Your dog Auggie loves snow, which is funny because you hate it. But Auggie will play around in the snow for hours. He will jump in it, roll in it, and even eat the stuff. As your toes are freezing off, Auggie continues to play. It’s almost like Auggie views the snow as his personal playground. He is such a playful goofball It also seems to be a wonderful change of scenery for him. Why does Auggie love snow so much? Is it okay for him to be rolling around in that frigidness for hours? Should you let him eat the stuff? (He loves it so much)! Your curiosity lingers as Auggie digs a sporadic hole through a pile of white fluff.
The Root of the Behavior
So why do dogs love snow? Simply put: it’s fun and dog’s love to play. All animals, including humans, have a need to play. It’s almost as instinctual as sleep. Many dogs see snow as one big toy. Play has actually been tied to a species’ survival and promotes reproduction. Animals who lack play, for any reason, have higher tendencies of aggression and anxiety. Who would have thought that playing in snow could provide Auggie with so much happiness and survival skills? It’s important to note that snow, in most places, is not an everyday occurrence and dogs revel in its rareness and texture. Auggie rolls in it because of the coolness and fluffy nature of snow. It just feels so good. And the cold could even provide energy opposed to the sun that zaps energy away. Also, dogs have systems in place to make them comfortable on the snow from their fur to their intricate system of self-heating paws. According to Patricia McConnell, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, it also seems that a lot of predatory animals love snow but many preys hate it. Dogs were once intense predators and they were comfortable in their surroundings because they could protect themselves, unlike the little bunny hiding under the sticks. She further explains that dogs are more similar to humans than many expect, and they get pleasure with change. Snow sparks a change of senses: the smell in the air changes, the temperature changes, and the visual landscape changes. Dogs are exploratory beings, and snow offers them a wonderful opportunity to explore. Some dogs love eating snow and this makes sense since, before domestication, dogs ate snow to keep hydrated through the winter. Although this is common, eating snow could be dangerous. There are a lot of unseen chemicals used now on snow that could be dangerous to poor Auggie. Be aware of this.
Encouraging the Behavior
Other Solutions and Considerations
It is important to observe if your dog is excessively eating snow. This could be an underlying medical condition or a sign of severe dehydration, both of which require a trip to your vet. Also, sometimes snow has harmful substances like antifreeze, rock salt, and more that your beloved pooch cannot see. Some of these substances are even tasty, so it might be wise to not let Auggie eat it, or to keep a very close on Auggie while he does. There could also be harmful stuff underneath the snow that your dog is eating that you might not even be aware of. Also, be aware of falling ice. It’s best for your pooch to play in an area that doesn’t have a lot of trees and houses with icicles, etc. Falling ice can be heavy and dangerous, so keep a lookout. Also, be aware of the extreme cold. Dogs do get cold too, especially if they are smaller. This is why it is also important to note your dog’s size. Smaller dogs may actually benefit from a sweater and boots. Lastly, note your dog’s age. Older dogs need a bit more attention and the cold may affect arthritic legs.
For many dogs, the snow is awesome! It provided Auggie with fun, stimulation, and a new scene. It gets Auggie moving and the adrenaline flowing. Yes, snow can sometimes entertain Auggie more than you can, and once in a while, that is okay. But be aware of the extreme temperatures and watch Auggie closely if he tries to eat the snow. But don’t forget to enjoy Auggie and his cool moves outside.