Why Do Dogs Like To Roll In The Snow?

Jan 18, 2021 | Pet Health, Pets

Happy Monday everyone!  We had snow again this weekend and it was beautiful.  Jake and Maggie loved it!  We played frisbee, they rolled around, sniffed and made tunnels with their noses in the snow.  Why do dogs like to roll in the snow?  There are many reasons why a dog likes to roll in snow! These include pleasure, exploring their new environment, scent rolling, and relieving that persistent itch that they just can’t reach.  
And I have to admit a little secret…when Jake And Maggie play out in a fresh blanket of snow, it buys me more time before I have to give them a bath when they are in need of one.  The white crystals lay on their coats as they frolic in the snow wetting their coats.   Between the organic cleaning wipes and towels when they get dried off before coming into the house, I tell myself, ok…this gives me one more day before actually having to do this chore.  Anyone do this???  

Snow Is Fun

Fresh snow isn’t all the time and it is fun.  Not only can they manipulate and move the lighter snow around, but heavier snow provides more opportunities for exercise. Plus, unlike dirt, dogs can easily submerge themselves into deep snow without the consequence of needing a bath later. All of these factors together make rolling in the snow a fun and exciting activity for your chilly canine!

Scent Rolling

Cold environments, especially snowy ones, alter your dog’s ability to track a range of scents. When the air is very cold, scent molecules are only able to travel a shorter distance because they freeze. If your dog is unable to smell the scents that were previously in your yard, they make take it upon themselves to investigate further, or to roll in the snow to re-establish their scent in your home.

While it’s not entirely clear why dogs participate in scent rolling, some researchers suggest that there is an instinctive aspect of the behavior. Wolves roll in scents to bring information back to their pack. By rolling on a decaying carcass or fresh meat, a wolf can tell their family about what they found. In theory, this behavior makes it easier for wolves to find an abandoned kill.

Relief from Itch

Every dog has been there trying to scratch an impossible-to-reach itch. Once the snow arrives, your dog doesn’t have to look far for relief! Not only can the freezing temperature of snow provide instant relief from an itch, but the texture of hard snow and ice can do wonders for scratching that persistent itch too. Even before the snow comes, your dog will enjoy rolling on cool, icy concrete to scratch an itch. If you find that your dog frequently needs to scratch against the snow, consider asking your vet for advice. Dogs who scratch frequently may be suffering from external parasites such as fleas or lice.

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  1. Sharon

    Send some snow our way!

    • Bobbi

      Awh, I know. It was so pretty falling down. It’s pretty when you don’t have to go anywhere, the fire place is on, the refrigerator is stocked, their is a pot of homemade soup on the stove, and a good movie on :-). The dogs played all day, were fast asleep under their warm blankets afterwards, and Thomas and I enjoyed a nice evening.


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