If you’re confused by your dog’s desire to roll around in the grass, then you’re certainly not alone. While this behavior is surprisingly common for dogs, it still confounds many owners who often have no idea why their dog is having such a great time by rolling around in the grass while getting dirty and smelly.
In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at this behavior and explore some of the possible reasons that lie behind it.
But first of all, it’s worth noting that there isn’t just ‘one’ reason why your dog may want to roll around in the grass, so observing their behavior closely will give you a better indication of why they’re engaging in the behavior. With this in mind, let’s examine some of the potential reasons.
Reason # 1 – Relieving Itchiness
The texture of grass can be very useful for relieving any itchiness that your dog is experiencing, particularly when the grass is a little coarser, as this will help to soothe any discomfort your dog is feeling.
It’s also your dog’s way of scratching those harder-to-reach places on their back. If this is the case, then you may want to give your dog some extra grooming to see if this helps them as well.
Reason # 2 – Removing Unwanted Scents
Have you recently washed your dog with a scented dog shampoo or something similar? If so, it will be less surprising to see your dog rolling around in some grass afterward.
While this may seem frustrating to see your dog trying to get dirty again immediately after a bath, it’s important to note that a dog’s sense of smell is vastly superior compared to a human’s, so any strong scents can be quite offputting for them to live with if they don’t like it.
Keeping this in mind, it’s often best to use only unscented shampoos if possible – or at the very least – avoid anything that smells too strong and loaded with fragrance.
Reason # 3 – Masking Scents
A common natural instinct of a predatory animal is to mask their scent to help them in their quest for prey. By rolling around in a different scent, it’s possible to mask some of their natural scent that might otherwise give them away, particularly if they roll in the scent of a less threatening prey animal like a rabbit.
Reason # 4 – Fun & Relaxation
You may find that your dog is simply having a good time and enjoys rolling around in the grass.
You can usually tell if this is the case when your dog seems relaxed and happy, particularly in those warm summer months, when your dog can enjoy soaking up the sun rays, too.
Reason # 5 – Obsessive Behavior
When your dog is constantly seeking to roll in grass and none of the reasons make sense, then it could be possible that your dog is engaging in obsessive behavior related to rolling in grass. If it’s becoming a problem, then it can be useful to consult a professional for some further help or talk to your vet.
Reason # 6 – Remove Shedding Hair
It can become quite itchy and uncomfortable for dogs that shed their hair frequently, so it makes sense for them to roll around in coarser grass to experience some relief. In fact, this rolling action can help to speed up the process of shedding hair as well.
Are There Any Risks?
It’s usually quite safe for your dog to roll in grass occasionally, but there are a few potential risks that it pays to be aware of. Firstly, some grassy areas may contain fleas and ticks, so rolling around in these grass patches will be an easy way for your dog to pick up these troublesome parasites.
Furthermore, it’s possible that your dog might pick up an infection from rolling around in certain substances on the grass, such as animal feces, although dogs do tend to be quite resistant to these bacteria. There can also be other potential parasites lurking around, depending on what your dog has been rolling in.
Another potential risk will be whether the grass has been treated with any problematic pesticides that could be harmful to your dog, along with any toxic fertilizers. If your dog is rolling on your own lawn then you’ll have a better idea about what’s on it, but it can be harder to know if it’s safe when your dog is rolling somewhere new.
How Can You Stop Your Dog Rolling In The Grass?
While the rolling in grass behavior isn’t always a problem, it can certainly be useful to gain some control over it if it’s causing issues.
One of the simplest ways to reduce the behavior will be to address some of the underlying causes. For example, if your dog is feeling itchy, try to increase their grooming schedule, and if they’re trying to get rid of a fragranced scent, try switching to an unscented shampoo.
Additionally, you can use a noise distraction to interrupt the behavior as it’s about to start. Using a loud noise, such a shaking a plastic bottle full of stones or using “The Pet Corrector” can help to alert your dog, leaving you free to distract them from the rolling behavior. If your dog is already well-trained when it comes to recall then this should help a great deal.