On a warm winter morning, you decide to take your dog outside for a quick walk. When you get outside, you notice that the ground is covered in fresh snow. Your dog begins to jump with excitement because he is ecstatic for this change in his environment and he wants to play. You allow your dog to walk in the snow and jump around and soon enough, you see him stick his head in the snow, covering his face with the fluffy white stuff. Most dogs love to stick their face in the snow and there is a great reason for it.
The Root of the Behavior
When the weather drops, most of us tend to cuddle up inside with a blanket, a fire, and a nice cup of tea. In fact, most people love staying inside where they are warm and comfortable on a cold winter day. Yet, it seems most dogs love to enjoy the cold weather and the fresh blanket of snow that falls on the ground just as some humans do. To your dog, the snow is a fun and new environment that adds a new layer to the world they have always been living in and your dog is going to want to explore his environment and investigate this new world profusely. You may have even noticed that when your dog goes to the bathroom on a daily basis, he will sniff, explore, and then mark his territory. With snow, there are a few reasons why your dog may shove his face into it. The first reason is for exploration because your dog is trying to familiarize himself with snow and the new environment.
Dogs will use their nose and their mouth to explore the world they live in from the food they eat to the scent that is on the ground. He may roll around, stick his face in the snow, dig, and even sniff. Snow will give off a scent just as grass does and it is a new substance, which is foreign and intriguing to your dog. Once your dog understands what snow is, he may still continue to stick his head in the snow. Your dog will continue exploring but he may also be marking his territory through his scent. If your dog is doing this, there is nothing to worry about because it is a part of his canine nature. Snow also changes your dog’s senses because your dog will experience the different tastes, smells, and feelings of the substance. Your dog’s most sensitive area for sensing things is his mouth and his nose. For this reason, when you take your dog outside, you may notice your dog walks funny, rolls around, and sniffs the snow much longer than he would with normal grass.
Encouraging the Behavior
If you live in a region where there is snow on the ground often, you are going to want to allow your dog to explore this new substance. Once they are used to the snow, they may not stick their face in it as much as they will at first. Yet, you want to allow your dog to stick his face in the snow because he is exploring the region he is in, sniffing the ground, and understanding what snow is. This may also be for fun exploration or for your dog to mark his territory. Just as he does it with the grass, he will do it with the snow and it is perfectly normal.
There are not any health concerns with your dog sticking his face in the snow unless you see your dog shivering a bit. If you do not live in a region where there is snow, this occurrence may only happen if you take your dog where there is snow. Either way, it is recommended to allow your dog to enjoy his canine nature and explore the world he is in. This will make him feel safer and he will be able to let out his canine energy through play and investigation.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you take your dog outside where there is fresh snow, it is suggested that you allow your dog to explore the region. Yet, this can take some time because your dog’s senses will be heightened. You may want to watch over your dog to make sure he reacts okay with the cold weather and if he does not, then you may want to act accordingly by bringing him inside. Many dogs are not built for the cold and cannot tolerate it very long. It is also suggested for all owners to bundle up when you take your dog out in the snow because you want to give your dog time to explore and use his canine senses to be a dog, but you don't want to freeze out in the cold. You could also use a longer leash so your dog can explore a bit away from you.
Humans and dogs know that snow can be a fun substance to play in. If you live in a place where it snows, go ahead and let your dog act out his crazy habits of investigation. It will make his daily walk and play time much more enjoyable, even if it is a bit cold out.