Can Dogs Smell Dry Ice? (Answers Revealed!)

Can Dogs Smell Dry Ice

Our pet dogs can wage out of control sometimes.

When at home, they might have tendencies to explore the kitchen and make clutter.

On top of dangerous utensils, another thing you need to take note of is the risk of your pet smelling some dry ice.


Dogs should not smell dry ice. It is better to keep them away from dry ice because they might inhale the dry ice vapor. It originated from carbon dioxide gas and water. Therefore, inhaling dry ice may lead to breathing or respiratory issues.


Read on to understand further why dogs cannot smell or inhale dry ice vapor for safety purposes.

As responsible pet parents, we need to know the dangers of some of the most common stuff we put in our drinks, especially in our Halloween cauldrons.


The Science Behind Dry Ice

dry ice

Dry ice has been in use in several sciences and industries since 1835. It is carbon dioxide in solid form.

The temperature ranges from frozen to -109 degrees Fahrenheit or -78.5 degrees Celsius.

Avoid touching it with bare hands nor any form of skin contact.

Keep dry ice out of reach for children and your pets because it can be dangerous.


During the Halloween season, the demand for dry ice is high due to its ghostly fog effect when you add it to water or any liquid.

Dry ice or solid carbon dioxide sublimates at 194.65 K (−78.5 °C; −109.3 °F) at 1 atmosphere of pressure.


It sublimates into carbon dioxide gas very quickly, sometimes within a few hours after exposure to room temperature.

The fog or smoke effect lasts for less than 15 minutes.


Dry Ice Uses in Daily Life

It is a wonder that despite the dangers of dry ice, some people or industries continue to manufacture it and make it available for use.


Dry ice is beneficial not only for Halloween cauldrons and drinks. Some industries rely on dry ice at a minimum level.

  1. Because of its low temperature, dry ice serves as a cooling agent.
  2. The theatre industry uses dry ice in fog machines for a dramatic impact because of its fog effect. Haunted house attractions and nightclubs also use dry ice for a similar purpose.
  3. Dry ice is the reason behind the proper preservation of frozen foods, especially when mechanical cooling is not feasible. It pertains to the process of non-cyclic refrigeration.
  4. It has a critical role in deploying vaccines due to its shallow temperature.
  5. Among the countless dry ice, uses make ice cream, solidify oil spills, and carbonated beverages.


Effects of Contact with Dry Ice

  1. Our skin cells will freeze upon immediate contact with dry ice and die in just a matter of seconds.
  2. Frostbite burns and scars result, which may lead to ulcerations.
  3. Frostbite can cause damage to the stomach due to inhaling an excessive amount of carbon dioxide gas. There is a tendency that the carbon dioxide gas expands in the gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Dry ice, in some cases, may also stick to the pet’s tongue, nose, or paws.
  5. Inhaling may lead to suffocation in both animals and humans due to the lack of oxygen. If swallowed, it may lead to death if the pet in contact does not get fresh air.



Learn More:

Can Dogs Smell THC Oil?



Is Dry Ice Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, dry ice is toxic to dogs. It can harm the digestive and respiratory systems of dogs when they ingest dry ice.

It is a hazardous material that you should do away with to be safe.


Can Dogs Smell Dry Ice?

No. No pet or human should come in contact nor inhale dry ice to avoid carbon dioxide displacing the oxygen within the body.

Inhaling too much carbon dioxide from dry ice may lead to headaches, disorientation, or worse, death.

Some household items are safe for pets to sniff, but dry ice is not one of them.


How to Handle Dry Ice To Be Safe For Pets?

dry ice being held

Dry ice is different from the typical ice that is made from water.

It is far more dangerous to the skin or fur.

When you cannot avoid using dry ice, the following are tips on how to handle it for you and your dog’s safety at home.

  1. Use proper gloves when holding some dry ice. Do not risk getting direct contact with it, or you will get a frostbite burn.
  2. Avoid storing dry ice in an air-tight container.
  3. Only use dry ice when you are in a ventilated area. Never inhale dry ice because it might asphyxiate you or your pet.
  4. If you had to use dry ice, unpack dry ice in a well-ventilated area far from the crowd and out of children’s reach.


How to Dispose Of Dry Ice?

Since we now know that carbon dioxide makes up dry ice and the dangers and mishandling it, you have to know how to dispose of dry ice properly after use.

  • Avoid placing dry ice in a garbage bin or sewer.
  • Since dry ice sublimates, it is a form of precaution to minimize the risk of explosion.
  • Look for an area as far away from your house as possible and with good ventilation.
  • Let dry ice melt on its own while keeping pets and children at bay.


What to Do When Pets Swallow Dry Ice

In case your pet has ingested dry ice, examine its belly.

If its stomach is swelling and gastric distension is noticeable, bring your hound to the hospital right away.


Some of the effects that you need to observe are:

  1. Swelling stomach due to excess carbon dioxide
  2. Inflammation in the esophagus
  3. Damage in the esophagus


Key Takeaway

Dry ice is maybe fun during occasions, especially Halloween cauldrons.

But take note that dry ice is a hazardous material.

Dogs and other pets should not come in contact with it nor inhale it in massive amounts.

Too much carbon dioxide may lead to suffocation, ulcerations, or death.


See Also


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.