Dogs love to roll around on their backs. We’ve all seen them throw themselves on the grass or the carpet and going bananas. Normally we assume this is either an itch relief technique or some kind of scent marking thing, but there is actually a number of explanations for their behavior.
The most reasonable explanation for this behavior is that they’re trying to relieve an itch. But if your dog seems to be constantly itchy then it could be a sign that there is something wrong with them medically. Constant itching can be a sign of dry skin, allergies, or fleas. But it could also be something more like internal parasites – this is particularly possible if your dog seems to be scooting themselves along the ground. However, if your dog is rolling around on the ground and they accompany this behavior with scratching and biting at their skin then it’s almost certainly external parasites like fleas. Either way, if you find that your dog is rolling around the ground more often than usual or they accompany it with strange habits that seem out of character for them, then it’s a good idea to get them checked at the vet’s office.
Your vet will be able to provide the proper course of treatment for parasites or worms. Plus, they can diagnose skin conditions such as dry skin or allergies as well, and provide you with tips or solutions for helping your dog to overcome these challenges. Sometimes if it’s allergies, something as simple as changing dry foods or removing a specific item from your dog’s environment can make them feel much less itchy.
But of course, sometimes their need to roll around on the ground isn’t tied to a specific itch. Our dogs also have a side to them that makes them act on certain instincts from their ancestral days of living in “the wild.” Even though they’ve been domesticated for ages, every so often their primal nature comes out, particularly when it comes to scents that they find “appealing.” Every dog owner has probably had to give their dog a bath after coming home from the dog park because their playful pooch ended up rolling in something gross. Whether it’s grass, dead things, or poop; dogs are just following their basic instincts to camouflage their scent with the smells of the wild. It’s gross, but it’s dogs. I have a friend whose Jack Russell loves to roll in stinky things while outside.
Do your dogs roll in smelly things when outside? Do they like to roll on the carpet? Let us know!