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ST. LOUIS - There's a story that you've likely seen on your Facebook feed that's scaring a lot of pet owners, especially with it getting so hot outside.

The story appears legitimate on the surface: a dog became bloated and almost died after his owner gave him ice cubes in his water bowl.

It's something many pet owners do in the summer months.

NewsChannel 5 contacted our friends at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri to get the facts on this viral rumor. The APA says, "Don't believe everything you read."

"It was strictly anecdotal. In fact, the School of Veterinary Medicine out of Tufts, their emergency medical specialists put out a special notice that there's nothing to this," said Dr. Denise Dietsch, veterinarian at the APA of Missouri. "It's perfectly all right and in this hot weather, cold water helps. It's something they need to keep themselves cool."

Here are some other tips to keep your pets safe in the heat:

- If you like to take your dog on runs or walks, try to do so in the early morning or evening hours when it's not as hot.

- Never leave your pet in the car when it's over 70 degrees, no matter how much you crack the windows.
- And keep an eye-out for anti-freeze; it has a sweet taste pets love, but is deadly to them.

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