When the first snow falls in winter and invites you to go for a long walk, both humans and dogs are happy. But be careful when your dog eats snow: there is a risk of sometimes dangerous snow gastritis. What exactly this is and how it can be prevented, you will learn here.
What is snow gastritis?
Most dogs love to romp and play in the snow. While doing so, they sometimes eat a large amount. As long as the snow is clean, this is usually not a problem. However, in dogs with a sensitive stomach, cold, possible contamination and road salt can extremely irritate the mucous membranes and lead to a so-called snow gastritis. This is an acute inflammation of the stomach mucosa, which can manifest itself in the following symptoms:
In particularly severe cases, blood may also be found in the vomit or diarrhea.
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What to do in case of snow gastritis?
Not all dogs react equally strongly when they eat snow. If symptoms appear, it is advisable to observe the dog closely. If he appears dull and tired or if you find blood in the feces or vomit, immediately visit the vet. In case of slight indisposition, it is often sufficient to offer the dog only a light diet for a few days. For example, boiled chicken, rice and cottage cheese are suitable. If the dog’s gastrointestinal tract does not calm down within 2 days or its condition worsens, a veterinarian should definitely be consulted.
Preventing snow gastritis in dogs
To prevent snow gastritis from occurring in the first place, it’s best not to let your dog eat snow at all. Puppies should be taught from the beginning that eating snow is not allowed. And of course, you can still teach adult dogs that eating snow is a no-no. Often it helps to lead the dog on a leash and to refrain from playing catch and search games in the snow. If your furry nose cannot be stopped from eating snow, a muzzle should be worn for safety when walking in the snow. However, even a muzzle cannot completely prevent your dog from ingesting snow, so you should keep a close eye on your dog.
Tip: No matter how much fun it is, don’t have a snowball fight when your dog is around. That way, your pet won’t be encouraged to eat snow in the first place.
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