Why do dogs love mud?

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There are a wide variety of reasons behind your dog exhibiting such behavior. Some experts are of the opinion that dogs have a genetic programming to love mud. Your dog may roll in the mud because he likes it or it maybe because he is trying to cover his own smell to avoid danger. However, this does not indicate that every time your dog rolls in the mud, he is sensing the presence of danger nearby. Whatever be the reasons behind why do dogs love mud, in this article, each and every reason will be uncovered and you will also know how you can correct this behavior.

Some dog guardians prefer to punish their pup for exhibiting this behavior. This should be strictly prevented at all costs. 

Here are the reasons behind why do dogs love mud:

For easy hunting:

Dogs do remember some traits from their wolf ancestors. Just like wolves, dogs prefer to camouflage themselves to make hunting easier. The primary reason why dogs roll in the mud is to cover up their scent so that their prey do not see or sense them coming from a distance.

Territorial nature:

Dogs are very territorial in nature. They prefer to leave their mark on their territory so that other dogs know to not trespass. Dogs have a ton of scent secreting glands on their paws and other regions of their body. Dogs also use their scent to mark the trees and the ground as an indication to other dogs as to who owns that territory.

To maintain their own unique smell:

Humans have a tendency to bathe their dogs a lot. Ever, too much of bathing with a perfumed soap (even if the product is suitable for animal use), removes the unique smell of your dog.

Smells which are perceived to be dirty by humans are actually the unique ID of a dog. That is why the moment you bathe your dog, he or she will tend to roll over on the bed and dig the bed order to get the paw glands activated so they start secreting sweat which contains your dog’s unique smell.

Why do dogs love mud?
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To communicate with other dogs:

Dogs also use their scent as a way of communicating with other dogs. If you think that your dog likes to have a bubble bath and loves to have talcum powder spread on him, you cannot be any further from the reality. Dogs hate the smell of powder. If it was left to dogs, they would rather wallow in mud, garbage bins and dead animals rather than take a bath and erase their own unique scent.

They enjoy the sensation and smell: 

It might be hard for us to understand why dogs love to roll around in the mud, garbage cans and everything that we perceive to be dirty. However you must understand, that your dog’s sense of smell is not the same as your own. Dogs have a much higher sense of smell compare to humans. It is most likely that your dog will find food and the smell of cow dung to be more appeasing rather than the smell of a fancy perfume that you value a lot.

To spread information amongst themselves:

Every animal communicates with his or her relatives and friends. This behavior of spreading information has also been inherited by dogs from their wolf cousins. According to research, when a wolf finds something that catches hear his or her attention, he will first sniff the prey and then wallow in the prey to cover himself with the scent of the same. The wolf will then go ahead and transfer the smell of the pray to the rest of the pack so that the entire pack and decide whether they want to eat the prey or not.

As an indication of superiority:

Dogs also wallow in the mud to show their other pack members that they have got something that is very interesting and is deserving of praise. However in case of humans, the poor dog might get reprimanded instead of being praised if he or she lands up rolling in the mud. That is why if a dog is scolded for rolling in the mud, it confuses your dog and thus, such a behavior should be avoided.

To control their body temperature  

One of the reasons behind why do dogs love mud is to cool off. When your dog rolls in the mud, a thin coating of mud forms on their back. This protects your dog from the heat during summers and ensures that your dog feels cooler for longer periods of time. If you notice your dog has a habit of running towards a mud puddle when it is hot outside, chances are your dog is running towards the water and not  the mud.

It’s super fun 

Another reason why dogs particularly love mud is because it is fun. Think about this honestly. If you did not have to worry about washing your clothes, clean yourself up after playing in mud, you would probably enjoy rolling in the mud every now and then. The best part about being a dog is that the dog does not have to worry about the hoops they will be put through after their enjoyment. They live in the moment and mud acts as a source of enjoyment for dogs. Thus, one of the reasons why do dogs love mud is because mud equals fun.

Why do dogs love mud?
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Your dog likes the taste of mud

If you notice your dog rolling in dog puddles and getting some mud in their mouth, there is nothing to worry about. Eating a slight bit of mud is not indicative of anything dangerous or any underlying medical condition. Just as dogs eat cotton from pillows they’ve torn open or grass when they are on walks, eating mud does not implicate towards any health conditions. However, if your dog starts to show a specific behavior of regularly eating mud, you should get your dog tested by the vet.

Eating mud can be a sign that your dog is suffering from pica or anemia. This can also mean that your dog is devoid of mental stimulation and is getting bored. Alternatively, excessive mud eating can also be associated with nutritional deficiencies in diet. If your dog is regularly eating mud, he or she can get exposed to a variety of parasites another harmful bacteria. Therefore, if your dog loves to play in the mud a bit too much, you should try to curb that behavior.

Acting out

Dogs know what buttons to push. Believe it or not, your dog knows you inside and out. They know what to do to get your attention. One of this behavior is playing in the mud. You might be wondering why do dogs love mud? However, a very simple explanation to this would be to get your attention. 

