Why Do Dogs Enjoy Snow?

Ever asked yourself: why do dogs enjoy snow? Could the answer be simply because it’s something new!

It’s such a joy to see dogs frolicking in the snow! Pup’s having fun in the snow brighten up those cold winter days!

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Scientific American asked a few experts what it is about the snow that makes dogs happy.

Expected replies include two facts:

  1. dogs don’t feel the cold as badly as we do, and
  2. dog’s just generally like to be out and about playing.

The unexpected is perhaps that dogs are fascinated with the novel experience – dog’s that have never experienced it, find the snow extremely stimulating, but dogs who are used to it, are not that fascinated.

Here are the replies.

Dr. Gordon Burghardt from the University of Tennessee said:

“Many animals from temperate areas seem to really enjoy frolicking in the snow. I think it relates to the sensory qualities of snow and the bracing effects of cold weather. I think when watching dogs, for example, in snow we are not too far off in comparing their activity to that which we experienced as young children ourselves.”

Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS from the University of Sydney said:

“Seasoned sled dogs rarely show the enthusiasm for fresh snow typical of noviceplayers. This suggests that the value of novelty is critical. Just as they do for the dog visiting the beach for the first time, the joys of opportunity and explorationabound for the virgin snow dog.

Fresh odors to sniff, novel tactile experiences to enjoy, unusual outlines to mask familiar objects and even the prospect of hiding within the very fabric on one’s surroundings. What’s not to love?”

 

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Image source: Mike TungateKurt Bauschardt/ Flickr
Source: Scientific American

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