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Why do dogs eat snow?

Updated on February 7, 2013

Gosh! The dog is eating snow again. Why not? There’s nothing wrong with eating snow. For sure you have enjoyed eating snow as well when you were younger. A lot of people would be excited to see the first snow flakes of the season fall. The snow brings the child in us. Because dogs form a strong bond with its people, it is attuned to what its human family feels. So if you like snow would it be any wonder why your dog loves to eat snow as well?

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The snow eating habit of the pet

Dogs are one of the animals noted to have bizarre eating habits. Dogs are not picky eater. Our furry friends would eat anything…this includes fresh or spoiled food as well as edible and non-edible things. Snow eating would be better that poop eating. The habit to eat snow is probably a carry over trait from the dog’s ancestors. Wolves that lived in the wild will be forced to eat snow in winter when the rivers and the streams are frozen.

The snow eating habit is due to a medical concern

Dogs are voracious eaters. However, dogs with underlying medical concerns like thyroid disease, kidney disease, diabetes and Cushing’s disease are noted to have larger appetites. These diseases would make the dog extremely thirsty. Dogs that have a fondness for eating snow may or may not have this medical concern. To be on the safe side it would be best to take the pet to the vet to rule out these medical concerns.

Eating snow vs. drinking water

A dog that eats snow would still need to be provided with bowls of fresh water. Freshly fallen snow has about 5% water content. This means that a bucket of snow will not fill a glass when melted. A dog would have to eat large amounts of snow to get the correct amount of water it needs.

Is snow eating dangerous for the pet?

You can allow the dog to eat a fair amount of snow especially if you see that the dog is enjoying himself. Snow after all would be very refreshing especially when it melts in the warm tongue of the dog. Excessive snow eating however result to runny can nose, vomiting and diarrhea. A bigger concern would be poisoning and ingestion of toxic substances. The snow may have anti freeze and other chemical that will endanger the health of the pet when ingested.

German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Eating Snow


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