Suppose your dog wants attention from you. However, you are busy chatting on the phone or talking to someone and you’re not giving your dog the attention they want. Thus, your dog decides to go and roll in the mud, because they know that this specific behavior guarantees your attention. You will either shout at your dog or ask your dog to get out. Under both circumstances, your dog receives your attention which was the prime reason your dog decided to engage in this behavior in the first place.

How to stop your dog from rolling in the mud?

Now that I have covered all the reasons why you are dogs might roll in the mud, it is time to discuss how this behavior can be curbed or prevented.

Scolding or punishing is not the solution

The first step to prevent your dog from rolling in the mud is to understand that scolding or punishing is not the solution. The only way you can modify this behavior is by avoidance and lots of patience. Punishing your pup is almost like cutting them off from their wild side. Punishing will only make your dog afraid of you. Instead of associating your presence with happiness, your dog will start to view you as threat. Using positive reinforcement, you can retrain and curb any negative behavior much easily and without having a negative impact on your dog’s psyche.

Train your dog to not roll in the mud

Let’s take an example. Suppose you are walking your dog in a park and there is a puddle of mud. Your dog immediately gets attracted to the puddle and wants to go and roll in it. To prevent this behavior, tell your dog a firm NO and remove your dog from the spot. You will need a lot of patience because initially your dog will not understand why are you commanding him not to go into the puddle since it is such a heavenly place for him.

Your dog will not understand the new command in relation to garbage or rolling in the mud right on day one. You will need to have a ton of patience and exercise the same treatment every time. If your dog does by chance land up going to the puddle, do not scold him at all. Just clean him up and leave it at that.

If your dog is exhibiting such a behavior in your own backyard, there are simpler ways to curb this behavior. Clear your backyard of any dead animals or garbage if they are present. The aim of this behavior of this sure is to avoid giving your dog any kind of stimulus which would make him want to roll in the dirt or mud.

Avoid long walks in rainy weather

If you have a dog who loves mud and you’re in the process of training your pup out of this behavior, you may want to avoid going on walks during rainy weather. Alternatively, you can go on walks to locations where you will not find mud puddles, if you have to go out during the rainy days. If you come across muddy spots, steer your dog away from there.

Why do dogs love mud?
Why do dogs love mud? Causes and training options

Provide a balanced diet

If your dog is exhibiting this behavior due to nutritional deficiency or if your dog is trying to regularly eat mud, you need to check your dogs diet. There is a chance that your dog is probably suffering from some kind of nutritional deficiency. The best way to find out what is lacking in your dogs diet would be to conduct a regular blood test and find out if all the vitamins and minerals are in their desired ranges. If any of them are out of range or are deficient, your vet can prescribe you a specific diet to boost the definition nutrient. Alternatively you can also add supplements to your dogs diet to make it nutritionally balanced.

Groom regularly 

This advice is more for you as a guardian than for your dog. If your dog tends to regularly roll in the mud, having your dog well groomed will help you get the mud out quicker. If your dog has tangles or matts in their fur, washing the mud off would be particularly difficult. Therefore, make sure that your dog is properly groomed. You can either choose to do the grooming on your own or go to the pet salon. With proper grooming, the bath and drying time would be much shorter. 

However, grooming does not mean that you shave off your dogs fur. I have noticed in some cases, people shave their dogs back to either keep them cool or to keep them clean. However, shaving your dog’s fur is not the solution. The fur of your dog plays an important role in their homeostasis. If you remove the fur from your dog’s back, it can cause problems with temperature control. The fur is responsible for keeping your pup cool during hot conditions and warm during cold climate. Therefore, please do not remove the fur from your dog’s back.

Personal experience:

One more thing that I need to emphasize here is that, not all dogs like mud. Like my boy, Delta Bunny hates getting dirty. He hates walking on mud, hates going out if it has just rained, and he hates to take a bath. Sometimes I feel he may have been a cat in his previous life. I think that the mud loving behavior might be breed dependent. It is unheard that a golden retriever finds mud unappealing. Thus, another way to answer why do dogs love mud may be because some breeds are genetically predisposed to loving mud more than others. 

THE RESCUE STORIES OF MY BOYS (ALPHA AND DELTA)

Conclusion:

Thus, to answer the question, why do dogs love mud, there are a variety of reasons. They may be genetically predisposed to loving mud, they may use mud to cool themselves off or rolling in the mud may be an attention seeking behavior or indicative of some nutritional deficiency. Which of these reasons behind why do dogs live mud is applicable to your pooch, you can find it out by observing the behavior of your pup.

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Does your pup love or hate mud? How does your dog react when they see mud? How did you train your dog to avoid mud puddles? Let me know in the comment section below. If you have any query, about this blog post or any other, feel free to put them in the comment section. You can also reach out to me on any of my social media channels. I will be happy to help.

 
Until next time
Shruti

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