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Why Do Dogs Love to Roll in Grass?

Dogs love being outside. Once they get there, it is only a matter of time before they start to run around, play, and roll in the grass. 


While this last behavior is entirely normal, it is a little confusing if you think about it. Why do dogs roll in the grass? Why is it so common across all types of dogs? 


Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions and more. This article will explore the mystery behind why dogs roll in the grass and why they love doing so. 

Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass?

It all comes down to smell. Dogs use smell as a way to interact with the world around them and to learn more about that world. Dogs roll in the grass because they want to spread their own smell to the area or they want to cover up their own smell. 


Related:  Why Do Dogs Tear Up Their Beds? Unraveling the Mystery

Spreading Scent

Spreading their own smell is a way they can express themselves to the animals around them. All animals do this as a way to mark territory


So, your dog may be rolling in the scent of another animal to cover that scent up. This allows them to remove the other animal’s scent and replace it with their own. This sends the message that the territory belongs to your dog rather than the other animal.  

Covering Up Scent

A black and white Husky Dog laying down in the grass

Sometimes, dogs roll around in the grass because they want to change the way they currently smell. This could happen for a few different reasons. 


Often, they don’t like the way they smell at the moment. Dogs’ noses have around 300 million olfactory receptors, allowing them to smell far more than we do. So, they are more likely to be able to smell something on themselves that they don’t like. 


This could be something that you don’t even know about. However, it is often the scents you put on them. The scents from the soaps and shampoos you wash them with are often harsh, to the point where they are too much for your pets to handle. So, after a bath, they may want to roll around in the dirt to wipe off the scent. 


Dogs also like to cover up their scent as a part of their natural hunting instinct. They will catch a whiff of their prey outside. Then, they will find urine or some other type of dropping from this prey and roll around in it. This allows them to mask their scent and smell more like the animal they want to hunt. Doing so is actually an effective hunting technique but is probably not something you want them to do. 


While your dog may be trying to cover up their scent, you may be left with odors you’d rather not have in your home. Get rid of them with the Marlie Mist Pet Odor Eliminator Spray with Essential Oils. Neutralize those odors with pet-friendly essential oils without worrying about harmful ingredients for your pup.


The final reason dogs roll around in the grass is due to irritation. In these cases, something on their skin is itching or bothering them in some other way. So, they will roll around as a way to scratch themselves. 


When this happens, you will often see rolling around in the grass paired with rolling around elsewhere. They may roll around on the rug inside or even in their own dog bed. This is a sign that they are more concerned with the act of rolling rather than the grass. 

Is It Bad for Dogs to Roll in the Grass?

With the reason why dogs roll around in the grass now determined, you may wonder if rolling around in the grass is a bad thing or not. The answer is that it is generally not bad, though it can be annoying, but there are a few situations where it is a sign of something worse.


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When It’s Okay

When dogs roll in the grass as a way to spread or cover their scent, it usually isn’t harmful. However, it can be annoying. 


This is due to the fact that dogs have a habit of rolling around in things that don’t smell good to you. Rolling around in another animal’s urine may be a great way for your dog to hunt that animal; however, it will make your pet smell awful to you. 


Unfortunately, there isn’t a great way to prevent this. Instead, you can just be on the lookout for when your pet is exposed to bad smells and be ready to address them when it happens. One way to do this is to carry around pet wipes. With these, you can wipe down your pet and remove the smells from them without having to give them a full bath. 


Concerned about your pup rolling around because their skin is itchy? Soothe their skin with the Pamper Your Pet Kit - Anti Itch. They deserve a sPAW day too. 

When It’s a Bad Sign

While dogs usually roll in the grass to deal with scents, there are other reasons they do so. These typically come about as a result of a medical problem. These problems include: 


  • Fleas
  • Allergies
  • Skin rashes and other irritations

You can tell if one of these problems is around based on your dog's demeanor. If they are scratching themself and seem irritated, it is a sign something is wrong. 


You can look at their skin to get a better idea of the condition. You can physically see fleas on them. All you have to do is examine them closely and look for the characteristic signs of small bugs. If you see them, you know you have a flea problem. 


While looking at their skin, pay attention to how it looks. If it seems red and swollen or if there are raised bumps all over it, the issue may be from a skin condition. Sometimes, you can fix this by using moisturizing products. Other times, you will have to go to a vet and get professional help. 

The Connection Between Dogs and Grass

A large dog sits in a field full of grass and flowers

Dogs roll around in grass for a variety of different reasons, most of which have to do with scent. Most of the time, it isn’t a sign of concern, but you still need to be careful as it could indicate a problem with fleas, allergies, or a skin issue. So, feel free to let your dog roll in the grass; just make sure to pay attention to them while they do so. 


Related: 9 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass (and 9 Ways to Make Them Stop)

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