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D2009-26

Dear Daisy Dog

Buddy, our newly adopted Labrador retriever, loves to chew ice cubes. When he hears the freezer’s ice machine, he comes running as though he’s getting a steak. Is it okay for him to chew ice cubes?

Daisy Responds

I love to chew ice cubes, too, but I get the chance only when one falls to the floor by accident.

Mom won’t give them to me because I chomp on them so hard, she’s afraid I’ll break a tooth.

Sad to say, her fears have merit. Veterinary dentists report that chewing ice is a common cause of tooth fractures.

The teeth that usually break are the dog’s largest and most powerful teeth: the carnassials. We dogs have four carnassial teeth, an upper and a lower on each side, situated with our molars.

The carnassials are the teeth we carnivores use to chomp down on our kill -– or our kibble, depending on individual lifestyle.

Carnassial teeth have multiple roots, so when one breaks, root canal therapy or extraction is expensive. Consequently, it’s best to prevent fracture by refraining from chewing on hard objects like ice.

While ice isn’t good for teeth, it does not trigger bloat, as was suggested on the Internet a few years ago. That report was just a myth.

 

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