Dogs love to play in the dirt, especially when there is something particularly smelly, and rolling around in it is super fun for them. Unfortunately, it is not fun for pet owners, most of whom do not like dirt to be scattered around the house. But there is actually a reason why your dog loves to get dirty. In fact, there is actually a science behind it.
Why do dogs love to get dirty?
Before dogs became domesticated they hung around in packs. One theory is that dogs love to roll around in smelly stuff to cloak its smell from prey. Another theory is that they do it as some sort of a message to the rest of the pack. Basically, when the dog returns home smelling of what it rolled in – which in this theory is usually a dead animal – the rest of the pack can then follow the scent back to its origin, which results in food. Another theory suggests that dogs like to roll around in dirt because they are trying to cover up that scent with their own. Kind of like marking their territory.
There are also a few non-scientific theories to why dogs love to get dirty. One such theory is that they actually enjoy the scent, and it is like a perfume to them. If it is hot, rolling around in the dirt can actually cool a dog off, which is another reason why they love to get dirty. Finally, it is just fun! Fun for the dog; not so much for the owner.
Tips to deal with a dog that loves getting dirty
It is easy to train your dog to leave things just by saying ‘leave it’. This is very easy to do when walking your dog on a leash, but if they are free in yard or a dog park it is not as easy to do. Still, teaching your dog these two simple words will save you a lot of grief.
Have a cleaning station outside
If you live in a house you should set up a cleaning station outside. This can be something as simple as a garden hose that you can use to clean your dirty dog before it even enters the house. Some new condos have even gone so far as to build a dog wash station outside, which is a great idea for this very reason. At the very least, have an old towel at the front door to be used to clean as much as the dirt off as you can before the dog enters the rest of the house.
Grooming your dog is the best solution and the only one to get the dirt off. Yes, this will be done once it is already dirty, but it by far the best way to deal with it. In most situations this can be done at home, but if your dog is especially dirty, you may have to take it to a professional groomer.
Never get angry
Remember, getting dirty is a natural instinct for a dog, so the last thing you want to do is get angry. This will not help, nor will it make your dog stop. They can’t help but roll in dirt. So it’s best to just laugh it off. Plus, you will notice that everything that they roll and play in is organic, which means it can easily be washed off.