Dog Behaviors

Is It Good To Play In Mud For Dogs?

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by Amie Taylor

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Dogs are human’s best buds and, most probably, the most precious pets for humans. Nevertheless, for all the advantages and disadvantages of having a dog, these creatures bring a particular amount of chaos to our homes.

This happens because dogs just love mud. The view is that dogs instinctively want to hide their smell. That’s a trait, even seen in wolves, which let them easily sneak up on target.

Mud and dogs go together like belly rubs and tail wags. Whenever your dog spots mud, particularly a muddy puddle, the foremost thing your dog will wish to do is to leap directly into it. Thus, what is behind this exceptional affair?

More significantly, is there any special thing a dog owner can do to prevent their dog from getting coated in mud every single time they go to a dog park during the rainy season?

Let’s learn in detail.

Why Do Dogs Rub Themselves In The Wet mud?

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Dogs are quite genetically made to love wet mud and also dirt. Some specialists believe that dogs are interested in muddy puddles and it has something to do with their method of self-protection. By simply rolling in wet mud, your pup can erase its smell, and also hide from possible enemies.

Remarkably, this does not mean that your pup is sensing surrounding risk or afraid in case they choose to take a quick mud bath. Also, domesticated and happy dogs can often feel the wild’s call when they notice a muddy puddle around.

Here are a few other explanations why pups love to play in mud:

1. It Is A Way For Controlling Their Body Temperature

Dogs turn to dirt and mud as an ideal way to control temperature on a hot summer day. A flimsy coating of mud benefits to protect your dog from the hot summer heat, as well as make sure they are left feeling more relaxed for longer.

In case your dog runs for a mud puddle and it is a seriously hot summer day, your dog may also be attracted even more to the mud than to the dirt in it.

2. Dogs Love The Earthy Scent

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Often, pups use mud so that they can mask their odor from threats and predators – other times, dogs just enjoy playing with it, treating it as a type of fragrance.

Keep in mind, pups are naturally outdoor animals whose predecessors spent the maximum of their time in nature, dogs may only like the scent of their surroundings.

In case your dog has been recent to the professional groomer, or you have cleaned them with a perfumed shampoo, they may even use mud and try to get rid of the smell they do not quite like.

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3. Play In Mud For Dogs Is Fun

You can’t deny it, in case you can go with your dog for rolling around in the mud, you would perhaps do it often. Splashing around in the mud puddle is certainly a great method for your pooch to end a great day of digging in the wonderful outdoors.

In case you have a habit of squealing or laughing with joy every time your dog jumps in the wet mud, then your dog may take it as a sign that you appreciate mud puddle games just as much they do.

4. Your Pup Loves The Muddy Taste

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Yes, you read that right. Often you will see your pup eating mud while playing with mud. sometimes, this is not an indication of anything harmful.

Just like consuming random bits of grass or fluff, eating mud will not always mean something is going wrong with your pup.

Nevertheless, in case your dog starts snacking on mud or dirt regularly, then it might be better to take them immediately to the veterinarian.

Occasionally, eating mud or dirt can be an indication of a health issue like pica or anemia. It could even mean your pooch is bored or stressed or even has nutritional deficiencies that it is trying to overpower with mud or dirt.

A canine who regularly consumes mud or dirt is even more likely to get infected with harmful bacteria and parasites too – so, you need to be very careful and attentive toward your dog.

5. They Are Acting Out

Often dogs play in wet mud in your back door precisely because they wish to get the owner’s attention.

In case your pup is seeking some attention from you, and he knows you are either going to play with it or start shouting when it initiates jumping around in the mud – then that is what it is going to do repeatedly. Behavior like this can be an indication your pooch needs a little additional training.

Reasons For Dogs To Eating Dirt And Mud?

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Dogs consume dirt and mud for many reasons. The lust for munching on diet might be stress or boredom, or it can simply be because the dog smelled something delicious mixed in the dirt.

But it can also indicate an underlying health issue or an absence of proper nutrition, According to the AKC (American Kennel Club). Compulsive geophagia may be an indication that your pup has the following problems.

1. Upset Stomach or Gastrointestinal Disturbance

Dogs may eat dirt and mud to soothe rumbling bowels or upset stomachs. However, in case your pooch is having tummy problems, they are more likely to consume grass, according to the AKC. Mainly in such situations they grass, but with grass, it is common to eat some dirt or soil.

2. Anemia

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Well, Anemia in pooches is a certain condition that causes due to low hemoglobin levels or blood cell count. Anemia can be generated by an imbalance of nutrition in your dog.

An anemic canine may turn to consume dirt or mud instinctively in an attempt to reform any flaws causing this issue. The only method to diagnose anemia reliably is via blood work tests.

3. Nutritional Imbalance or Mineral Deficiency

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Besides anemia, another nutritional imbalance could spur the dog to gobble some dirt or mud. Eating dirt or mud can be an indication that your pooch is not getting sufficient essential minerals that their body needs for a sound health condition.

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Or, a hormonal problem could be stopping your pooch from absorbing the nutrients and minerals in their diet. Nutritional imbalances in healthy dogs are very rare, so ensure to talk to your vet about selecting the best dog diet for your dog.

