If your dog has been rubbing itself on the ground a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why it might have been doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog rub itself against the ground? Possible reasons why your dog rubs itself against the ground are that it simply likes the feeling, allergies, a rash, an injury, fleas, to cool down, boredom or to spread its scent.
Since there are multiple possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of the more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become easier to get it to stop doing it.
Why your dog rubs itself against the ground
Below are a number of reasons why your dog might have been doing it and what would make them more likely.
It likes the feeling
An obvious reason why your dog might be doing it is that it might like how it feels. This would be more likely if it has not been doing it excessively and if it has not been behaving unusually in other ways as well.
Allergies or a rash
The cause could be that it has gotten a rash or allergies. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been scratching itself a lot. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
The cause could be that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as limping. If it seems like an injury might be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Another possible reason is that it has gotten fleas. This would also be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, if it has been itching itself a lot as well, it has also been scratching or rubbing other parts of its body as well and if you have found fleas around the house.
To cool down
Another possible cause is that it has been trying to cool down. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it is hot and if it has started doing it more since the weather has become hotter. It would also be more likely if your dog is a breed that has a thick double coat.
It could be the case that it has been doing it because it is bored and looking for ways to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more before getting exercise and if it tends to do stop doing it after getting exercise. If it is healthy, it would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
To spread its scent
The reason why it does it could be that it is marking its scent around the house. This would be more likely if it also does similar things around the house, it occasionally tries to urine mark around the house and if it can be very territorial when other dogs are near the house.
To hide its scent
The cause of the rolling could be to mask its scent so that other animals can’t smell it when it is near and so that they don’t know where it’s been. This would be more likely if it tends to rub itself on smelly things such as grass or mud.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started rubbing itself against the ground
If it did not always roll in the ground a lot, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as injury, fleas, allergies, a rash or to cool down.
What is different when it tends to do it
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time or situation that it tends to do it in. For example, if it tends to roll on the grass, it would be more likely that it does it because it is masking its scent or because it likes the feeling.
What to do about your dog rubbing itself against the ground
Below are some things you can do in order to encourage your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
It might be the case that your dog has learned that it gets rewards when it does it. Instead, it would help to try to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to, to avoid rewarding it when it does not and to try to redirect its focus when it looks likely to start rubbing against things.
If fleas are causing your dog to rub itself on things, it would help to talk to your vet about what you should do to get rid of the flees.
It would also help to eradicate fleas from your home by doing things such as:
- Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
- Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
- Applying an environmental flee control
- Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
- Treating your dog with a monthly preventative
Allergies can be caused by things such as shampoo, other dogs, pollen, a harness rubbing its skin or household chemicals (source).
It would be more likely that allergies or a rash are causing your dog to rub itself on things if it started doing it after something happened that might have caused it to get allergies or a rash. Examples could be using a different shampoo or a harness that rubs its skin.
It would help to figure out what could be causing it to have a rash and to try to replace it with something else.
Give it exercise
If it is healthy, it would also help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Take it to a a vet
If you cannot figure out why your dog has been doing it, your dog has been doing it excessively or it has been behaving unusually in other ways, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out injury as a cause and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
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