Brain freeze is something we often face when we finish an entire box of ice cream in a few minutes or eat cold food quickly. Dogs also like ice cream and cold treats. So we dog lovers may wonder, Can dogs get brain freeze?
Well, it won’t be surprising if a dog gets a brain freeze. Brain freeze occurs when the cold food touches the mouth quickly. Dogs also have a mouth roof and blood vessels like humans. If they try to gulp down cold food in a second, they can also get a brain freeze.
Keep reading to learn about the symptoms and prevention of brain freeze in your dog.
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What Is Brain Freeze?
Brain freeze is a short-term pain known as a cold stimulus headache or ice cream headache. It has a scientific name, i.e. sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia.
A brain freeze occurs when a cold drink or food touches the upper palate or roof of the mouth. It mostly happens when we take cold food or drink too quickly. The blood vessel of the upper palate in the mouth transfers the stabbing ache to the forehead. Then it narrows the blood vessels and causes nerve pain.
Our mouth’s upper palate has sensitive nerves that can react to extreme temperatures. The trigeminal nerve especially reacts when it gets a pain signal from the throat.
Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze?
Like humans, dogs have an upper palate and nerve endings in their mouths. If these parts can react in the human body because of the temperature changes, dogs’ bodies can react too.
Let’s say your dog took a sip of icy juice or gulped down an ice cream in one nanosecond. If we humans did that, we would suffer a serious brain freeze. Unfortunately, dogs are also prey for brain freeze. The blood vessels in the mouth’s roof will constrict, which will trigger a headache.
Since dogs can’t express their discomfort like we can, we don’t realise that they can also have brain freeze. But the fact is, dogs are more prone to brain freeze than humans, especially the smaller ones.
We dog lovers must be mindful to treat our dogs to cold beverages. We will get back to it later.
Why Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze?
Dogs can’t escape the brain freeze if they gulp a whole ice cream in a click. They have the same anatomy as humans, so their blood vessels can constrict like ours if they don’t consume cold beverages gently.
While eating or drinking something cold in a second, dogs’ nerves get irritated, and this pain leads to headaches, known as brain freeze. You will see the dog shaking his paws and head more often.
Symptoms Of Brain Freeze In Dogs
Here are some signs that your dog will give when he is suffering from brain freeze:
- Not interested in eating or having a loss of appetite.
- Changes in behaviour, like showing restlessness
- Tilting and shaking the head too much.
- Squinting and blinking eyes more than often.
- Rubbing the head and paws continuously
Tips To Cure Brain Freeze In Dogs?
What if your furry friend consumed cold food quickly and is suffering from brain freeze now? Don’t worry; here are some tips you can follow.
- Start by checking the signs that a dog gives during the brain freeze.
- Take away cold foods and drinks from your dog.
- Wrap your dog in a blanket and feed him some lukewarm water.
- Offer him food at a normal temperature.
How To Avoid Brain Freeze In Dogs?
It is not like feeding your dog something cold will cause his brain to freeze. It will only occur if he gulps too fast to adapt. You can avoid brain freeze in your dog if you stay alert about the brain freeze.
Anyway, while feeding your dog cold food, make small pieces of it and let him eat them one by one. Hence, your dog can’t eat fast, and his palate can’t cause nerve pain.
You can also give your dog an outdoor bath by mixing some ice cubes with the water. This can reduce his temptation to eat cold food.
If possible, don’t let your dog have ice cream. If he wills too much, make the ice cream liquid, and then feed him.
Some Easy Ways To Cool Your Dog
We can’t go without a cold drink or food when it is hot in the summer. In the same way, dogs would like to receive the same treatment. As they don’t know about the risks of taking cold foods and drinks, we can offer alternate ways to keep them cool. Such as
- Keep your dog in a shady place.
- Freeze the toy he plays with.
- Don’t make him exercise too much.
- Give small cold treats, like slices of carrot and apple.
- Keep yoghurt and peanut butter in the fridge to feed your dog, but gently.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze
Is a brain freeze harmful?
It is painful to have a brain freeze, both for humans and animals. However, it is not as serious a pain as it sounds. It is a short-term pain that you can cure by avoiding cold beverages and foods.
Why is brain freezing painful?
Brain freeze is painful because the blood vessels try to adjust to the drastic change in temperature in the body. The body tries to warm the cooling area, which swells up the blood vessels and causes pain.
Do all dogs suffer from brain freeze?
Brain freeze occurs in dogs that have sensitive trigeminal nerves. If your dog’s trigeminal nerve is quite adaptable, he is most likely not to have a brain freeze.
Is brain freeze rare?
Brain freeze is rare among humans and animals, but not very rare. 40% of humans and animals suffer from brain freeze or are susceptible to it.
For those who wonder, Can dogs get brain freeze? The answer is yes. Not only humans but also dogs are prone to brain freeze if they eat or down cold food or juice.
Don’t stress much about it, as it causes short-term pain. Till then, you can try keeping your dog warm or feeding him some lukewarm water. Also, don’t forget to tell your vet about your dog’s brain freeze. He might suggest some medicine according to your dog’s history and symptoms.