Dogs have the most evolved sense of smell known to science, even if a dog goes blind, it will still be tracked to most of the paths and perform activity just by using its sense of smell. However, it can backfire on their human owners because dogs don’t love to smell good at all. You just came home, you’re expecting everything to be fine and your dog right at the doorstep is excited for you, but wait your dog is all messed up in faeces.
The stench is all over the hallway now, and you have no clue what to do. Well, keep reading to learn why dogs do such stuff in the first place, and how you can train them to put an end to this habit.
Modern-Day Theories: Why Do Dogs Roll In Poop?
For countless dog owners, the sight of their beloved pet rolling in poop is both baffling and a bit gross. While the behavior’s evolutionary roots give us some clues, there are several modern-day theories to further explain why dogs engage in this seemingly odd activity.
Attraction to Strong Scents
At the forefront of these theories is a dog’s fascination with strong scents. A dog’s olfactory system is incredibly sophisticated, with up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in humans. Rolling in strong-smelling substances like poop might be a way for dogs to investigate and “wear” intriguing scents, much like a human might wear a perfume or cologne.
Dogs have a complex system of scent communication. By rolling in poop, they might be trying to leave their scent mark on top of another or pick up a scent to bring back to the pack. This act can convey messages about territory, mating, and other canine social cues.
Taste and Curiosity
As repulsive as it may seem to humans, some dogs are just curious about the taste and texture of different substances, poop included. Rolling in it can be an extension of this exploratory behavior.
Even though domestic dogs have been separated from their wild counterparts for thousands of years, certain instinctual behaviors persist. Rolling in poop might be a carryover from times when dogs would mask their scent to help them hunt or avoid predators.
In understanding these modern-day theories on why dogs roll in poop, dog owners can gain a greater appreciation for their pet’s natural behaviors, even if they’re a bit messy at times.
Can My Dog Get Infected?
Let’s say you took your dog out for a walk, and your dog happens to roll itself supposedly in another creature’s poop. If the said creature is infected, then there might be a chance your dog might get infected too.
Keep an eye on any signs or symptoms of illness in your dogs, if you suspect anything wrong, then inform your vet about the entire event first-hand to make sure to start the proper treatment right away.
What Can You Do?
Well, it can’t be resolved entirely. Some breeds are more prone due to their inherit nature, however, others might be able to compensate. You can always begin with training at the puppy stage, and use positive reinforcement to promote good behaviour.
Following are some of the things you can do in order to mitigate this issue:
1. Use Treats
Next time you notice your dog doing this, then immediately pull out the treats from your pocket and call your dog. If the treats are really good, the dog will eventually run up to you. However, this trick might not always work since dogs are hardwired to roll in poop, it is in their instincts. In order to compensate for that, look for even yummier treats that you know your dog wouldn’t resist.
2. Keep an Extra Towel With You
You really can’t do much once your starts performing this practise outside the premise of your home, the best you can do is to keep an extra towel with you. You can use this towel to wipe off the sticky mess from your dog’s fur. It might sound gross, but it has to be done.
3. Keep Your Dog Away From Everything Gooey
You might have to stay extra vigilant and look for everything that appears to be gooey on your path. Your sense of smell might not be as strong as your furry partner, but always stay on the lookout for other faecal matters, and avoid taking that route. ]
4. Your Dog Might Be Marking Its Territory
Spayed dogs don’t usually have territorial issues, and they’re really submissive. However, when it comes to unneutered dogs, you might have to deal with a lot of issues. Just like cats will randomly pee all over their territory to mark, dogs will do the same but with their poop.
They want the entire territory to smell like themselves in order to evade any other opposing pack of dogs. If you suspect your dog doing this, then it will be a great choice to get it neutered to minimize territorial issues.
5. Your Dog Might Have Fever
Fever can be tough to deal with on its own. However, whenever a fever strikes, your dog’s immune system will trigger the body to cool itself. The body temperature rises in order to ward off the infectious pathogens, but at the same time panting helps the dog to cool itself down.
Check your dog’s body temperature by touching it physically, if you think it is higher than the normal temperature, then proceed to take it to your vet and get it diagnosed for possible infection.
6. Panting In Different Breeds
Thanks to selective breeding, we have a plethora of dog breeds out there. However, most of them can be categorised in two ways: short faced and long faced. Short faced dogs are mostly bred for their cutesy aesthetics, however, they have a hard time breathing through their nose.
In order to compensate for that, these short breed dogs switch to panting in order to breathe properly.
Cleaning Your Dog After a Roll in Poop
It’s an unfortunate sight many dog owners have been greeted with: a joyful canine covered in fresh poop, wagging its tail and eager for some affection. But before you let your dog back into the house or even pet them, it’s crucial to give them a proper clean-up. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your dog fresh and clean:
Stay Calm and Prepared:
First and foremost, try not to overreact. Remember, for dogs, rolling in stinky things is natural, even if we humans find it repulsive. Have a set of cleaning supplies ready – gloves, dog-safe shampoo, towels, and a brush.
Outdoor Preliminary Cleanup:
If the mess is too much, start the cleaning process outside to avoid bringing more dirt indoors. Use a hose (if available) to rinse off the bulk of the poop.
Warm Bath Time:
Fill a tub with lukewarm water and bring your dog in. It’s essential to use a dog-safe shampoo, especially one that’s designed to deodorize. Wet your dog’s coat, and then apply the shampoo. Make sure to lather and scrub well, paying special attention to the areas with poop.
Ensure that you rinse all the shampoo out of your dog’s fur. Any residue can cause skin irritation. Double-check the areas where the poop was to ensure it’s completely clean.
Towel Dry and Brush:
Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed your dog, towel dry them as best as you can. For dogs with longer fur, a brush will help detangle any knots and remove any leftover debris. If it’s cold outside, ensure your dog is completely dry before they go out again.
Check Ears and Paws:
These areas can trap unpleasant smells, even if they weren’t directly rolled in. Clean them with dog-safe wipes or give them a gentle wash.
Reward Your Dog:
Remember, your dog didn’t roll in poop to annoy you. They were just following their instincts. After a bath, give them a treat or some extra playtime as a reward for their patience.
Conclusion: Unraveling the Mystery of Why Dogs Roll in Poop
While the sight of our furry friends indulging in a roll in poop can be unsettling, it’s important to remember that these behaviors stem from deep-rooted instincts and a complex world of canine communication. By understanding the theories behind why dogs roll in poop, we can better empathize with their natural tendencies and ensure we respond with patience and care. While we might never fully embrace this messy habit, it’s just one of the many quirks that make our canine companions so fascinating and unique.