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Why Do Dogs Roll In Grass – Reasons & Instincts to this Dog Behavior

Dogs love rolling in grass for a variety of reasons. Grass smells great, it’s soft and they can enjoy the outdoors with its beautiful colors.

But there are other benefits to this behavior that may not be so obvious at first glance. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top reasons why your dog might roll around in the grass!

Reasons to Why Do Dogs Roll in Grass

Do you ever wonder why your dog might be rolling around in the grass? We know that it’s fun and smells good, but there are a few other reasons.

To Smell Better

dog smelling grass

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. In fact, they have a better sense of smell than humans do! This is why it’s not uncommon for dogs to roll in grass or other substances that have strong smells.

Dog’s noses are so powerful that they can even be used to track down missing people and detect cancer in their owners. Because of this, dogs like rolling in grass because it gives them a better chance of smelling something interesting.

Dogs also love rolling in grass because it masks their own scent, making them harder for predators to find!

To Cool Off

dog rolling in grass
(c) Maymo / YouTube

Dogs love rolling around in the grass to cool off after exercise or playtime outside. This is especially true if your dog has short hair (like many terriers) and doesn’t wear a coat during the summer months.

Rolling around in the grass helps to keep your dog cool by increasing blood flow and evaporation from the skin surface. It also helps reduce body temperature by up to five degrees!

Most dogs will take advantage of this cooling effect on hot days, but some may continue doing it even when temperatures aren’t too hot outside (like ours).

To Get Rid of Fleas or Ticks

dog rolling in grass
(c) Jose Flore / YouTube

Dogs who have fleas or ticks will often roll around in grass to get rid of them. This is because the grass contains chemicals that can kill off these parasites.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to roll in grass after a walk, even if they don’t have any fleas or ticks on them. This is because the scent of the grass can still repel these pests and keep them away.

If your dog does have fleas, you may notice that they stop rolling in grass once they are gone!

To Get Rid of Bacteria and Germs

dog rolling in grass
(c) Chris Priest / YouTube

Some dogs may roll around in grass to get rid of germs and bacteria on their skin. Dogs tend to pick up a lot of dirt and bacteria when they go outside, so rolling around in the grass can help clean this off their fur. Some dogs also like rolling around in the grass because it helps remove skin flakes and dead skin cells from their coat!

It’s In Their DNA

Source: Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

The very basic reason behind dogs rolling in grass that we have come across is the DNA dogs inherit.

It is similar to the ones wolves have.

This helps them develop an instinct of covering the smell they naturally have.

For an animal having predatory instinct, it feels really bad if their smell becomes a giveaway and they are unable to get a hold of their prey.

Rolling in stinking grass might help them go into stealth mode as it covers their natural smell. This way, the prey would be unable to detect the danger even if the dog is close by.

Dogs Love the Smell of Grass

Where you might be worried about your dog’s health when it is rolling itself on the grass, your dog instead might be loving the smell of the grass and the way its body feels while rubbing against it.

We often observe the smell of fresh grass and find it quite soothing at the start of the day.

Similarly, dogs may also love how grass smells. Moreover, grass with an unpleasant smell might even be more appealing for dogs as it covers their natural smell footprint (remember the wolf DNA?).

To Get Rid of Unwanted Scents

This strikes us as quite an interesting reason. Imagine taking your pet to the field after you bathed and used a pleasant-smelling shampoo on its fresh fur.

While you might find that shampoo smell quite pleasing, your dog might hate it (!).

This is the difference most dog owners need to understand. Dogs have a different approach than human beings and their predatory nature is what makes them dislike the smells that we might find quite pleasing and attractive.

Similarly, there would be other smells you wouldn’t take notice of. But your dog, which as a species is known for its strong sense of smell, might have caught wind of a smell that it doesn’t like.

Scent Marking the Grass

Another interesting reason your dog would roll in the grass is it’s marking its own specific scent.

This is a well-known fact that a dog’s nose is way more sensitive than the ones humans have. This is what gives it the quality to track and enhance your security potential.

