Have you ever had your freshly bathed or groomed dog immediately run outside and into the grass? You just spent the time or money getting them nice and clean and your dog just wants to get dirty again! While this can be annoying for us, rolling in the grass is just something dogs do! We may think it is weird (since we don’t like to roll around in dirt…) but for dogs, it is very normal. Here are some reasons why your dog maybe be an avid roller!
Wolves are a distant cousin of the domestic pups in our homes. There are many traits that they have inherited from wolves. When wolves smell something new, they sniff it and then roll around in it. They get the scent all over their body so they can bring it back to the pack. Their pack will then investigate the scent more thoroughly. The other pack members can often find the scent using what they smelled and go back to exactly where the dog first rolled in it. This trait in wolves has been passed down to our dogs. They roll around to familiarize themselves with a scent and to share the smell with their “pack” (AKA you and your family!)
Dogs have an extremely keen sense of smell. They have over 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to the 5 million we have. Their ability to smell is so heightened that they may smell things in ways we can’t. While we may love a yummy shampoo or perfume, they might find this overwhelming and dislike it. The using of these intense-smelling bathing/grooming products is the reason your dog rolls in the grass right after a bath. They don’t like it and want to get a smell they do like on them: grass! To solve this problem, try a different product until you find something you both like. It might ultimately have to be odorless, but every dog is different.
This is probably the most obvious reason that your dog is rolling around often. If they have a itchy spot that they can’t quiet get to, rolling around excessively might the solution. However, they can also have a health issue, such as skin allergies, flea bites, or tick bites. If you think this could be the cause, visit your vet and make sure your pup is on a flea and tick preventive regimen.
If your dog is constantly needing to roll in the grass (more than just occasionally), this could be a sign of an obsessive compulsive disorder. One way to solve this is to observe when your dog is starting to do this behavior. Call your dog back when they start to roll around excessively. Play games, gives rewards, and provide positive reinforcement so they are distracted and don’t want to roll around. This may take a while to train your dog to do, but it will make up for the amount of time you would have spent giving them an extra bath!
While the actual act of rolling in the grass isn’t really bad, what is in the grass can be bad. If there are fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides in the grass your dog is choosing to play in, they could have poisonous ingredients. There’s also the chance of there being fleas, ticks, bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the grass, all which can carry disease. Make sure you are keeping an eye on your dog and call your vet if you suspect your dog has been in some dangerous grass!
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