Gastritis and the dangerous love of snow

08. November 2020 — von Anne Bräutigam

Dogs love to play in the snow, chasing snowballs and rolling around in the crispy white wonderland. In today's article, you will find out when and how snow can become dangerous for your dog.

Did you know that sometimes, your dog’s love of snow can lead to gastritis?

When playing happily in the snow, dogs can easily swallow some accidentally or on purpose. However, this snow has traces of road salt, grit, antifreeze and dirt. These substances and the very coldness of the snow can irritate the stomach lining, causing an inflammation in the lining – so-called gastritis.

Symptoms of gastritis

Snow gastritis can manifest itself with stomach rumbling, loss of appetite, smacking, salivation, choking, vomiting and diarrhoea, up to blood in the faeces and fever. It is important to look out for these symptoms as, depending on the sensitivity of your dog's stomach and the amount of snow ingested, gastritis can even be life-threatening.

What should you do about it?

If you notice your dog showing several of these symptoms after a day of playing in the snow, do not feed your dog for a day and ensure that water at room temperature is always available. If the dog's stomach calms down on its own, you can carefully feed it the next day, giving it small amounts of food at a time distributed throughout the day. If the symptoms persist or even get worse, a vet must be contacted.

Camomile, dill and marshmallow root to support the stomach

In phytotherapy, products with extracts of chamomile, dill and marshmallow root can be used for mild gastritis symptoms. Chamomile and dill both relax and calm the stomach. The marshmallow root extract, on the other hand, has an anti-inflammatory effect and regenerates the stomach lining.

How can this kind of gastritis be prevented?

Even though it is difficult to resist: do not throw snowballs! Pay close attention to your dog and keep him on a leash if necessary. With a lot of training and alternative games and distractions, you can train your dog to not eat snow. Then nothing stands in the way of a relaxed winter walk.