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Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze? | Signs & Tips for Relief (2024)

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can dogs get brain freezeHave you ever taken a big bite of an icy cold ice cream cone and felt the sharp shooting pain that comes right at the top of your nose? It’s like being stabbed in between your eyes! That sudden jolt is known as brain freeze, or ‘ice cream headache.

But can our furry friends suffer from this phenomenon too? Do dogs get brain freeze just like humans do when they eat their frozen treats too quickly? The answer may surprise you.

Brain freezes in dogs are caused by a nerve response to rapid constriction of blood vessels when something cold touches the roof of their mouth. With so many pup-friendly frozen goodies on offer, it’s important to know what signs to look out for and how best to protect pooches from experiencing those painful episodes – whether it be giving them tasty alternatives or helping them cool off on hot days with swimming pools and cooling beds.

Keep reading as we dive into all things related to canine brain freezes: signs & symptoms, treatments & prevention tips, plus much more!

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs can experience brain freeze from eating or drinking cold foods too quickly or chewing on icy toys.
  • Symptoms of brain freeze in dogs include sudden stopping, disorientation, head shaking, and loss of balance.
  • Brachycephalic breeds, thick-coated dogs, highly active dogs, overweight dogs, and elderly dogs are at a higher risk of experiencing brain freeze.
  • Treatment for brain freeze in dogs includes providing warm water sips, massaging the palate, moving to shade, avoiding more cold foods or water, and consulting a vet if the symptoms persist for over 10 seconds.

Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze?

Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze
Yes, pet owners must be aware that their furry companion can experience nerve pain from a sudden intake of cold treats – just like us!

Brain freeze in dogs is caused by the same thing as humans; when they consume something cold too quickly. Symptoms include stopping suddenly, disorientation, and swaying–all of which usually only last for seconds before passing.

To help ease discomfort, it’s recommended to give warm water or rub the roof of your dog’s mouth with your finger to warm up its palate and widen blood vessels again. If symptoms persist beyond 10 seconds, then you should contact a vet immediately as this could indicate more serious underlying issues than brain freeze alone.

Preventing brain freeze is easy if done right: Give small portions slowly so that there isn’t an overload on their system at once; add limited ice cubes to water on hot days but avoid giving them ice cream altogether; use cooling beds, toys, and pools in shade rather than direct sunlight exposure; limit time spent outdoors during heat periods by providing ample rest indoors instead – especially for brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds or those with thick coats who are prone to overheating even quicker than other breeds.

Dog-friendly frozen treats such as flavored broth cubes made into popsicles using plain yogurt blended with fruits like melon or blueberries make great options without any added chemicals! Ultimately, having access to fresh clean drinking water alongside plenty of cool shaded areas throughout summer will ensure both you and your pup stay happy all season long!

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Freeze in Dogs

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Freeze in Dogs
Are you aware that your pooch can suffer from nerve pain caused by a sudden intake of cold treats, just like humans? Signs and symptoms of brain freeze in dogs include sudden stopping, disorientation, and swaying.

All of these typically go away within seconds, but if they persist beyond 10 seconds, it could be indicative of more serious underlying issues than brain freeze alone.

Stopping Suddenly

If you notice your pup suddenly stopping, disorientation, or swaying after eating something cold, it could be a sign of brain freeze.

To prevent this uncomfortable sensation, use cool beds and toys in shaded areas. Add limited cubes to water on hot days.


You may notice your pup disoriented, as if they don’t know where they are or what’s going on – a possible sign of brain freeze from eating something cold too quickly.

Pet parents should offer small portions slowly and add limited cubes to water for hot days. To help prevent this nerve pain discomfort provide shade & rest; consider cool beds/toys in shaded areas for those warm summer days.

Brain freeze can be uncomfortable but remember that prevention is key: keep an eye out so your pup enjoys their treats without any issues!


Your pup may sway suddenly if they’ve had too much of a cold treat – an exaggerated sign that brain freeze has set in. Eating ice cream treats, frozen dairy products, and even just too many cold foods can cause this nerve pain.

To help your pup avoid uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • Overindulging on frozen popsicles
  • Ingesting large portions of icy snacks
  • Licking up sweetened chilled desserts
  • Partaking in sugary slushies or smoothies
  • Nibbling on snow cones or snowballs

Take it slow with small portions and provide plenty of shade & rest for those hot summer days!

