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Why Do Dogs Roll on Things?

March 12, 2019


It is an all-too-familiar sight of your dog's nose sniffing away at the ground full blast, when the shoulder starts to dip, then suddenly your dog is down. All four paws extended to the sky and grinding away on whatever odiferous object they have discovered. However, before you get too upset at fido's spastic actions, consider these reasons for their behavior:

1) MASKING SCENTS - Animal experts believe that some dogs may exhibit the instinctual behavior of their wild ancestors. For example, a quick roll on a smelly carcasses or droppings of other animals could be just what they need to cover their own scent while hunting for prey. Wolves have been filmed in nature studies rolling in foul scents to mask their own smell.

What should you do? Most importantly, do not scold your dog for doing something that is instinctual. If you cannot tolerate the smell, remove the stinky object and bath your dog in a neutralizing shampoo. If rolling often occurs after a bath, it may be the scent of the shampoo that your dog is trying to cover up.

2) MARKING SCENTS - You may observe your best friend rolling on certain objects that are not smelly. If these are a pile of favorite stuffed animals or toys, this action could be for pure selfish pleasure. To your pet, these are a sample of their personal collection of important things and, regardless of how uncomfortable it might appear, it is a pleasurable back rub that just feels good. When the object of their attention is a favorite toy, you can bet that they are enjoying ownership by laying claim to a prized possession.

What should you do? Nothing at all; simply ignore the behavior and allow them the pleasure and happiness they are experiencing. The exuberance with which they perform the activity is a sign of comfort and happiness.

3) THE FULL BODY SCRATCH - Rolling around on the bed, floor or furniture may be how your best friend is dealing with an annoying itch. Canine family members can suffer from skin allergies just like their owners. In addition, dogs can be bit by a variety of insects when lying around the yard. If you are concerned about the possibility of flea or tick bites, check the skin to see what may be causing the irritation.

What should you do? If you see signs of insect bites or skin irritations that could be causing discomfort, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a more thorough examination. Due to bacteria in a dog's mouth, excessive gnawing in one area of the coat can lead to an unwanted "hot spot".

In conclusion, whenever a dog is comfortable and feels safe enough to roll around unfettered in oblivious joy, you can pat yourself on the back for having created a secure surrounding where they feel uber safe. So, just accept the fact that "Life is Good".

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