Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass? Things to Know

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Why do dogs roll in the grass? Dogs do this for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes they are trying to cool themselves down, other times they may be trying to get rid of an itch or enjoying the feel and smell of freshly cut grass!

In this article, we explore our dog’s universal instinct to roll around in the grass like some frenzied fur-covered lawn roller.

Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass?

Why do dogs roll in the grass with dandelions

Here are the most common reasons why dogs roll in the grass:


Scent plays a major role in a dog’s life. There are glands all over a canine’s body that secrete pheromones, which is what dogs use to communicate with each other and mark their territory. When a dog rolls in the grass, they release these strong scents from the pores of their skin—which can be very important information for other dogs!

When a dog rolls in the grass, he or she is making it very clear to other dogs that this area belongs to them.

Another scent-related reason could be for hunting purposes, this stems from their wolf ancestry. A dog could instinctively be rolling in the grass to mask their scent. It’s a way of camouflaging their own smell to make prey unaware that they pose a deadly danger.

To Relieve A Problematic Itch

Dogs also roll in the grass because they have an itch to scratch or they are trying to get rid of ticks or other insects that may have crawled on them. They might be in hard-to-reach places and rolling around (or scratching) is the only way they can get rid of the annoying itches.

Bulldog rolling on the grass

Get Rid of Intense Smells

Ever given your dog a lovely smelling bath, only for them to roll around in some grass immediately after? You might think your dog now smells fantastic, but your dog may have other ideas.

Dogs have an extremely sensitive nose and the smell of the shampoo and conditioner (and even soap) might be too overwhelming to them.

A Boredom Breaker

A final, less practical reason for dogs rolling in the grass could actually be boredom. Dogs are intelligent creatures that need exercise and stimulation or they will find their own ways of entertaining themselves. This could also include eating grass, but that’s a whole different article.

Unfortunately, dogs rolling around in the grass isn’t always be good for the furniture. Especially furniture covered in light-colored fabric.

What Does it Mean When Your Dog Rubs on the Grass?

It means that your dog is trying to leave their scent on the grass or that it’s simply a way of marking out an area as their own.

What does it mean - dog rolling

Your dog might be trying to calm themself. This can happen if they are anxious, stressed, or excited, and rolling is a way of relaxing the muscles and releasing tension in their body.

If your dog has an itchy back but is unable to reach that area with his or her own tongue, he or she could roll around on the grass—or even in dirt and mud—to scratch the itches.

This is also a good way for dogs to cool down because they take on moisture from the grass or soil that helps them regulate their body temperature.

Dogs might be trying to get rid of any insects that have gotten caught in their fur, such as ticks or fleas. They might also be trying to get rid of any irritating insects that might have crawled inside their ears!

A dog could simply be bored and rolling around is a good way for them to pass the time.

Should I Let My Dog Roll in the Grass?

Normally, if your dog is rolling in the grass and it doesn’t seem to bother them, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

dog in the grass rolling

However, you may want to investigate why your dog is rolling in the grass if they’re doing it excessively.

You might be able to find alternative ways of soothing an itch by brushing their coat or giving them a bath.

If they’re rolling around because of boredom, it’s important that you give your dog enough stimulation and exercise. This should nip it in the bud and stop them from moving on from grass to potentially dangerous activities, such as chewing random things.

You should also discourage your dog from rolling in the grass if they are doing it near a road or other busy areas.

You might also want to keep them away from “dog unfriendly” places such as patches of garden that contain harmful chemicals, where there is excessive debris, and close to any sources of water that could be contaminated with harmful bacteria.

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

When dogs smell something interesting in the grass, they may roll around on it to mark their territory and override the new smell with their own.

dog rolling on smelly patch of grass

Another reason why dogs roll in the grass when they smell something is to cover their own scent with a stronger one. The dog’s predatory instinct might be what drives them to cover their own scent, so they can creep up on prey, or the neighbor’s pesky cat.

Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass in the Same Place?

It’s likely they’re remarking their territory. Dogs do this to mark their own scent and make it clear that a particular area belongs to them

Why do dogs roll in the grass white dog

They might also be trying to override an unfamiliar or interesting smell with their own.

Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass After a Bath?

The dog is most likely attempting to get rid of the overpowering odor left by shampoos and conditioners on their fur after a bath.

Why Do Dogs Roll in Grass After Eating?

It’s believed that dogs roll in the grass after eating because they are content, full, and happy after their meal.

dog rubbing face in the grass

Another reason could be cleanliness. They have just eaten, so they are trying to get the food off of their muzzle by rubbing it on the grass.

Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass After Swimming?

When a dog gets out of the water, they probably still feel wet and cold, even after several good shakes.

After all that shaking, you’re probably wet and cold too and need a towel.

It’s highly likely dogs roll in the grass to dry themselves off.

Do Dogs Roll in Grass to Cool Down?

When it’s hot outside, dogs can roll in the grass to cool down their body temperature.

A dog’s normal internal core temperature is between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can be uncomfortable for them in the heat of summer when we humans like to enjoy a nice day at the pool.

If you see your pup roll around on some shady grass and then settle down or lay there for a while with his tongue hanging out, he’s probably just trying to cool off.


Dogs roll in the grass because it’s a good way to scratch an itch, cool down, mark their territory, hide their scent and get rid of annoying insects.

Why do dogs roll in the grass conclusion

They may also be rolling in grass as a form of exercise or out of boredom. You should only worry if your dog is rolling excessively or near potentially dangerous areas such as roads or contaminated water.

As a dog owner, you should be aware of why your pet is rolling around.

If they are doing it to cool down or scratch an itch, no problem! But if they’re scratching excessively and/or licking their paws nonstop after a roll in the grass, it could mean something’s wrong with them health-wise.

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All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian's advice.
Jen Smart

Jen is the founder of, a leading resource for managing and treating anxiety in dogs. With over a decade of experience in working with rescue dogs, Jen holds diplomas in Understanding Canine Anxiety, Canine Holistic Health & Therapy, CBD Oil for Animals, and Zoopharmacognosy. Her expert insights help dog owners navigate the challenges of anxiety with compassionate, innovative solutions. Follow Jen’s guidance at Anxious Canine for a calmer, happier dog.

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