Since first posting this here and at the facebook page, a number of readers have commented and the growing consensus seems to me that this is a kind of “urban legend” that has gathered steam as it was passed from one dog loving person to another.
If there’s any question in your mind about whether to feed your dog ice and/or ice water (or anything else, for that matter ;-), ask your vet.
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There is a post at Wendt Worth Corgis about a very scary incident involving serious consequences of a Corgi drinking ice water.
Happy safe Summering, everybody!
Yes, it's nonsense. The stomach is smooth muscle and does not cramp with cold, and the water or ice is warmed significantly before it hits the stomach. Have you ever died from drinking cold Coke? That's exactly how it feels to a dog to eat ice – refreshing, not deadly.
The dog bloated during a show, which is very common due to the stress of being in a strange place. He was taken to a vet who clearly doesn't know a lot about how the stomach works. I'm glad the dog is fine, but it's plain good fortune and not competent vetting!
Ice water, pieces of ice, cold baths, cold food, half-frozen chicken – all are fine for dogs and fed all the time, including to bloat-prone breeds.
Oh, and the story isn't about a corgi either. It's been passed around the dog crowd for years, urban legend style, and the identifying details have been stripped. The original dog was a large or giant breed.
The vet blogger Dolittler also did a post debunking this: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2010/july/internet_myths
Vegetarian Cannibal says
My corgi loves to munch on ice cubes and popsicles. Doesn't seem to bother her much.