Why Do Dogs Eat Snow? Is It Safe?

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Author: Tilly Walker

Every dog does it, but why? Why do dogs love to eat snow so much that they eat it like ice cream or lick that dirty dish clean? Can dogs eat snow? Moreover, is this quirky habit safe for dogs?

Dogs Eat Snow
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Well, in this blog you will surely get all your answers, we have done some good research work, and come up with the possible reasons. Plus, we have also jotted down tips to prevent your dog’s quirky habit of overeating snow.

Keep reading to find out more!

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Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Snow?

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat snow in small quantities. In fact, it’s safe for them only if they ingest fresh snow. But don’t let him eat snow that has rocks, garbage, or snow contaminated with toxic chemicals like those used to prevent roads and side walks from freezing.

Snow Safe for Dogs
Photo by Anastasiia Tarasova on Shutterstock

So, it’s very important to keep an eye on your dog when you take him out on the snow.

Reasons Why Dog Loves Eating Snow

Here, we have jotted down a few possible reasons behind why dogs loves eating snow. So, once you know the reason, it will become easy for you to come up with the solution.

1. Behaviour

Dogs have a habit of adapting strange things or eating a lot of something because they like the way it tastes or feels. Similarly, it is possible that dogs love playing in the snow, so they are attracted towards the cold texture, temperature, and taste of the snow.

Dogs Are Attracted to Snow
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Eating snow can be counted as one of the weird eating behaviours of the dogs. It is advisable to keep an eye on your pooch and not let him overeat the snow. As it can lead to health issues in the future.

2. Dehydration

This could be one of the possible reasons behind your dog’s habit of eating snow. During winter, the dog’s body gets dehydrated, so it requires an ample amount of water to fulfil its thirst. If your dog doesn’t get a fresh water bowl, he will look out for alternate options.

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The best next option is fresh snow, it contains less amount of water but still can satisfy your dog’s thirst. So, dogs develop the habit of going outside and eating the snow to hydrate their body or satisfy their thirst.

3. Medical Issues

One of the possible reasons could be he might be suffering from underlying health issues, such as kidney problems, thyroid, hormonal problems etc. These issues lead to increase the thirst, and their body crave for more water. So, yeah it can be said that snow is their source of water, and to satisfy their thirst, they keep on eating more snow.

4. They Love The Taste

It has been noticed that the majority of the dogs like the taste of the snow, and they love playing in the snow. Its cold temperature, texture, and unknown taste attract your dog’s attention and build up their curiosity of nibbling a small bite of the fresh snow.

Dogs Loves Taste of Snow
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5. Genetics

This is not applicable for all types of dog breeds. It has been noticed that Arctic dogs has this habit of eating snow in large quantity. This is because in the Arctic side water easily get frozen, so snow is the only option left with the dogs to satisfy their thirsty throat.

It can be said that Arctic dogs ancestor has the habit of eating snow to survive, which has passed down to them through genetics.

How to Discourage Dogs From Eating Snow?

Dog eating a bit of snow is fine, but the problem arises when he overindulges the snow. It leads to health issues, specially affects their stomach/ digestive system. So, it’s important to keep an eye on them when they step out from the house.

Eating Snow Affects Dog Health
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Here are a few things, which can help you to discourage your dog from eating snow, or turning the next snowfall into their dinner.

  • Provide your pooch a clean drinking water, and place it near his food bowl.
  • Whenever you find him that he is overindulging the snow, give him command “No” which will help him to stop eating the snow.
  • During winter times, keep a habit of using leash when you are stepping out for a walk. This will help you to prevent them from eating the snow.
  • You can use muzzles and booties when you take him for a walk.
  • Reward him for following your command, this will encourage him not to repeat his mistake.
  • Prevent them from eating dirty snow because it can affect his health.

It’s true, you cannot stop totally your pooch from enjoying in snow or gulping few bites of it. But, you can keep an eye on him, and try to follow these tips. It will surely help you to discourage your dog from eating too much of snow.

If in case he has ingested snow in large quantity than don’t panic, better consult the vet for speedy recovery of your pooch.


Why does my dog eat snow but not drink water?

If your dog is eating snow obsessively, then it is advisable to take him for the health check up to the vet’s clinic. This is because there is a high possibility that your pooch might be suffering from kidney issue, thyroid, or hormonal disease. In these circumstances, the urge of taking water increases, and so he starts eating too much of snow.

Why is my dog obsessed with snow?

Your dog is obsessed with snow because he likes playing in snow, it’s kind of fun activity for him. Majority of the dog likes to roll on the snow, just like they do in the grass. They like to manipulate their environment, for them playing in snow is as important as carrying out any fun game activity.

Can eating snow give a dog diarrhoea?

Well, yes, if your pooch has eaten too much snow, then it can lead to stomach issues such as vomiting or diarrhoea. There is nothing to worry about, but you need to keep an eye on your furry friend, and not let him eat snow in large quantities.

Can pets drink melted snow?

It has been observed that pets drink melted snow more easily than normal water. Many pet parents use snow as their water source to feed their pets. In this way, they try to keep them hydrated to avoid future health complication.

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Tilly Walker
Tilly Walker is an avid animal lover and dog owner for several years. She owns a mix breed Cockapoo named Rio. She, along with her group of friends who wanted to help others learn more about the proper ways to take care of their pets, founded this website.

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