, and consuming liquids. And that’s where yummy frozen treats come in! Giving your pup ice on a hot afternoon will not only make your best friend’s day, but it’ll also help them stay properly hydrated and cool. But remember, the best way to keep your pet safe outdoors is to provide ample water and tons of shade and keep them inside when the temperature becomes unsafe.

2. Hours of Chewing Enjoyment and Stress Relief

Dogs love to chew on things! It’s a deeply ingrained, instinctual activity—even your dog’s big brothers in the wild have been known to toy with bones. Most dogs will happily chew on anything from shoes to sticks, and many engage in the activity simply because it’s enjoyable.

Other animals chew on things to reduce stress. Think of the activity as a natural form of canine emotional self-regulation. Ice fits right into the plan by providing your pet a fun way to cool off and calm down!

Cavapoo eating Ice Cube
Image Credit: Scot Col, Shutterstock

3. Tons of Investigatory Fun

Dogs are curious creatures that love to learn about and investigate their surroundings. When checking out new places, people, and objects, canines rely primarily on their sense of smell. Dogs love to sniff each other, people, and scents left behind by neighborhood squirrels. But they also investigate objects with their mouths, which is a characteristic that’s particularly strong in puppies and younger animals.

When dogs lick, bite, and play with ice, they’re investigating their environment. Your buddy is probably not interested in how the ice tastes; dogs have around 7,000 fewer taste buds than humans.

4. Entertaining Thirst Quencher

Dogs need to consume more water than you might think—most need around ⅛ cup per pound every day to stay properly hydrated. Their tongues have special taste receptors that respond specifically to water and become stimulated when your dog eats or gets dehydrated.

Ice is a deliciously cool thirst quencher for dogs, just as it is for humans. Think of it as a healthy canine version of those delicious popsicles you loved as a child! But these yummy treats have the added benefit of ensuring your furry friend gets enough to drink. Want to know if your dog is sufficiently hydrated after a long day in the sun? Pinch the skin right between your pup’s shoulders and let it go. If the skin slides right back into place, your buddy is probably good to go.

Japanese Shiba Inu putting its face in a bowl of ice
Image Credit: Soontorrapoj Tipprasert, Shutterstock

5. All Around Yummy Treat

When you get right down to it, ice is a treat, and dogs love treats. Dogs love treats so much that behavioral specialists recommend using them to train and motivate your pet. Key factors to consider when selecting something tasty include whether it contains healthy ingredients and if it can be used to meet your animal’s needs for stimulation.

Dogs absolutely require stimulation to be healthy. They need physical exercise as well as the mental stimulation provided by observing and interacting with new things in their environment. Ice licking, biting, and crunching all engage your pup mentally and provide hours of positive stimulation. And water is, of course, super healthy for you and your dog!

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Final Thoughts

Dogs love ice! They love to lick it, crunch it, sniff it, and play with it. Giving your pet an icy cool treat is a great way to nurture the bond between you and your companion. Just be sure to give your pet ice chips or shavings instead of cubes to protect their dental health.

Featured Image Credit: APIWICH PUDSUMRAN, Shutterstock

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