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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2443
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Why do my dogs get sick after eating snow? How do I stop them?

Resolved Question:

How do I stop my dogs from eating the snow and getting sick?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 5 years ago.


Let me start by saying how sorry I am that your dogs are getting sick from eating snow. Typically, eating clean snow does not make dogs ill, as it is just water. However, if the snow is somehow dirty or contaminated, it can cause an upset stomach.

Unfortunately, snow is appealing to many dogs. It is fresh and cold and yummy, the way they see it. There are no secrets for how you keep your dogs from eating snow. In fact, I would answer this question the same way I'd answer if someone was asking me, "How do I keep my dog from eating cake?"
The answer is: the only way you can keep the dogs from eating snow is to be there with them whenever they are around snow to disallow it verbally or with a leash or some other form of distraction. This is very difficult. The only other choice you have is to prevent access to the snow (remember the cake example?). This is actually easier, depending on your environment.
In summary, any time your dog is getting into something that it shouldn't, your only choices are to provide supervision and control, or to manipulate the environment so that access is unavailable.
My REAL concern for your dog is that it isn't the snow that is making your dog sick. But that's another story.
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