Dogs rolling in fox poo is a mystery to many people. Some people think it’s because they like the smell, while others think it’s because they’re trying to disguise themselves from predators.
Here’s everything you need to know about why dogs roll in fox poo and what it means for your pet’s health.
9 reasons why do dogs roll in fox poo
They Smell Great
The first and most obvious reason dogs roll in fox poo is because they smell great. Let’s face it, some of us smell better than others.
You could be like my sister-in-law who shaves her armpits twice a day or your sweet old grandma who hasn’t stepped foot out of her house in years, but you both still smell better than that pile of fresh fox poo your pup rolled around in on his walk.
Personally, I think those two are onto something with their bathing habits, just don’t say I told you so when someone asks you what perfume you’re wearing.
So what does a fox’s excrement smell like to dogs?
The main reason dogs love to roll around in fox poo is its strong odor. Like any other animal, a fox’s natural scent is as unique as his or her fingerprint.
They are looking for fleas
fleas are a common problem for dogs, particularly those that have an outdoor lifestyle. While a dog’s fur does help to keep them warm during cold months, it also acts as a suitable home for any number of pests, such as fleas and ticks.
When your dog rolls around in fox poo, they are attempting to rid themselves of any unwanted parasites. Fleas will often leave behind painful bites and scratching will only aggravate their discomfort.
By rolling around in mud or other substances that contain chemicals and oils (such as fox poo), they can kill off these creatures while simultaneously getting rid of any irritants that may be on their skin or hair.
This may also apply to other animals if you find your pets rolling around in animal droppings.
To protect themselves from insects such as ticks and mosquitos
While it’s true that foxes can carry ticks and other parasites, there’s no evidence to suggest that dogs rolling in fox poo prevents these problems.
A study from Oxford University found that dog owners are more likely to suffer from such blood-sucking pests and that humans are just as likely to pick up unwanted visitors from another dog’s saliva or scent.
So while your four-legged friend may be trying to ward off insect bites by rolling around in fox feces, he’s probably doing more harm than good.
When it comes to ticks and mosquitos, forget about rolling in fox poo; instead, just make sure you keep your pet’s fur short so any insects don’t have a place to hide.
They want to spread their scent over a large area
For dogs, as for many creatures, a strong, familiar scent is comforting. It helps to serve as a sort of find-me-beacon if you get lost from your owner or group members.
Rolling around in fox poo (or any other offensive-smelling substance) will spread your own scent over a wide area, letting those who know you best know where you are.
This can be especially helpful when hunting solo or out with just one or two others—if they miss seeing you, they’ll know to sniff around until they find your scent.
Find out why does my dog suck on blankets
They are marking their territory
Dogs roll around in poop, even their own, as a way to claim their turf and stake it with a familiar scent.
When dogs have found a place they like to call home—in your backyard or at Grandma’s house—they mark it by leaving their scent behind.
This allows them to return to that spot later and feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
It makes them look bigger
This is a common explanation for why dogs roll around in foxes’ feces. If a dog sees another animal, they immediately want to appear bigger than they are.
Many times, dog owners will see their pups do that and it looks pretty humorous; you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous their attempts at appearing larger than life seem.
They like the texture
Although it might be hard to believe, dogs seem to like some textures more than others. In fact, there are many pet owners who report that their dogs often roll in grass or dirt and have even been seen rolling in other animals’ poo.
It seems unlikely but scientists aren’t sure exactly why these odd behaviors occur so they’re trying to find out. One possible reason is that dogs just like how these textures feel.
Humans sometimes take mud baths for pleasure, so why not dogs?
There could also be a deeper purpose behind these actions though; perhaps it helps them protect themselves from pests and parasites by coating their bodies with something toxic or unpleasant tasting to certain bugs.
They want to keep warm
Being all bundled up is a great way to stay warm, but if you don’t have any clothes on and live in Siberia, you might want to consider rolling around naked in some fox poo instead.
Although it might seem gross and unnatural for dogs to roll around outside, dogs actually do it for their own protection from freezing temperatures.
The poo of animals like foxes, who have slightly higher body temperatures than other mammals due to a different metabolism, can help keep your dog’s body warm.
Their coat also traps more air between their fur and skin which acts as an additional insulator against low temperatures.
So next time your dog rolls around naked—he isn’t just being inappropriate; he just really wants to stay warm!
The soil acts as an insect repellent
Studies have shown that soil acts as an insect repellent, especially for ticks and fleas.
These types of parasites can be deadly to pets and wild animals, which is why foxes might roll on soils with high clay contents.
The more it’s been rolled on by other foxes, the more effective it is at protecting your pet from parasites.
Just make sure your dog doesn’t ingest any of it! If he does happen to get some in his mouth or accidentally eats some dirt, try not to worry too much.
Why does my dog love rolling in fox poo?
People don’t like their pets rolling around in dead animals and other animals’ faeces. Most of us who own dogs have had to wash the smell and mess off our pets before we let them back inside.
However, it’s very hard to stop this kind of natural behaviour, and we know that some dogs have a hard time resisting.
Rolling around in strong-smelling substances is thought to be a habit that their ancestors have passed down to them. There are a lot of different ideas about why they do this:
It hides their own smell, so they can get closer to their prey before they are found out.
How does Fox poop look like
Because it’s gross, you might want to look at what your dog rolled in to see what animal the poo came from.
If it’s fox poop, it will look a lot like dog poop, but it will be darker in colour and have twisted, pointy ends. Because it is a “fox,” it will smell very pungent and musky.
You can’t miss it after you’ve had a whiff.
Find out Are king snakes poisonous to dogs
3 Ways To Stop A Dog From Rolling In Poop
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with a dog rolling in poop, you know how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to stop your dog from engaging in this gross behavior.
Here are 3 ways to stop a dog from rolling in poop:
1. Keep them on a leash.
This is probably the most effective way to prevent your dog from rolling in poop. By keeping them on a leash, you can control where they go and what they have access to.
2. Train them not to do it.
If you catch your dog in the act of rolling in poop, make a loud noise to startle them and then immediately give them a command to stop. With consistent training, your dog will learn that rolling in poop is not acceptable behavior.
3. Clean them up immediately.
If your dog does manage to roll in poop, the best thing you can do is clean them up immediately. Use a dog shampoo to make sure they’re completely clean and then dry them off with a towel.
By following these tips, you can hopefully stop your dog from rolling in poop for good!
Even though fox poop seems like a strange thing for dogs to roll around in, there are quite a few reasons for it.
From preventing fleas to helping keep their fur clean and shiny, foxes definitely have a reason for producing such poo—and dogs definitely have a reason for rolling around in it. The more you know!
What do I do if my dog rolls in fox poo?
If your dog has rolled in fox poo, it is important to get him clean as soon as possible. This will prevent any potential diseases from being passed on by foxes, who are carriers of several potentially fatal illnesses.
Why do dogs roll on their backs in poop
They may want to disguise their scent from other predators or parasites, like flies and lice. Rolling around in fecal matter (like fox droppings) also sends a message to nearby canines: I’m not a threat!