They simply can’t help themselves—they’re so excited at the prospect of adventure.
woman running in snow with her two dogs; why do dogs like snow?
Credit: Cavan Images / Getty

When your playful pooch scampers with reckless abandon through mounds of fluffy white stuff, their level of excitement amplifies 100 percent. Makes us want to windmill a dozen snow angels on the spot just to feel a little of their joy.

Even if your pup isn't naturally a cold-loving dog and requires an ensemble of boots and coats before they place a single paw outside, they still delight in the wintry air and the important doggy news it carries. But the question remains: Why do dogs love snow so much? Well, because it's interesting

Why Do Some Dogs Like Snow?

Dogs like snow for many of the same reasons people do, says Amelia Wieber, CPDT-KA, CCBC, FFCP, and a Daily Paws Advisory Board member.

"It changes the appearance of the landscape, it's fun to throw around, and it feels cool (pun intended!) to roll in it," says Wieber, the owner of Caring Behavior in Frederick, Colo. 

Tap into your inner canine for a moment. Imagine taking your usual trot around the neighborhood for daily exercise. Then, your human stops at a fenced park with big white piles of stuff, releases your leash, and says "go!" Suddenly, your entire world changes as all your senses activate, especially your amazing sniffer that has more than 200 million scent receptors. You can't help but bounce around. 

"Snow likely has its own scent to dogs, and it may cover or enhance different scents whether they were laid before, during, or after the snow," Wieber says. "Snow also gives dogs a new layer to dig through to find hiding critters and covered goodies, and any tracks left behind are easier to see and therefore follow." 

Some dogs love eating snow, too. As long as it's plain and fresh, a little is OK, but pay special attention to what surface it's on and what might be mixed in with it (avoid the yellow snow and ice melt). 

Snow Safety Tips

Depending on your pet's activity level and tolerance for chilly weather, there are numerous fun winter activities to spice up playtime for your doggo. From hiking and sledding to skijoring and simply frolicking, almost every game you can think of will be more mentally and physically stimulating in the snow.

Wieber recommends keeping snow play safer by:

  • Explore a field on a long leash or off-leash in a fenced area.
  • Use a harness and leash in environments with frozen ponds to prevent your pup from falling through the ice.
  • Keep an eye on their comfort level, too. Limping or shivering are signs it's time to go inside. Follow these tips for cleaning snow and ice off their paws.

When it's time to return indoors, cap off the fun with a long winter's nap in a warm bed.