Why Do Dogs Love Snow?
Have you had the ‘snow bomb’ yet? – This is the scene in the Midlands 10 days ago. We had been warned about it on the news the day before. While I was sceptical about the amount of white stuff we would see – the whole of my town had squished themselves into the supermarket and stripped the shelves of bread and milk.
Anyway, ‘snowmaggeddon’ arrived at 4 am and even I was amazed that by 7am, my town looked rather more akin to Siberia. It snowed, and it snowed. Blizzard conditions remained all day until about 8pm. Now, I LOVE snow. I don’t know what it is about snow it in particular. Maybe its because it doesn’t happen very often, so it’s illusive and exciting and weather forecasts are always tantalizing – will it be a flew spluttery flakes, or will it bring the country to a standstill?
It changes the landscape into a Christmas card wonderland and creates silence. Not eerie quietness, but a still and almost tangible feeling of calmness. No rushing traffic, just people out walking who always say, ‘good day’ when normally they would pass you by without a glance. I love walking in it – and Foss, my collie turns into a spirited horse when she finds snow under her feet.
There were so many other dogs out yesterday and they were all running around in sheer delight, bottoms and tails tucked up, scooting their muzzles through the deep drifts. It made me wonder – why do dog’s love snow so much?
I suppose dogs enjoy snow for much the same reasons children and some adults do. Many dogs love anything that is new and different. A change in the environment and atmosphere brings about new smells, sights and sounds. They seem to revel in running through soft snow in the same way we like running through the shallows of the sea; kicking the tiny breaking waves up into the glistening sunlight. Just like us, snow changes the landscape so much that it renews a dog’s interest in familiar surroundings – everything looks, feels and smells different which creates a desire to enthusiastically explore these ‘new’ surroundings.
And, dogs do better on snow and cold ground than most people realise. Dogs have a specialized circularity system which means their feet stay warm and cosy, even on the coldest of ground.
Snow provides new ‘toys’ – we build snowmen and wonderful snow sculptures, ‘snow angels’ and we play with snowballs. Dog’s too love snowballs and the wonderment of how, once thrown, they disappear into the landscape. This novelty value is something rarely appreciated by sled dogs. To them, snow is familiar and does not elicit the same response as it does in dogs who rarely get the opportunity to witness the falling of fresh snow.
When you see dogs wading and burrowing through snow, they really are just having a blast. While lots of people may not like snow and sit at home eating copious quantities of bread – fresh snow is just irresistible to me and my dog. We love nothing more than getting out to play in it – it’s invigorating, energizing and bracing.