Should I Allow My Dog To Play In Mud And Take Mud Bath?

For a variety of reasons, dogs love playing around in the mud. Although it is undoubtedly inconvenient for dog owners who love keeping their dogs clean, the behavior is usually not a matter of concern and you can clean your dog as before.

Consider the above-mentioned issues so that you can easily learn how to prevent your dog from getting into mud puddles in the future.

Your dog’s Genes might be predisposed to love mud. Although our domesticated puppies may no longer be left to fight themselves in the wild, they nonetheless possess a few of the same conducts, including the love of mud.

Some experts think a dog’s fascination with mud may be related to a long-ago defense mechanism. To hide from surrounding foes, wild dogs would frequently dig in the mud or dirt and roll around in the mud or dirt to cover up their scent.

Even if they might not perceive other opponents as a threat, our domesticated puppies could nevertheless feel the need to play around in the mud whenever they get the chance. Playing in the mud may be as natural an activity for our animal friends as barking.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Playing In The Mud?

No matter what trick you use, you are perhaps never going to persuade your dog that mud is not the best food. Nevertheless, there are a few things dog owners can do to make things a little bit less difficult for you.

Letting your dog play in the mud is certainly a good idea. It’s also clear that preventing your dog from playing in the mud or taking them a mud bath is not an easy task. It is quite challenging but not impossible.

So, let’s learn more about the tricks to prevent your four-legged friend from playing around in the muddy puddle.

1. Avoid Walks With Your Dog On Rainy Days

In case you are going for an evening walk with your pup on a rainy day, then try to stick to the locations and sidewalks where you aren’t as likely to walk on mud pools.

In case you notice areas of mud, attempt to walk away from them and keep your pooch from jumping in the mud. No matter how adorable faces they make for playing in the muddy puddle, do not allow them to do so.

2. Distract Your Dog From The Mud

In case your dog runs to the mud puddle soon after seeing one, try your best to distract them using another delightful activity. For this, you can either play a game with your dog, play tug of war with your dog or do any other fun activities your dog enjoys the most.

3. Do Not Encourage Your Dog’s Behavior:

Although this might appear like a noticeable tip, it isn’t as straightforward as it appears. It is difficult not to smile and giggle when you notice your dog wrapped in dirty mud. However, you shouldn’t make playing with the mud appear like too much of a fun thing for your pup.

This does not mean yelling at or disciplining your pup though. They will not understand why you are upset, as well as you can end up disturbing them.

4. Train Them To Maintain Distance From Mud

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Try to utilize positive training methods to train your dog to maintain a certain distance from mud puddles. For this, one can use an intense sound every time one pooch approaches a mud puddle. Moreover, you can reward them when they successfully stay away from entering the mud paddle.

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You can even walk away from them any time they intend to dive into a mud puddle, letting them know that jumping in the mud puddle will result in pulling your attention away from them. This may take time, however, is usually successful with continuity.

5. Try Saying “NO” To Your Dog

As soon as your dog starts running towards mud, say “no” to them in the exact way you wish to discourage their other behaviors.

In case your dog resists the desire to go for a mud-jumping, try to reward them with a lot of positivity and dog treats. This will teach them that they should avoid jumping in the mud.

Tips to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Dirt

In case a health issue or nutritional imbalance is the core reason for your dog’s dirt consumption, then boosting your dog’s diet or treating the issue should prevent the behavior.

Nevertheless, if consuming dirt has turned into a habit for your dog that needs further attention, here are a few strategies you can try to prevent your dog from eating dirt:

  • Leash your pup whenever you two go outside so that you can lead your dog away from places with exposed mud
  • Provide a solid distraction when your pup starts swallowing dirt. Also, you can distract your dog with a loud noise or a verbal command, or by presenting a toy to play with or chew on instead of going to the mud puddle
  • Ensure your pup gets a lot of mental stimulation and physical activity to help reduce stress and stop them from consuming dirt because of boredom or stress
  • Remove indoor plants or put them out of your dog’s reach
  • Address any possible causes of anxiety in your pup’s life, for example, a big modification in family structure or routine or separation anxiety. This can be because your dog just needs time to adapt.

In case none of the above suggestions work for you, you need to pursue help from an experienced dog behavior specialist or trainer to break this practice.

While consuming dirt or mud might not be rare among canines, it is not safe to allow them to continue eating dirt or mud. The sooner you take action to prevent such behavior, the better it will be for the dog’s well-being and health.

Final Words

So, it is certain that a dog loves to play in the mud but it does not mean you have to allow your dog to do so. If you allow your dog for such fun activities then it can be quite difficult to clean them up regularly.

You need to find a solution as soon as possible. For this, you can hire a behavioral specialist or professional trainer who may be your most satisfactory bet to fixing it since they can identify the distinctive reasons why your puppy, in particular, appreciates playing around in the mud.

Also, behavioral specialists or professional trainers can provide you with the best techniques to invest in your home to decrease the amount of dirt they track in.

However, even after being trained properly, your dog may still get involved in mud play. In such cases, make sure you clean them properly.

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