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Why does my dog roll on worms?

Why does my dog roll on worms?

You groom your dog and decide to go out for a walk. You enjoy a walk down the road, and finally, you are in the park. Then the worst happens. Your dog is on the ground rolling in dirt and worms. You get irritated and want to rush back home.

Owning a dog is rewarding, but taking care of it can be challenging at times. Some habits and behaviors of your dog can be hard to understand. Knowing too well that animals communicate through their behavior, you cannot simply brush off the urge to learn why an animal behaves in a certain way. Here is what you need to know about why your dog rolls in worms and what you can do about it.

Why Does My Dog Roll On Worms or Bugs?

It is not unusual for your dog to roll in all kinds of dirt and worms. Most of the time, the dog will even dig up worms from the ground. And, the whole roll affair could leave the dog smelling bad. However, it should never be a source of worry.

Instinctively, dogs roll up in worms, dirt, or poop to mask their smell when they sneak up on their prey. While your dog may not be hunting, this is a habit inherited from the dog’s ancestry. Not only do they roll in worms, but they also like to roll in plant-eating animal droppings and carcasses. In some cases, your dog might even carry a piece of the carcass.

Dogs also like the smell of the stench that comes from worms. While it might not make sense to you, your dog might be enjoying having the bad-smelling worms’ scent rather than the fresh fragrance from the shampoo. Additionally, dogs take home the stench of worms and dirt so that the rest of the pack can retrace their steps.

Here are things to do when you dog roll in worms.

· Before you do anything, get some gloves to protect your hands from the dirt and germs. It is about to get messy, so you might want to keep some towels close for this.

· Get your dog comfortable before you start cleaning it. Fight off any temptations to hose it up.

· Brush the dog thoroughly as the worms may be deep in the fur or coat. You can brush the dog outside to prepare it for a good bath.

· Clean your dog with warm water and shampoo. You can also use some disinfectant to get rid of the germs. A hydrogen peroxide mix works well to ensure that your dog is germ-free.

· Leave the shampoo on for about 10 minutes to kill the smell, as the shampoo will deeply penetrate the coat. Mild-smelling shampoos may not work well on the dog.

· Rinse the dog well and dry it up with a towel.

Most dogs roll in worms as well as eat them. Create a plan on how to proceed to prevent your pet from getting into contact with such filth. A good bath, as well as constant deworming, can help ease the worry. Once you spot something on your dog’s collar, learn what it is before you touch it. Also, knowing what your dog is obsessing over can help you get to the root of the problem.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Rolling On Worms?

You can stop your dog from rolling on worms. However, it takes some tact to get it done. You have to identify what happens before the dog goes rolling in worms. That could involve taking time to study the dog and its behavior, especially when you let it out for a walk. Those with a large enough yard can watch from a distance how the dog behaves while outside. After learning the patterns, only then can you intercept the bad behavior.

A Dog’s Behavior Before Rolling On Worms

Dogs will usually develop a certain intensity in their focus on a particular trail. Their focus changes and they sniff the path leading to the worms or animal droppings. Some dogs will even do a pre-roll pose before they get down to it. Observe how your dog behaves and then learn how to stop the mission. Most dogs start by smearing the worms or poop on their side before they roll in it. If you see it in action, give a strong LEAVE IT cue to stop your dog from taking further steps.


Yelling some words to your dog may not make sense if you have not taught the dog the commands. The term ‘leave it’ is a cue for the dog to stop whatever they are doing and do something else. You can always train the dog how to respond to the leave-it cues. A trainer can help you with it all. Training is better than keeping your dog on a leash to restrict its behavior.

You can try this trick. Hold two treats in your hands and show them to your dog. Let the dog smell them first treat which could be dog food and keep another tasty treat in sight. Once it can pick up the aroma of the treat, keep your fist clenched so your dog cannot access it. Let the dog smell or even lick your hand while you watch. Give the dog a stern look and say the words.

If it leaves the treat in your hand alone, reward it with a tasty treat like chicken. Practice as many times as possible to make sure the dog understands. You can try this with everything at a distance so your dog can learn to take instructions to leave something when you are far. Reward good behavior heavily until the dog relates it to the command.

More Ideas

When you go out for a walk or in the park, keep your dog busy by playing. Carry a leash that you can use on the dog to control its movement. Keep an eye out for something your dog might enjoy rolling on, such as poop and dead animals. Collect anything in your yard that may harbor worms. Lastly, keep out rodents and rats that visit your backyard.

Why Do Dogs Roll in The Grass When They Smell Something?

