Why Do Dogs Roll In Poop?

As a dog owner, you may have experienced the unpleasant behavior of your furry friend rolling in poop.

While this behavior may seem disgusting and perplexing to us humans, it’s actually quite common in dogs.

In fact, dogs have been rolling in things since their wolf ancestors, but why do they do it?

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons to your question “why do dogs roll in poop?”.

Whether you’re a new pet owner or have lived with your dog for years, understanding why dogs roll in poop can help you better care for and communicate with your furry friend.

So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of dogs and their peculiar habits!

It Masks Their Own Scent

Dogs have a strong drive to mask their own scent in order to avoid being tracked by predators or other animals.

To do this, they roll in dead animals and things like the scents from feces, the stench of which helps to mask their own scent.

So next time your pup decides to dive head first into a pile of poop, remember that they’re just trying to keep themselves safe!

It Can Make Themselves More Attractive To Mates

Dogs are known for their antics, and one of the most peculiar is rolling around in feces.

But this behavior actually helps them to make themselves more attractive to potential mates!

When a dog rolls in a particular scent, other dogs come to recognize it as unique and will be more drawn to them as a result.

Through this process, dogs can communicate that they’re ancient instincts are still youthful and active despite being domesticated.

Although it seems gross and unnatural to us, rolling in poop is actually an effective way for our furry friends to catch attention from other pooches looking for love.

It Contains Important Nutrients That Help Keep Dogs Healthy

Dogs roll in feces to pick up its scents and marking their territory.

But there’s more to it than that – the bacteria and nutrients found in poop can actually help keep a dog healthy.

Fido instinctively knows what his body needs to stay strong so he includes poop as part of his nutrient intake!

This smelly – yet surprisingly beneficial – behavior can be managed by making sure your pup is getting enough regular exercise and a balanced diet, so that rolling in the stinkiest areas isn’t necessary.

Some Dogs Enjoy The Smell Of Certain Types Of Poop

Some studies suggest that dogs may actually enjoy the smell of certain types of poop, particularly from small animals like rabbits.

This likely comes from an instinctual response to masking their own scent as a way to gain an advantage against potential prey or predators.

Though it is certainly unpleasant for humans, if your pup decides to roll in something smelly, it can be helpful to remember that there may be a valid evolutionary reasoning behind it!

A Way For Dogs To Relieve Boredom Or Stress

It could be a sign that your pup needs some relief from boredom or stress.

It’s also possible that they are just enjoying themselves – perhaps it’s like their version of having an exhilarating run on the beach!

Of course, unless you catch them in the act, you can never be totally sure why dogs roll around in the not-so-pleasant smell of dung.

However, understanding and respecting their needs will help provide balance to their lives and may prevent unwanted attention from their smelly activity.

To Show Dominance Over Other Dogs 

It’s a strange sight to behold when your dog rolls around in poop.

While it can be quite shocking, there is a science behind this behavior.

Dogs rolling in poop is an animal power play—a territorial move intended to show their dominance over other dogs.

From scent marking to keeping rivals away and announcing their presence, it turns out rolling in feces can achieve several things for a canine that seeks to climb the social ladder.

Although scientifically valid, this behavior may not be welcome at home and should be discouraged at all times.

Because They’re Trying To Communicate With Other Dogs 

Science has found that dogs utilize excrement to communicate with other dogs.

Study shows that rolling in feces spreads a dog’s scent, which other dogs can identify.

Rolling dung sends a visible communication to other animals that the territory belongs to a specific dog or group of dogs, as well as scent.

Therefore, by covering themselves in poop, canines are attempting to send an olfactory and visual signal across the canine world!

Because It’s A Way Of Cleaning Themselves 

It may seem like a strange cleaning technique, but rolling in poop is actually a natural behavior for dogs.

When they come across an interesting smell or feel, their reaction is to combine the unfamiliar odor with their own scent.

This serves as a sort of self-identification that can allow them to distinguish between themselves and others.

Scientifically known as “stereotypic marking,” this practice is instinctive for dogs, as it assists with camouflage or even warnings to other animals that a particular space is taken or defended.

While it may not be the most pleasant method of hygiene, rolling in poop still serves its purpose in the way of making sure our furry friends are keeping their fur nice and clean!

Because It Makes Them Feel Good 

Dogs rolling in completely unappealing things, like their own poop, might seem strange to us humans.

Pup sniffers know what they’re doing, but our loving canine pals do this often.

Dogs roll about in other animals’ or their own feces to pick up aromas they like.

Can Help Them Mark Territory And Also Blend Into Their Environment

These smells give a dog a sense of comfort so it’s no wonder that rolling in poop makes them feel good – even if it’s something we don’t understand!

Dogs roll in poop because there’s something wrong with their diet 

While it may seem odd that a dog would want to roll in poop, the truth is that there may be an underlying issue with their diet if they are doing this.

If dogs are not getting enough vitamins or nutrients from their food, they may try to supplement by rubbing themselves against natural elements like animal waste in order to get what their bodies need.

To prevent this behavior, owners can make sure that their pet’s meals are balanced and have all the necessary proteins and fibers.

Avoiding table scraps and feeding them healthy treats also can help ensure that your pup won’t roll in poop due to dietary deficiencies.

So while it may be one of the grosser habits of man’s best friend, at least there is some kind of reasoning behind it!

From the moment our furry friends hit the ground, they will undoubtedly find their way to the nearest pile of poop.

But contrary to what many believe, it doesn’t mean your dog has gone crazy.

On the contrary, rolling in a pile of poo can actually have several benefits for your pet.

Dogs instinctively disguise their scent and make themselves more attractive with another animal’s aroma, and absorbing nutrients from feces is healthy.

Even if this activity seems filthy to us, think of it as a goofy pastime for them and maybe one day you may cheerfully watch your pup roll around in joyous delight!

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs roll in poop.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.