How to Help Dogs With Brain Freeze

How to Help Dogs With Brain Freeze
If your dog is showing signs of nerve pain from a cold treat, there are steps you can take to help them. Firstly, provide warm water for them to drink and soothe the sensation. Secondly, rub the roof of their mouth gently in order to warm up their palate, and lastly, widen any blood vessels that may have constricted due to the sudden intake of cold food.

Give Warm Water

To help alleviate the nerve pain associated with brain freeze in your pup, offer them a warm drink of water.

Cold Food:

  • Sweet Icy Treats
  • Flavored Ice Cubes
  • Cold Treat
  • Flavored Broth Cubes

Avoid giving your dog cold treats like ice cream or sweet icy treats too quickly as these can bring on brain freeze.

Finally, provide plenty of drinking water in order to keep hydrated and hopefully prevent any further episodes of brain freeze from occurring!

Rub Roof of Mouth to Warm Palate

Gently rubbing the roof of your pup’s mouth can help warm its palate, relieving some of the discomfort associated with brain freeze. Try filling ice trays with flavored broth cubes or juices for dog-friendly cold treats.

Make popsicles using plain yogurt and safe fruits like melon, blueberry, and banana – avoiding any question of dairy! Soothe cluster headaches by providing frozen blueberries in a Kong toy.

Widen Blood Vessels

Widening your pup’s blood vessels can further help alleviate the pain of brain freeze – imagine a wave of warmth cascading through their body! Stephanie Vertrees, author and owner of Good Old Health Snacks for pets, suggests giving them tons of DIY frozen treats to do just that.

There are many ways you can make these yourself. You can make chicken or beef broth cubes with limited sodium or use ice cube trays filled with juices and flavored broths. Another option is making popsicles using plain yogurt combined with safe fruits like melon, blueberry, and banana.

For a different challenge, stuff Kongs with peanut butter and then add some broth or puree.

Keep your furry friend cool while minimizing symptoms from brain freeze this summer season!

When to Consult a Vet for Brain Freeze in Dogs

When to Consult a Vet for Brain Freeze in Dogs
If your dog is showing signs of nerve pain from a cold treat, it’s important to be aware that prolonged issues beyond 10 seconds could indicate other underlying problems. It’s best in this case to consult with your vet for further advice and treatment.

Prolonged Issues Beyond 10 Seconds

If your dog experiences nerve pain beyond 10 seconds, it could be a sign of something more serious and requires the attention of a vet. It’s possible that they may have become lactose intolerant or their pain signals are indicating an underlying issue, such as brain freezes due to high fat levels in cold treats.

Activity levels should also be monitored as this can affect how quickly the body cools down after eating cold food items too rapidly. As always, if you notice any changes in behavior or discomfort lasting longer than 10 seconds, contact your veterinarian right away for advice and treatment options.

If left untreated, further complications can arise, which is why being proactive is so important when caring for our furry friends!

Other Underlying Problems

It’s possible that your pup’s pain signals could be indicating an underlying issue, so it’s important to contact a vet if discomfort persists. Migraine headaches can affect dogs and may cause similar symptoms as dreaded brain freeze.

Signs of brain freeze in dogs include sudden stopping, disorientation, and swaying. However, these signs can also point to other health issues, such as migraines caused by dilation of blood vessels. Providing warm water or rubbing the roof of their mouth will help alleviate some symptoms, but consulting with a veterinarian gives you a better chance at determining what is causing your dog’s reaction and how best to treat them accordingly.

Preventing Brain Freeze in Dogs

Preventing Brain Freeze in Dogs
It’s important to remember that dogs can get brain freeze, just like humans. To keep your pup safe and avoid any uncomfortable symptoms, try giving treats slowly and limiting ice cream or other cold treats.

Additionally, providing cooling beds, toys, and pools in the shade, as well as allowing for regular periods of rest, is essential in keeping your dog cool during the summer months.

Give Treats Slowly

Give your pup cold treats slowly to help prevent brain freeze – it’s not worth the risk of the temporary nerve pain that can result. Divide into small bites and check sugar content for good news. Try pup’s special treats or tasty options like yogurt, puree or broth cubes st■ in a Kong! Monitor sodium intake if using treat-filled ice cube trays.