When your dog smells something in the grass, it likes the smell and hence, roll in it. Instinctively, animals respond to the sense of smell. The smell signals either that the prey or the predator is nearby. Dogs have a hunting ancestry, and they will most likely smell the grass and roll on it to mask their smell.

If a deer or antelope smells a wolf around it, they will run for their safety. Thus, the hunter needs to camouflage so it can hunt successfully. Your dog rolls in the grass to acquire the fresh grass smell. A dog’s smelling ability can be 60 times stronger than a human’s. While we smell food, a dog can even tell apart the different ingredients in the food, like tomatoes, potatoes, and onions.

Animals can also detect worms in the ground. Your dog will roll in the grass and dig it up because it can sense that there are worms nearby.

Here are reasons why your dog might roll in the grass.

1. Mark their territory

Most animals are territorial. When your dog wants to leave a sign that they have been somewhere, they will pee on something or even roll in it. That way, the animal leaves a mark that they have been there. Rubbing on someone or something leaves their scent to mark the person or object as a part of their pack. The same applies when a dog is on a grass field.

2. Scratching an itch

Just like us, animals get itchy. The best way to get rid of an itch is to rub against something. In places that they cannot reach with their paws, they need something to help with the itch. Dogs tend to roll when they have an itch on their backs. Rolling on grass too many times could be an indicator that the dog has an itch. Check with your vet to determine if your dog has allergies that could be causing the itch.

3. It feels good

Remember how good it feels to play on the grass? That is the same way dogs love spending some time on the grass. The grass is soft and offers a natural carpet where your dog can play, roll and stretch out. Leisurely rolling on the grass can be a good indication that your dog is simply enjoying a fun time on the grass.

4. To show their personality

Dogs show their nature by exhibiting behavior like rolling in the grass. A good roll shows that your pet is friendly or playful. Allow your dog to toss in the grass as a way of developing its personality. You can always bathe your dog later.

Why Does My Dog Dig for Worms?

Some dogs love to dig up worms. They will sniff out areas where there are worms. You may have seen a dog digging up stuff in the backyard as if looking for something. The dogs look for worms, and they may eat the dead worms. Most dogs often sniff around before they start digging for worms.

As a pet owner, you want your furry friend to stay healthy. However, having your dog eat worms can affect its health. Eating worms can trigger dreadful bacteria in your dog’s gut and even give them a stomach upset. A worst-case scenario would be when your dog gets roundworms as a result of eating worms. Roundworms can cause health problems and malnutrition in animals. Also, worms are transferable from the dog to humans. The best way to handle this is to stop the dog from eating worms.

One way to determine whether your dog has worms is by checking the poop. Roundworms are spaghetti-shaped, and they are easy to spot in your dog’s poop. If you notice that your dog’s poop has the same appearance, it is time to take the dog to the vet. They will establish a deworming protocol to help deal with the parasites and keep your dog healthy.

How Do You Stop the Dog from Digging Up Worms?

Training can help you stop the dog from digging up dirt and worms. If your dog has proper training, it will take orders when you want it to stop. However, you might not be around all the time to stop the dog from digging up worms. There are easy hacks you can implement to ensure your dog does not dig up your yard. Here are ways to stop the dog from digging up worms.


Mix a solution of vinegar and water and pour it around the area where your pet loves digging. Vinegar has a strong smell that dogs tend to hate. While this works, some dogs may not get bothered by the smell, and others will have a strong urge to dig past the smell.


The smell of cayenne pepper can deter your dog from digging. Most dogs have a favorite dig spot. Pour some cayenne pepper on the area, and the dog will not want to go near it.

Citrus peels

Gather some citrus peels around your kitchen bin and place them on spots that your dog loves to dig. The citrus will have their nose in wrinkles. Your dog will not want to explore anything past the citrus smell.

Partially bury rocks

If you note your pet spends time digging up a particular spot in your garden, partially bury some rocks. When your dog digs and finds some rocks, it will get tired and eventually quit digging. You can also play the same trick using plastic chicken wire.

More playtime and chews

Dogs will get preoccupied and dig up in the yard when they are bored. You can stop them by getting them some chews to play with as well as toys. Play with your dog whenever you are outdoors to keep it busy.

Note that things such as mothballs may be a deterrent to dogs digging up worms. However, they are dangerous for pets. Avoid placing them in a place where your dog might come into contact with them.

Take away

Caring for your dog might not be easy, but they are delightful to own. Some habits are deeply rooted in the dog’s lineage, and it may be hard to make them stop. However, you can always find a way to keep your pet clean.

With the guide above, there is no doubt you understand why your dog likes to roll in worms. You can implement ideas to keep your pet healthy and safe from parasites. Practice them, and you will have an easier time taking your pet outdoors.