Why Do Dogs Roll In The Grass? Find out the 8 interesting reasons! 

why do dogs roll in the grass

Dogs often do things that seem a little random (like eating cat poop) and another favorite of theirs is to roll in the grass. Even though we may not realize it, animal behavior such as this is not without explanation. A dog’s behavior can include a variety of seemingly unprompted acts. Should you worry? Not really. It’s their way of interacting with the world around them. But why do dogs roll in the grass? Is it a common behavior in most dogs? What does a dog’s coat have to do with rolling in the grass? Let’s discuss a few reasons so you can learn more about your furry friend and their rolling behavior.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Roll In The Grass?

Yes, rolling in the grass is considered normal behavior in dogs. A dog’s impulse to roll around in the grass likely stems from a natural instinct to mask its scent. Similar to what we humans try to do when we use perfume. The various reasons dogs roll in grass mostly revolve around scent and their highly stimulated nostrils. And if you don’t already know, dogs tend to love rolling over in general and are often expecting a belly rub.

Why Do Dogs Love Smelling Grass (and Other Dogs)?

We humans can smell grass – and many of us love it when it’s freshly cut on a summer’s day. But a dog’s keen sense of smell can pick up a plethora of smells within the grass. The smell of humans, animals, and the environment are just some of the scents they can whiff out when they’re rolling around. 

If we go back to ancestral roots, dogs used this method to hide their own scent and prepare for hunting. This heightened sense of smell also helps with things such as tracking and communicating with other dogs. A dog rolling about in the green fields could be a way of picking up a scent like that of a dead animal, leaving its own scent behind, or even removing a scent from the dog’s coat. 

Should You Let Your Dog Roll In The Grass?

The short answer is yes. Since this is harmless behavior, your dog’s attention to rolling in the grass is most likely a result of the reasons we’ll discuss below. However, if your dog is experiencing an allergy, flea infection, or something else, then it’s crucial to dig into the cause and curb their excessive need to roll in the grass.

Reasons Why Dogs Roll In The Grass

Whether your dog is rolling occasionally or bringing home muddy scents too often, it’s essential to understand why your dog rolls around in the grass. Why do they sometimes seem to impulsively enjoy rubbing themselves on greenery? We’re going to dive into several reasons that will hopefully increase your understanding of why they love to roll in the grass. 

They Roll To Scratch Themselves

A very common reason why dogs roll in the grass, and sometimes over any rough scratchy surface, is to reach an itch that is bothering them. The itch may just be a casual occurrence or it could very well be a developing skin issue. Either way, a natural response for dogs to deal with an itch while outdoors is to rub the affected area on grass. It gives them a good scratch and often cools the area down. It’s important to ensure they don’t have an infection developing on their skin, most likely from contaminants, ticks, or fleas.

Rolling In The Grass Helps Them Pick Out Scents

Dogs have a strong sense of smell and naturally do things based on this potent characteristic. Whether a dog is trying to sniff out their surroundings or the smells on their bodies, most dogs can recognize a wide range of smells. It’s no surprise that dogs offer a level of security for sensitive places such as airports. 

Grass can have some fairly strong smells and while noticeable to us humans, dogs notice them even more They may be driven to roll about in the grass simply to have that smell overpower the one they have on themselves. It may even be to cover up the smell of the soap or shampoo used on them. Anything from dead animals to the scent of cats can easily be picked up by their strong nose.

Dogs Roll To Have Fun

Dogs don’t necessarily need a serious reason to topple over onto grass. They may just be having fun. Overjoyed dogs tend to be very active and can just decide to play in the fields, which dogs are inclined to do. If they get a chance to feel relaxed or have fun in the grass, they can just be dogs and take that chance.

If you have a grassy backyard, dogs will also love to play with cute toys or squeaky toys in amongst the leaves. They’ll love to hide them and search for them later!

A Roll In The Grass Makes Their Presence Known

Dogs have a well-known and unusual (to us humans) way of marking their territory. While that may be a common way for them to mark a spot, it isn’t their one sure way of doing it. A dog could be rolling around in the grass to make it known that they have been in that area. This largely falls under communication between dogs, not only landmarking the spot for other dogs to be aware of but also helping the dog navigate back to that specific spot.

Rolling In The Grass Reduces Discomfort On Hot Days

Dogs aren’t immune to extreme heat. For anyone who’s walked barefoot on cool, wet grass, you’ll know how good this feels on a hot, sunny day. Laying back on the wet grass may cool dogs down and relax them. Heat rashes may also trigger such a response from dogs where the grass can temporarily provide them some relief.

You may want to consider getting your pup an outdoor dog bed – some are even designed to be cooling for such days!

Expressing Their Emotions By Rolling In The Grass

A common trait of human behavior is self-expression, something that is a prominent display of personality. This is also a quality in dogs. Tumbling about on a lawn may just be the newfound way for a dog to express themselves when they’re happy or excited.

Your Dog May Be Showing Obsessive Behavior

It may be important to confirm whether your dog is displaying obsessive behavior or not. Whatever the reason may be, a dog could have built an obsessive link to the act of rolling in the grass. But this sort of response is quite difficult to determine, especially when there could be a variety of reasons why your dog is acting this way. In order to be certain, it may be worth connecting with a personal pet trainer to give your dog the necessary attention.

Dogs Roll In Grass As An Act Of Camouflaging

Naturally, dogs are predatory animals. Other animals may feel threatened when they sense a dog nearby. Your dog may try to camouflage by rubbing their body on the grass. It’s clear to us as humans that a dog has rolled around in grass as their fur coat would have a noticeable green or brown tinge to it. However, prey animals may be less driven to flee from a dog that has the appearance of a shaded coat. The camouflage also works well to mask their scent from their prey, making it easier to act out their predatory tendencies.

Conclusion: Why Do Dogs Roll In The Grass?

Dogs roll in the grass as part of their natural and harmless behavior. Dogs are generally hardwired to dive into their own scent as well as the various scents around them. Most dogs love stinky stuff. But what may be stinky for you might be a scent dogs love. 

While you shouldn’t necessarily make the hard-set decision of stopping your dog from rolling in the grass, you should know why they decide to do so in the first place. Knowing why dogs roll in the grass can help you understand their behavior and often provide you with early signs of potentially problematic issues such as allergies.

Apart from an allergic response, it could also be obsessive behavior. The grass that the dog is rolling on could also be worth looking into. Are there any potentially hazardous fertilizers or bugs?

Naturally, you will find your dog rolling in the grass often, especially damp grass. If it’s not due to any serious concern and you’re okay with their coat smelling of wet grass, let them enjoy themselves! If you feel like your dog needs attention because of rolling in the grass too often, seek professional help by consulting with a veterinarian or reputable breeder.

Have you ever caught your dog nibbling your lawn? Check out our blog on all the reasons why dogs eat grass!