It isn’t unusual to see a dog rolling in the grass. Many dogs do this daily if given the opportunity. And look utterly blissful while they are doing it. And it gets me wondering all the time: is a pup needs a good scratch? Or it’s canines way of getting a massage or doing some sophisticated dog yoga?
Well, it’s time to figure it one once and for all.
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Why are dogs rubbing their faces in the grass?
Just like humans, some dogs want their teeth and gums clean. So the most common reason why dogs are rubbing faces into the grass is when their food stuck to the gums and mouth. It bothers the pup, and he aims to get rid of it.
Another reason for the grass rubbing is allergies. If your pet is sensitive to any of its food’s components, or table scraps it manages to steal (but hopefully you opt-in for hypoallergenic dog food). In this case, a dog might rub its face in the grass to get relieved of the itching feeling in its mouth.
Why do pups sniff and roll in the grass?
This behavior can be traced back to the dog’s wild heritage. Wolves, coyotes, and other wild dogs have been known to use certain odors to cover their own natural scent. For example, a wild wolf may roll in a patch of grass where a deer or a rabbit is eliminated.
By rolling in that scent, the wolf is effectively disguising its own smell, making it less detectable to its victim. The longer the wolf can prevent his prey from picking up his scent, the closer he can get, and the better chance he has dinner.
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Why do they do it after taking a bath?
For a dog, changing his body scent may be especially desirable if he has been given a bath or been lying in a smell that he doesn’t like very much. You might think that expensive organic dog shampoo smells nice, but your pup might completely disagree with you. Some dogs would even go so far to roll to cover themselves in stinky stuff (hence your pup’s desire to do it in the poo).
Some would explain this behavior as something dog’s ancient ancestors would do to mask their smell.
Although recent observation of wolves in Canada found that those animals would instead roll around in something smelling like oil or perfume to fool the pray in real life. But I guess our domesticated dogs so get used to “nice” human smells that they feel the potential “prey” will be familiar with it too.
Why do dogs roll in wet grass?
Apart from their fur, dogs also have a natural layer of fat. It protects its body from cold. Therefore, if it is boiling, dogs often lie and rub themselves in the wet grass to chill themselves down. If hotness is the case, you will probably notice that your dog will look for the dampest grass patches to rub on.
Why do dogs roll in the grass when they smell worms?
That goes to the past again. Dogs were used to hunt for food, and there is a tactical advantage not to smell like predators. The prey doesn’t know that you’re coming. Rolling in strong smells-and what could be stronger than dead animals?
It is thought to provide a fragrance cover to help predators land their lunch a little more easily. So dogs will happily roll in stuff like poop, dirt, and worms.
Female dogs usually do this more often than males.
Domestic dogs have kept this bad habit, even though they probably don’t even know why they tend to keep doing it.
Dogs and grass rolling. Conclusion
Rolling in the grass may not be a dangerous thing. It can be caused by many natural reasons – like the necessity to scratch, mask own smell, or get rid of an odor your pup doesn’t like.
But in some cases, it can be dangerous.
- First of all, your dog might be doing it TOO much, and it’s the sigh of compulsive behavior (make sure you’ve spotted that).
- Also, the grass itself can be not that great for your pet. Pesticides, ticks, and fleas, can all be lurking around in those green grassy jungles. And you don’t want your pet to get infected with any of these things.
So make sure to wipe off paws and coat before letting your canine back into the house, and keep an eye on his or her behavior. As always, take your dog to the vet if you suspect anything is wrong, either mentally or physically.
Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.
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