With Juno’s remnants still covering the East Coast, the Midwest in a continuous snow globe and much of the nation feeling the brrr of Jack Frost, so many dogs are enjoying the blanket of white fluff that makes up our winter season. But why is that?
Scientific American set out to answer this question by reaching out to various science and pet experts. And what they had to say may surprise you.
Here are a few snippets:
“I honestly don’t know why snow is so exciting to dogs, and kids, and adults who don’t have to shovel it. But maybe because it’s new and different (predators love change, prey animals hate it), and it turns the world into one big play room for animals that love to play.”
Patricia B. McConnell, PhD, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
“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.”
Gordon M. Burghardt, PhD
“The question of ‘why’ is a bit imponderable, but if I must ponder I’d say that here, dogs might be more like us than we’d expect: there is a pleasure in a changed landscape, a topography re-shaped by fallen snow. Dogs like the ‘new’, of course, and what could be more new than their entire world covered with this icy blanket. Smell is changed, too, and we can for a moment see some of the otherwise invisible markings (like tracks or urine) which are so engaging for dogs.”
Alexandra Horowitz, PhD
To hear the experts’ answers in their entirety along with other people weighing in, head on over to Scientific American. Or you can just watch this amazing compilation of dogs (and some cats) enjoying snow days:
Featured image: Flickr/michael