To some canine, new-fallen snow is a clean canvas, asking for zigzagging tracks and the canine model of snow angels. But different canine see it as a large sno-cone, beckoning their tongues like glistening sugar.
What’s the attraction?
No one can say what, precisely, compels canine to lap up the frozen white stuff. Maybe your canine is solely thirsty, or possibly the snow is brisker than what’s at the moment of their water bowl. Perhaps she or he likes the granular texture or the refreshing sense of one thing chilly melting on the tongue. It might even be a throwback to a Northern-breed ancestor that relied on snow to remain hydrated.
And do canine get an ice cream headache or mind freeze after they bask in snow? No one is aware of for certain.
Fresh, clear snow is nice, clear enjoyable
As a rule of thumb, if the snow is recent sufficient so that you can catch it in your tongue, it’s in all probability nice in your canine to lap it up in small portions. After all, it’s primarily crystalized water.
The solely actual hazard with recent snow is that if your canine eats an excessive amount of of it. Gobbling up giant portions of snow might set off vomiting, like what can occur when canine gulp an excessive amount of water without delay. It might additionally decrease your canine’s core physique temperature, making it harder to remain heat when the temperatures are already chilly.
If your canine obsessively overindulges in snow, it might be an indication of an underlying well being drawback, reminiscent of diabetes, a kidney situation or Cushing’s illness. Consult together with your veterinarian should you suspect one thing critical.
Be cautious concerning the deep dive
Fresh snow, on the floor, could also be nice, but when your canine likes to bury their snout deep into the snow, you should be involved about what they will discover there. Rocks, sticks, moldy vegetation and trash might be choking hazards and result in gastrointestinal upset or different issues.
Don’t eat yellow snow
Obviously, you don’t need your canine to eat soiled snow. Keep your pooch from lapping up snow on sidewalks or roads, or from piles created by snowplows. There’s a superb likelihood that snow is contaminated with sand, gravel, antifreeze, salt and different ice melts.
Ice melts include components reminiscent of sodium chloride (salt), potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium salts and urea. These components will be irritating to your pup’s paws, and even when your canine doesn’t eat snow, they are often uncovered to those chemical compounds in the event that they lick their paws after they return dwelling. Ingestion of small quantities of ice melts may end up in gastrointestinal upset, however consuming snow containing giant quantities of those substances might end in a life-threatening scenario.
How to maintain your canine secure
In most instances, consuming a small quantity of recent snow gained’t do your canine any hurt. But it’s at all times greatest to forestall an issue within the first place than to cope with an emergency later. For your pet’s security:
- Keep your canine on a leash when strolling in snow
- Find comfy booties to guard your canine’s paws from ice-melt chemical compounds
- If your canine isn’t into booties, be certain to rinse and dry their paws after a stroll
- If potential, keep away from strolling in areas handled with ice melts
- Keep your canine’s bowl stuffed with recent ingesting water
- Bring high-value treats to distract your canine from diving into snowbanks
With the suitable precautions, you and your canine can nonetheless sprint by means of the snow and profit from your winter wonderland.
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