Apr 15

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I Smell Pretty…..Oh, So Pretty!

Dog Rolling in GrassYou just gave poochy a bath and she smells amazing.  The new shampoo you just bought smells like French vanilla and it’s really appealing to you.  The dog however is now rubbing herself on your walls, the furniture and when you take her outside, she decides she will roll around in the grass.  AHHH!  Although we may find the shampoo’s scent intoxicating, your dog does not like it at all.  A dog’s sense of smell is quite different than that of a human’s and the pleasant smells we enjoy can be quite overpowering to your canine’s olfactory senses.  By rolling in the carpet or grass, the dog is trying to rub the shampoo scent off of her.

Although no theory has actually been proven to be fact about why dogs display this behavior, some believe that it is a natural performance inherited by the canine ancestor, the wolf.  Wolves display the behavior of rolling around on dead carcasses or feces to cover up their own scent.  This conduct is thought to be in preparation to hunt.  Perhaps in the dog’s mind, bathing in the scented shampoo is ruining her ability to sneak up on prey.  Others believe that a dog rolling in what we find deplorable is their way of signaling to their canine friends that they found something amazing in the grass.  So although we may not truly understand why dogs have a need to smell doggy-like, it is a natural behavior and the use of an unscented shampoo in the future is a good idea.  Remember also that dogs (and cats for that matter) are usually put off by the sweet smell of candles and air fresheners.  As most of those products contain synthetic perfumes, an alternative is to use essential oils to make your own.  Twenty-five to thirty drops of lavender oil to two cups of water smells lovely and can also have a calming effect on your pooch.  So toss the French vanilla shampoo and enjoy the bouquet of your pooch smelling au naturale.

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