Dogs are loving and curious creatures. And while we adore them for all of their quirks, there are some we often cannot understand — like why some dogs LOVE mud. Of course, you can prevent your dog from rolling in the mud if you are supervising outdoors, but you’ll never make them stop wanting to roll in the mud. After all, it is in their DNA. So let’s try to understand why they have such a magnetic pull to those big, sloppy dirt puddles.
Some experts believe a dog’s interest in mud might harken back to their time before domestication as a method of protection, and as a hunting strategy. Wild dogs are known to dig in the dirt or mud and roll in it to erase their scent. This can help them hide from enemies or help them more stealthily approach their prey.
Keeping it cool
Animals of all kinds use mud as an efficient way to cool off when it is hot out. A thin coating of mud can provide protection from the heat, and a mud puddle is even better, as far as your dog is concerned.
Similar to water
Some dogs absolutely love water and are obsessed with playing in it. Whereas we humans prefer to cool down in clean, clear water, dogs are not so picky. To some dogs, a mud puddle resembles a pool of water—and that is good enough in their doggy minds.
It is fun
Why do kids love to jump and splash in puddles? Simple—because it is fun. Many dogs love to romp and roll in the mud for the exact same reason.
It is tasty
Some dogs enjoy drinking muddy water or even eating mud, or dirt. For many dogs, it just tastes good. However, in some cases mud- or-dirt-eating might indicate an underlying health condition. For example, some dogs that eat mud might struggle with anxiety, nausea, boredom, or even nutritional deficiencies. If your dog does this, be sure to mention it at you next vet visit.
They don’t like how they smell
After a bath and shampoo, you might think your dog smells wonderful. Your dog, however, might disagree. Some dogs roll in mud to rid themselves of the fragrance used in some dog shampoos. Or they might want to get rid of any trace of human odor — because dogs like to smell like dogs.
Mud, mud go away
It is perfectly understandable if you want to prevent your dog from rolling in the mud. Most people do not want their dog to track mud into their home, and constantly bathing your dog can be tiresome for both of you. Here are a few ways to keep your dog from rolling in mud.
- If your dog runs toward a mud puddle, distract them with another fun activity, like fetch or tug of war.
- Use positive reinforcement methods to teach him to stay away from mud puddles.
- Keep your dog on a leash on rainy days or after it has recently rained.