Dogs may be cute and cuddly, but some of their behaviors aren’t quite so adorable. The following three behaviors may seem gross in our minds, but there are perfectly sound canine explanations behind them.
1. Butt sniffing: This may seem like an odd (and pretty gross) way to greet a fellow canine, but dogs are able to learn a lot through a sniff of the tush. Chemicals released by a dog’s anal glands communicate their sex, diet, health, and more.
2. Rolling in smelly stuff: Have you ever noticed that your dog has a knack for seeking out the most disgusting thing in your yard and rolling around in it? Whether it’s garbage, feces, or a dead rodent, canines love rubbing their bodies in smelly messes. This gross behavior is likely instinctive since dogs in the wild used to roll in the manure of their prey to help disguise their scent while hunting.
3. Eating feces: Any owner who’s caught their dog in the kitty litter box knows just how real this problem is. Sometimes dogs will consume another animal’s feces (like a cat’s) because it’s full of nutrients. Mother dogs will often ingest their puppies’ feces to encourage her young to defecate and to keep their space clean. For some canines, this habit is unexplainable and develops into a compulsive behavior. Whatever the case, it’s important to discourage this behavior to prevent disease associated with parasites. Consult with a veterinarian and try an over-the-counter anti-coprophagia products like STOP or CoproBan.