Limit Ice Cream

Avoid giving your pup ice cream—it’s full of sugar and can cause them more than a brain freeze! Instead, opt for an occasional grab-and-go type of treat like broth cubes in a Kong or DIY frozen popsicles.

For those extra sweet pups, try adding some melon or blueberries into the mix to make something special! Ice cubes are also great ways to help keep dogs cool on hot days while providing relief from the heat.

Use Cooling Beds, Toys, and Pools

Try cooling your pup with beds, toys, and pools in the shade! Beat the heat like a pro by giving them an air-conditioned paradise. Freeze flavored ice cubes to add fun to their water bowl or make cool summer treats with plain yogurt mixed with melon, blueberries, or banana instead of traditional ice cream.

Provide Shade and Rest

Provide your pup with plenty of shade and rest throughout hot summer days to help prevent brain freeze. Stay away from salty snacks and opt for fresh water, beef broth cubes, or a little bite of frozen yogurt instead.

Make sure you adjust the difficulty level on Kongs if needed so they can keep cool while enjoying their treats! You should also monitor sodium content when giving them broth cubes as too much salt is not healthy for your pup.

Dog-Friendly Frozen Treats

Dog-Friendly Frozen Treats
Are you considering what frozen treats to give your pup this summer? If so, look no further: flavored ice cubes, frozen yogurt and fruit popsicles, chicken or beef broth cubes with limited sodium content, and stuffing Kongs with peanut butter are all excellent options.

Flavored Ice Cubes

You can make delicious flavored ice cubes for your pup with dog-safe fruits like melon, blueberries, and banana.

  • Yummy tasty liquids such as broth or juice
  • Brain freeze-preventing popsicles using plain yogurt
  • Peanut butter st■ Kongs filled with broth or puree. This is the fastest way to give your pup’s special treats! Freeze all these ingredients together so you have a stash of frozen goodies ready at any time – no brain freeze here!

Frozen Yogurt and Fruit

Enjoy a cool and creamy treat with your pup by blending plain yogurt with delicious fruits like melon, blueberries, and banana for tasty popsicles that help prevent brain freeze.

Chicken or Beef Broth Cubes

Try freezing chicken or beef broth cubes as a delicious and nutritious frozen treat for your pup – no brain freeze worries here! Ice cubes made from these ingredients make special treats that won’t cause stomach issues like regular ice cream.

Learn pet-parenting tips on how to prevent brain freezes with limited ice, small portions, and cooling beds. They’re perfect summer snacks when the heat hits so you can keep your furry friend cool without worry.

St■ Kongs With Peanut Butter

Unlock a tasty frozen surprise for your pup – stuff Kongs with peanut butter, then add broth, yogurt, or puree. For an extra special treat, make flavored ice cubes by freezing chicken or beef broth in the Kong and let your pup enjoy without worrying about sharp shooting pains of brain freeze! Keep their GPS tracking collar on to keep them safe while they explore this delicious new snack option.

Your pup will love these dog-friendly treats that you made just for them! So get creative and give them something cool to beat the summer heat.

Keeping Dogs Cool in Summer

Keeping Dogs Cool in Summer
As the summer heat rises, it’s important to remember that keeping your pup cool is essential. To make sure they stay healthy in the hot weather, provide access to shade and fresh water, as well as brushing their coats frequently.

Be aware of signs of heat exhaustion, such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, or vomiting – if you notice any of these symptoms, contact a vet immediately! Additionally, try walking during cooler times like early morning or evening, and be cautious with breeds that are more prone to overheating, such as brachycephalic or thick-coated dogs.

Access to Shade and Fresh Water

Provide your pup with access to shade and fresh water on hot days; why not make sure they have the best summer possible? Find a spot in the yard or take them for a walk at dog-friendly water parks. If it’s too hot outside, grab flavored ice cubes! Always keep an eye on their location when walking – use leashes and check out our blog for more tips.

Brush Coats Frequently

Brush your pup’s coat frequently during hot summer days to keep them cool and comfortable. Get creative with flavored ice cubes, unsweetened yogurt popsicles, or a Kong filled with peanut butter! Helpful articles from experienced assistant professors can be found online for sleep patterns and other cooling tips.