A dog’s nose is sensitive to the extent that it is always eager to find fresh scents. This is due to its ability to track those scents back to their origin.

Dogs have a database where a range of smells is stored. As many fresh scents as they can get helps enhance that database so they can track more and more.

Getting Rid of an Itch

This is quite similar to what we as human beings feel. Ever felt an itch somewhere that you couldn’t quite reach?

Similarly, dogs use rolling when they have an itch where they can’t get their legs to take care of it.

Therefore, your dog rolling in the grass might be because it needs to get rid of an itch that’s been continuously teasing it.

This is quite often seen in various pets. Cats or dogs are often rolling themselves in grass or even dirt. Many people attribute itches as the main reason dogs and cats roll in grass.

It Just Feels Good

Apart from all the potential reasons, this is the most interesting one. Your dog rolling in the grass might be just because it simply likes how it feels.

Animal skin is a lot more different from human skin. The touch or rubs we might find unnecessary may be liked a great deal by animals.

The same is the case with your pet dog. It might be rolling in grass just because it has developed a liking for the way it feels.

The activity might make them feel good. Add to that the smell of the grass (if they like it) and you have a perfect combination of purposes for your dog to roll in grass.

Compulsive Behavior

You might be worried about your dog rolling in the grass without it having a specific reason to do it. That is a possibility as most of the animals do have various compulsive behaviors.

There is no sense of reward or pleasure to which that activity might lead, but your dog might be doing it without worrying so much about it.

This is where a difference of psyche comes into play. Human nature tends to be curious and worry over the small things they see or do.

On the contrary, there are numerous actions of animals that might have no genuine reason behind them.


Should I Encourage My Dog to Roll in Grass?

dog rolling in grass
Chris Priest / YouTube

Seeing your dog rolling in the grass is not worrisome. Taking what experts say into consideration, dogs rolling in the grass is completely safe as long as the area they are rolling in is clear.

This means that the area is not tick infected or does not have any stains or chemicals such as herbicides that may affect the health of your beloved pet.

Encouraging this behavior is completely harmless and you just have to be a little attentive that your pet doesn’t get a tick from the area it is rolling itself in.

Other things that may come into play include your dog being obsessed with rolling. That might be due to a persistent itch or because they have thick fur and it is not brushed regularly.

Look into this matter as it might develop dead hair because of consistent itching and scratching.

Is It Safe for My Dog to Roll in Grass?

As mentioned earlier, rolling in the grass is safe as long as the area is not infected by ticks and does not have chemicals such as herbicides.

Areas with dense greenery require more attention if you are taking your dog for a stroll down there. This is due to a higher chance of getting infected with ticks and other things that may affect your dog’s health.

A safe choice is to visit a veterinarian on a regular basis and get your beloved pet checked for any ticks or things that might potentially harm their health.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Rolling in Grass?

Although your dog rolling in grass is completely harmless in most cases, you can still use several techniques to stop it from doing it repeatedly.

One way is to keep a leash and use it whenever you see your dog rolling in the grass. This way it’ll learn in a while of not rolling itself and coming back to you whenever called upon.

An alternate method is to keep a can filled with coins and some dog treats. Whenever you see your dog rolling in the grass, shake the can filled with coins to attract the attention of your pet.

The noise will startle them and force them to return to the standing position. Once your dog is back in the standing position, use dog treats as a reward.

This way, it will learn what sort of behavior is being encouraged by you and we all know what good learners dog are!

Moreover, you can keep your pet busy in activities so that they do not get the time to think about that urge to roll in the grass.

Engage your dog in different activities like fetch, tug of war or simply jog with him and walk together. This way, your dog won’t get the time to think about rolling in the grass.

Artificial Grass and Dogs Rolling In It

Artificial grass is loved by dogs a great deal as a space to roll in, just like natural grass.

However, it provides a way healthier environment for dogs as compared to fresh grass.

This is because natural grass may conceal elements that may be harmful to your dog’s health.

Dense greenery is hard to evaluate as it may be tick infected or have other harmful chemicals.

On the other hand, artificial grass is free from any such worries and comes as a healthier alternative for dogs to roll in.