Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass?

Updated: December 15, 2022

"Rolling around in the grass is another way for dogs to spread and mark their scent throughout their environment."

The strange things our dogs do do not seem to make much sense at first. But most of the time, there is a good explanation behind them. If your dog is eating pebbles, for instance, it may be doing it because of a nutrient deficiency or simply out of boredom. Burying things they plan on chewing later may be because of their innate “caching” behavior. But why do dogs roll in the grass?

Possible Reasons Why Dogs Roll in the Grass

1. Communicating

The ability to smell is extraordinary in dogs. Dogs have 300 million scent receptors compared to six million in humans. Dogs are excellent at scent-based jobs like bomb sniffing, search and rescue, COVID detection, and more because of this. And this is why you see dogs frequently rolling in the grass outside because of this.

A dog rolling in grass may have a variety of uses depending on the circumstances, but generally speaking, it is probably for smelling and communicating.

There are a few widely accepted factors involving a dog's sniffing communication. This includes the following:

Scent masking

Rolling in the grass and other objects can be a way for a dog to cover up their normal scent to help them sneak up on prey. This behavior is thought to be an ancestral holdover from the time when dogs still hunt their own food.

Scent marking

You are undoubtedly familiar with your the areas that your dogs mark their territory with pee when you are out on a walk. However, rolling around in the grass is another way for dogs to spread and mark their scent throughout their environment. This lets people, other animals, and other dogs know that they are in their space.

why do dogs roll in grass

Scent journaling

Dogs can communicate with other dogs where they have been by rolling in the grass, especially in grass that has been in contact with fur, feathers, or poop. It is a means of letting know other dogs about their environment, too.

Getting rid of strong smell

Have you ever noticed your dog rolling in grass following a bath? While the smell of your newly bathed dog may seem pleasant to you, your dog may find these scents too strong or weird. Rolling in the grass can help them regain their preferred smell.

2. Stretching Their Muscles

A good stretch feels excellent after a great long walk or nap, just as we do. When your dog rolls in the grass, their joints are loosened, loose fur is removed, and it helps boost their blood circulation.

3. Rolling To Communicate Happiness

dog rolling in grass

When your dog is happy, they loosen up and their behaviors seem to be a little more exaggerated. Just like when your dogs are playing with each other; you see plenty of excessive jumping and rolling around.

When dogs lay on their back exposing their tummy while rolling in the grass, it may be a sign that they feel happy and safe and are basically having the time of their lives because they are vulnerable when on their backs and exposing their tummies.

4. Scratching an Itch

Dogs occasionally roll in the grass to scratch areas of their bodies that they can't reach. If your dog only itches occasionally, that is fine, but if it happens very frequently, it could indicate a skin issue.

Dogs who repeatedly brush their ears against the ground may have an ear infection, too. Call your veterinarian right away to schedule an appointment if you are worried that your dog might have a skin infection or something else that causes them to itch too much.

Should You Stop Your Dog From Rolling in Grass?

It depends. Rolling around on the grass is typically normal in dogs. There is no reason to stop your dog's behavior if they are rolling in the grass out of happiness. It is vital to let dogs express their behaviors so long as they are not hurting anyone or hurting themselves. Of course, if you allow this to go on, you should have your dog on an effective flea and tick preventative. Also, be sure to consider the pesticides or herbicides that may have been used on the grass, as these can cause harm to your furbaby.

When to Stop Your Dog From Rolling in the Grass

On the other hand, your dog's practice of rolling in the grass should be stopped if they actively seek out dirty spots and poop to roll in. And most importantly if they are allergic to it!

Redirecting your dog to do something else is the most efficient and compassionate approach to get them to cease a behavior you don't want them to do. Give your dog a treat or use positive reinforcement when they do behave. This will help them associate good behavior with treats. Redirect your dog's focus to something else when they act like they are about to begin to roll in the grass.

If you allow your dog to roll in the grass, see to it that you wipe them after with Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Allergy*. These wipes are your dog’s skin's first defense against the environment. These wipes help get rid of environmental allergens and irritants acquired from rolling in the grass. These wipes also have Sebum Destroyer™ ingredients, which are a component of our FurFresh™ Deodorizer. This removes excess sebum—a major contributor to smelly furbabies—to a natural, odor-reducing level.

*Best paired with Pet Parents® Skin & Coat SoftSupps®

Make Sure It Is Not an Allergy

As mentioned, your dog may be rolling in the grass to scratch an allergy-related itch, caused by either food or the environment. If so, you should take action to determine the cause and alleviate any itch which should stop the rolling.

Look for further symptoms of allergies, such as redness or irritation of the skin or the ears, excessive licking of paws, biting and gnawing at certain areas of the skin, and many more. They may also be rubbing their skin against carpets or other rough items at home, which you will certainly notice as well. Schedule a visit with your veterinarian so you can get the help you need.

"If you allow your dog to roll in the grass, see to it that you wipe them after with Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Allergy"