Why is my dog ​​eating snow? - Toutoupourledog

Why does a dog swallow snow? Is it dangerous for him? And how to make him break this habit?

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Why do dogs eat snow?

Many plausible theories exist to explain this strange habit of our domestic canines:

Just out of curiosity

Under our latitudes and unless you live in the high mountains, snow is rather rare so that when it appears, some dogs simply want to experience it by tasting it. Indeed, dogs, and especially the youngest of them, are curious creatures eager to study the elements around them. Like young children who put everything in their mouths, dogs also explore their environment orally.When the snow appears, it is therefore quite natural for our dogs to discover this unknown element by means of their mouths.

Because he's thirsty

If we are all aware of the importance of keeping our dogs well hydrated during the summer, we forget that the need is just as great in winter. In winter, most of our domestic dogs evolve in the closed and heated spaces of our homes where the air is very dry! Outside, cold temperatures also make the air very dry and conducive to dehydration.

Thus, if your dog eats snow, it may simply be because he is thirsty and in this way, he consumes water to hydrate.

By the way, before dogs were domesticated, their ancestors living in cold climates, where all water was frozen in winter, usually ate snow to stay hydrated.In some dogs, this instinctual behavior may still be present thousands of years later.

Because he likes it

Who has never loved the feeling of a good ice cream that slowly melts in your mouth? The flavor aside, eating snow could provide the same pleasure to our dogs who would then eat it simply to cool off.

A hypothesis that is not so incongruous given the relatively underdeveloped sense of taste in our four-legged friends. Either way, the texture of snow, the feeling of freshness or its flavor can give a dog enough pleasure to encourage him to eat it!

Because he has a he alth problem

While it's normal for your dog to eat a bit of snow, it should start to worry you when the behavior becomes compulsive and/or seems excessive.

Indeed, if a dog eats a lot of snow, it may be because he feels an intense feeling of thirst caused by a metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney failure or even Cushing's disease.

It could also be because he has a tendency to eat anything lying around and he suffers from an eating disorder. Either way, a visit to your veterinarian is a must!

Eating snow: is it dangerous for my dog?

If your dog eats a few bites of fresh, clean snow, it's safe for him.

But if he swallows too much of it, things can go wrong, causing intestinal upset like diarrhea or a dangerous drop in body temperature that could lead to hypothermia.

The danger of snow consumption comes mainly from toxic substances that contaminate it, such as road s alt or traces of hydrocarbons present on the ground in urban areas. It is therefore important not to let your dog eat soiled snow, blackened or melted under the action of de-icing s alt. Your dog could then develop serious gastrointestinal disorders.

How to prevent your dog from eating snow?

It's hard to completely prevent dogs from eating snow, but here are some steps you can take to discourage your dog from eating too much of it:

  • At home, summer and winter, provide it with plenty of water that you will change regularly to keep it fresh.
  • Walk your dog on a leash on snowy days trying to avoid snowy areas, especially puddles of slush.
  • Bring a toy or treat on your walk to distract her from the snow.
  • And of course, consult your veterinarian if you suspect a more serious underlying problem in your dog.

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