Why Your Dog Is Kicking Up Grass

Let's talk about why your dog is kicking up grass.

Many dog owners have the misconception that dogs scratch the ground after urinating or defecating to clean their paws. This isn't true. Are dogs trying to kick up grass and dirt or cover their feces? Cats may do that, but that's not what dogs are doing either. So, why do dogs do this strange action that most dog owners don't understand? You may be surprised to find out that it's part of a wolf-like instinct in dogs. Still confused? Once you know all the facts it does make sense.

While it's probably more common in males, dogs of both sexes may do this scraping behavior with their hind legs after doing their business. You may think it's a bad or annoying habit, but it's actually an instinct. Dogs are descendants of wolves and wolves also do this scraping behavior. It's a way that dogs and wolves communicate to other through visual marks and scents.

Urine and feces leave a dog's unique scent. Dogs paws have scent glands in between their toes and when they scrape the ground it not only leaves even more of their unique scent, but it also leaves visual scrapes in the grass or dirt. If any other dog comes by their will smell the scents and see the scrapes. What does this mean? It's a way to communication territory and dominance. In a way it sends a message telling other dogs to stay away.

You are probably familiar with dogs marking their territory. Some dogs will do this by urinating in many different spots to mark the boundaries of their territory. Some dogs do the scraping technique of marking territory. These things are natural and you really shouldn't get mad at your dog for doing them. Sometimes getting a male dog neutered can reduce their urge to mark their territory. However, sometimes even females will scrape the ground.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.