Don’t forget the trusty popsicle tray – Pups love it! Make sure you have all the tools to help beat the heat this summer.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion in your pup, such as panting, drooling, and vomiting. Know your dog’s location at all times – this is important information to have if real problems arise.

Avoid added sugars or high-sodium treats; there’s a good chance they could make dehydration worse! Make sure you have everything prepared to keep them cool when summer temperatures soar.

Walk During Cooler Times of the Day

Walk your pup during cooler times of the day, like early morning or evening, to keep them from overheating in the summer months. Avoid ice cream headaches by giving small portions and no more than a couple of ice cubes.

Pup’s special treats can include broth, yogurt, puree, fruit popsicles – all without lasting damage! Make sure to choose acceptable frozen treats for your furry friend.

Brachycephalic and Thick-coated Breeds

Brachycephalic and thick-coated breeds are more prone to overheating in the summer, so it’s best to keep pups’ location shaded. Offer pups’ special treats like broth cubes or yogurt popsicles instead of traditional ice cream.

This is the best thing for dogs’ active outdoor activities as well! Make sure they always have access to fresh water too.

The Science Behind Brain Freezes in Dogs

The Science Behind Brain Freezes in Dogs
You may have noticed your pup suddenly stopping, disoriented and swaying after eating a cold treat – this could be brain freeze. Brain freeze is nerve pain caused by eating something too cold, like an ice cream cone or bully stick left out in the sun.

A study conducted by Houston scientists on pet owners found that dogs experiencing brain freezes exhibit similar symptoms to humans; sudden stopping followed by disorientation and swaying of the head area temporarily before going away.

To help ease their discomfort, give warm water or rub their roof of mouth with your finger to rapidly warm up the palate and widen blood vessels so it can quickly pass.

Preventive measures go a long way when trying to keep Fido cool during those hot summer days: limit portion size when offering treats such as chicken broth cubes (watch sodium levels) or frozen yogurt popsicles blended with dog-safe fruits like melon, blueberries, or banana – you’ll get all the benefits from keeping them happy without any risk involved!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What breeds of dogs are more prone to brain freeze?

Brachycephalic and thick-coated breeds are more prone to brain freeze than other dogs. For example, a Poodle with its curly fur may be susceptible due to its inability to dissipate heat well.

Are there any medical treatments for brain freeze in dogs?

Have you ever wondered if there is a medical treatment for brain freeze in dogs? While it usually resolves on its own, warm water or rubbing the roof of their mouth can help widen blood vessels and ease discomfort.

If symptoms persist beyond 10 seconds, however, consult your vet to rule out other issues.

Are there any dog-friendly snacks that can help prevent brain freeze?

You can prevent brain freeze in dogs by providing small portions of cold treats slowly and adding limited ice to their water on hot days. Stuff Kongs with peanut butter, then add broth, yogurt, or puree for a tasty snack – they’ll love it! For an extra cool treat that’s safe for them, try freezing flavorful broths into cubes or blending plain yogurt with fruits like melon and banana.

Are there any risks associated with giving dogs frozen treats?

Yes, frozen treats can be risky for dogs. Eating them quickly or consuming too much may cause brain freeze and heat exhaustion. Make sure to give small portions slowly, provide shade and water when possible, brush their coat, and watch out for signs of heat stroke.

Is brain freeze in dogs the same as humans?

Brain freeze in dogs is similar to humans, but not quite the same. It causes temporary nerve pain, yet doesn’t pose any real danger. To keep them safe and cool, avoid giving icy treats – even if it’s tempting! Instead, opt for flavorful broth cubes or pup-safe popsicles to beat the heat.


It’s no surprise that dogs often experience the same annoyances as their human counterparts. Brain freeze is one of them. It’s true that canines can get brain freeze just as easily as humans, and the signs include stopping suddenly, disorientation, and swaying.

Fortunately, there are ways to help dogs with brain freeze. Give them a warm drink, rub the roof of their mouth to warm the palate, and widen the blood vessels. If the symptoms last more than 10 seconds, it’s time to consult a vet for underlying medical issues.

To prevent brain freeze, give treats slowly, limit ice cream, and provide shade and rest during hot summer days. You can also use ice cubes, frozen yogurt, and even st■ Kongs as dog-friendly frozen treats.

By following these tips, you can help keep your four-legged friend cool and comfortable during the summer months.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.