Do Dogs Truly Enjoy the Snow?

Some dogs like snow, others don’t—it’s all a matter of personal preference. Some breeds, like Huskies, were bred for freezing cold temperatures.

Mar 10, 2024By Thalia Oosthuizen
do dogs truly enjoy snow

The bottom line is that every dog is different. Some are bred to spend their days lounging on the couch, curled up in front of the heater. Others see that it’s snowing outside and can’t wait to have fun! Whether a dog likes snow boils down to its breed, age, and temperament.

Some dogs, like the Siberian Husky, were bred for living in freezing temperatures. Their double coats keep them warm, even when it’s below zero! Others, however, like certain sighthound breeds, are best kept indoors during the winter.

Which Dog Breeds Enjoy Snow?

Alaskan Malamute Standing in Snow
Image credit: Pexels

Often, you can tell whether a dog likes snow just by looking at them. If a dog sports a thick, double coat, it was likely made for frolicking in the snow. If you can see a dog’s ribs, it doesn’t have good insulation, so it might think twice about going outside when it’s too cold!

Probably the most popular winter dog is the Siberian Husky, which is also known for its double coat. This breed was originally bred to pull sleds in cold, snowy conditions, which is why they love it so much.

The Alaskan Malamute is like the Husky in that it was bred to work in below-freezing temperatures. With a sturdy build and size, these large dogs can withstand extreme conditions.

Brown and White Husky in Snowy Mountains
Image credit: Pexels

The Samoyed, another dog breed hailing from Siberia, is famous for its thick, white coat. Like Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, these dogs were made for the snow.

A few other snow-obsessed dog breeds include the following:

  • Saint Bernards
  • The Great Pyrenees
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Newfoundland Dogs (sometimes called “Newfies”)
  • Tibetan Mastiffs
  • Akitas
  • American Eskimo Dogs

Why Do Some Breeds Enjoy the Cold?

Tan Dog Walking in the Snow on Leash
Image credit: Pexels

A dog may love (or hate) the snow because of its:

Natural Instincts

As with humans, dogs adapt to their natural environment over time. Certain breeds have been specifically bred to live and work in colder climates, which has allowed their bodies to naturally evolve over time to be able to withstand freezing temperatures.

These breeds have very long and thick coats to maintain their body temperature. Dogs that have been born and raised in extremely cold environments can even survive in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit (-51 degrees Celsius).


Husky Dog Lying in the Snow
Image credit: Pexels

Dogs love exploring new environments. When it snows, you may notice that your pet gets extremely excited and wants to be outside more than usual. This is because the snow provides them with a new sensation. It also gives them a new layer to dig through and enhances different scents, making it easier to track.

More so, if a dog sees their owner enjoying the snow, it will be more likely to want to join in on the fun! As we will discuss below, there are plenty of ways in which you can use those snowy days to bond with your pet.

Temperature Regulation

White and Black Siberian Husky Puppy in Snow
Image credit: Pexels

Dogs don’t regulate their body temperature in the same way that humans do. If the winter chill has set in and you’ve brought out all the stops to keep your house warm and cozy, your dog may be looking for a way to cool off. Snow is perfect in this situation - just make sure that you keep an eye on them, so they don’t risk hypothermia.

Keeping a Dog Comfortable in the Snow

Husky Dog Playing With Other Dog in Snow
Image credit: Pexels

If you’re looking for some fun in the snow with your dog, you could make the most of it by:

Making Sure They Have a Warm Shelter

Even though your dog may enjoy the cold, make sure that they have a dry and warm place that they can retreat to if necessary. If they are not used to cold conditions year-round, the snow could overwhelm them.

Limiting Outdoor Time

Dogs can also get hypothermia! Even if your dog enjoys the snow, make sure you keep an eye on them, and bring them into the house if they show any signs of discomfort.

Using Snow-Friendly Boots

You can invest in a pair of dog boots to protect your pet’s paws from the extreme cold. Boots also protect their paw pads from the salt people use to break down snow on sidewalks.

Drying Them Off When They Come Inside

White Wolf Dog Lying in Snowy Grass
Image credit: Pexels

Once you let your dog back into the house, make sure you dry them off properly. This will prevent them from getting chilled. It will also prevent any snow from melting around your house.

Protecting Their Ears and Nose

A dog's ears and nose are the most prone to frostbite. You may want to consider getting them a hat to protect these areas from the cold.

Fun Snow Activities for Dogs and Owners

Black and White Husky Puppy on Snow
Image credit: Pexels

There are plenty of fun ways in which you can play with your dog in the snow. Try playing fetch with snowballs, taking your furry friend sledding, or having some snow races in the backyard. The extra layer of fluffy snow will take some impact off your pet’s joints when running around, making it the perfect time to let them go wild! You could even have a pet-friendly snowball fight (just be sure not to throw too hard), or make snow angels.

If you are looking for a low-energy activity, the snowy environment would make a perfect backdrop for a pet photoshoot. Dress them up in some warm winter clothes before capturing some adorable memories with your dog.

Double-Coated Dogs Like Snow

Black and White Siberian Husky in Snow
Image credit: Pexels

Some dog breeds are born to survive and thrive in below-freezing temperatures, as they have extremely thick double coats to help regulate their body temperature.

To make sure that your dog is comfortable in the snow, make sure that they have a warm shelter available, their outdoor time, use snow-friendly dog boots, and dry them off once they are finished outside.

You can use snow days to bond with your dog by playing snowball fetch, going sledding, making snow angels, or having a pet photoshoot!

Thalia Oosthuizen
By Thalia Oosthuizen

Thalia has been a freelance writer for over a decade and a dog (and animal) lover for over 30 years. She grew up on a farm where, at one stage, she had 15 dogs. She currently has one dog, Avery - an adorable pavement special with an extra toe on each foot, and two rescue cats - Boris and Mango. In her spare time, Thalia enjoys running, cycling, swimming, and reading