Can ice water really kill your dog?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The hot weather has people looking for ways to keep their pets cool, but you will never believe what an online article says could kill your four-legged friend.

In a post that has gone viral, a pet owner claims her dog almost died after she gave it ice cubes.

That post has been shared so many times on Facebook and Twitter, WREG decided to ask experts to find out if it’s true.

Veterinarian Suzanne Heartsill of the Downtown Animal Hospital said she has seen this post before.

“In 2007, the same thing went around and again in 2011,” she said. “It’s the same post, the same characters.”

The article said ice can make a dog’s stomach muscles cramp, causing it to bloat, flip, and quickly kill the dog. It’s a terrifying thought for any pet owner. However, Heartsill said it’s not true.

“I have a lot of dogs that drink ice water,” she said. “My own dog eats ice off the floor.”

While the article may not hold water, dogs’ stomachs can bloat from eating or drinking too quickly. When that happens, their stomachs turn, cutting off blood flow.

“They’re panting. They’re in shock. They’re pale,” Heartsill explained. “These dogs are in a serious, life-threatening situation. If you don’t get them to the vet immediately, they probably won’t survive.”

She said big dogs with deep-set chests are most at risk, but there are things you can do to prevent bloat.

“Feed your big dogs multiple times a day, not just one big meal,” Heartsill said. “Make sure you’re not exercising your dogs right after they eat a bunch or drink a bunch of water.”

Breeds most prone to bloat are Great Danes and Saint Bernards. You can give them a procedure when they are puppies to protect them from this.