What makes a dog find a grassy spot to roll in?
When you head out of your house with your pup to go on a walk…be prepared! Your dog may have a completely different idea about what is about to happen than you. You are probably looking for a stroll/walk/run and expecting to move on at a nice clip…while your pup wants to stop every 3 feet to “investigate something”.
Most dogs have this habit to some extent. He/she might just want to follow a smell, get in a good shoulder-first roll in a patch of fresh grass with all its hidden secrets, or take a nosedive into a freshly manured field! Watching your dog and learning his/her behavior patterns can help to create a better bond between the two of you. But why? Why do dogs find certain places unavoidable and dive right in for a roll? And is it dangerous?
Dog Behavior Explained
The behavior of rolling in certain areas is called scent rolling and researchers speculate that it originated as a way to bring information back to the pack. Of course, dogs have had much time and adaptation to make the behavior their own, so it’s likely dogs roll in grass and other interesting materials for a number of reasons. One is to get rid of unwanted smells, for example that doggie shampoo you enjoy but that Fido does not appreciate. Itchy skin can be another cause for frequent and vigorous rolling, so look out for fleas, tick bites, or tell-tale signs of skin conditions such as scabs, redness, rashes, or bald patches.
Should I let my dog roll in the grass?
Rolling in grass is not dangerous in itself. Just be sure your dog has flea and tick protection, and be mindful of potential hazards like pesticides and herbicides that might be on the grass. Even absent any foul-smelling residue on his coat, your dog may need a good rinse post-roll.
Be mindful of your dog’s behaviors while out on a walk….but please don’t avoid walks with your pooch because of his behavior. It is very important for dogs to get daily exercise. So, get out, enjoy this cool weather that we (finally!) have in AZ with your pooch! LET HIM ROLL!