Should I Give My Dog Ice Cubes?

I get this question many times monthly from owners of my dental patients, especially in hot weather.  The short answer is NO, and I’ll explain why.

First, one must consider why this is bad.  When a dog chews on anything, he/she uses the upper 4th premolar and the lower 1st molar tooth, both of which have points to them.  As pets aggressively chew ice (or anything frozen), dogs have a tendency to chew too hard and the force of breaking the ice is substantial.  This leads 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 extraction.  Even if the pulp is not exposed, chewing ice can cause the dentin (layer below the enamel) to be exposed, which also causes oral discomfort and pain.

Bottom line…stay away from ice.  And while we’re on the subject, stay away from carrots.  They can cause the same issues.


Barden Greenfield, DVM, DAVDC    Your Pet Dentist


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