Though it might seem like odd behavior, rolling in the grass is just about as normal as it gets for a dog. Here are common reasons veterinarians and pet experts believe why your pet is getting down and dirty in grass areas.
1. The act of rolling in the grass has been inherited by wolves, which is a distant cousin to the domestic dog. A dog will encounter an odor, then he or she will sniff and roll in it, getting that scent on the body, especially around the face and neck.
2. A dog can roll in the grass to get rid of smells. A dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in it's nose, compared to only 5 million in humans. Dogs have a heightened sense of smell that we, as humans, cannot understand.
3. Rolling in the grass can alleviate a bad itch for a dog. This can be an indication of a health issue such as skin allergies or flea and tick bites. It is best to have your dog examined to identify the cause, and if you have not already done so, start your dog on flea and tick preventive medication.
4. A constant roll in the grass could be a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder. Keep your eyes open to things that excite your dog, and call your dog back before he or she rolls in the grass. Keep your dog engaged in games and rewards so that your dog forgets the stinky fun altogether. Training your dog for this behavior can be tedious, but it is time saved on unnecessary baths that will make it worth your time.
Doggie Socials Chicago will be hosting Bark and Bingo on June 1 at the Elbo Room at 7pm. All friendly pups are welcome. The downstairs will be off leash (with parental monitoring) and the upstairs will be on leash. There is either a $5 suggested donation or a $20 drink package that includes 2 drink tickets, 5 bingo cards, and a $5 gift certificate to Zulu Cat and Dog Boutique.