Why Do Dogs Rub Their Faces On The Ground?
[All you need to know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Do you happen to see your dog rubbing their face on the ground often? Although this is a pretty common sight for most dog breeds, it can make new pet parents wonder why they do that. They rub their faces on grass, carpets, floor, and many other places in and around your house.

It is usual for dogs to rub their faces once in a while. On the contrary, if you happen to notice them excessively performing this behavior, it demands your attention and medical help.

In this article, we will address this very issue. We will go through the various reasons why dogs rub their faces, along with possible remedies for each causal factor. So, without any further delays, let’s cut to the chase.

Main Reasons Why Dogs Rub Their Faces

The most straightforward reason for rubbing the face is due to itching. Their fur may be wet, or there may be a case of skin allergies.

Although, this may not be the case at all times. The best response is to check your dog right away and observe if they are in some pain. If so, never indulge in self-medication. Instead, get it checked up with a registered veterinarian at the earliest. A delay in seeing the doctor can only make things worse.

Removal Of Dirt

Dogs tend to get dirty after a session of playing or outdoor games in the grass or sand. They may be rubbing their face and body on the carpet to get rid of the dirt or sand deposited.

Their face may be wet, and they are trying to get rid of the water by rubbing. This is another possible cause. The rubbing in such cases is pretty natural and not a cause of concern for you, the owner.

Their face may be wet, and they are trying to get rid of the water by rubbing. This is another possible cause. The rubbing in such cases is pretty natural and not a cause of concern for you, the owner.

Dog Collar Too Tight

Did you purchase a collar for your dog recently? First, ensure that the fit is not too tight. A good check would be to insert two of your fingers inside the collar and check if they move in and out. If not, it means that the collar’s fit is too tight and uncomfortable for your buddy.

Consequently, they will try to express their discomfort by rubbing their faces on the wall, floor, or anywhere they feel like.

Collars can also start getting tight due to your dog’s weight gain. Therefore, a potential control measure would be engaging them more in physical workouts, games, etc., and diet control. But, perform these steps only after consulting with a vet or an experienced dog trainer.

Development Of Allergies  

If your dog is rubbing and scratching its face in parallel, this can be a possible indication that they developed allergies.

There can be multiple reasons behind this. They could have developed it via their diet, dust, pollen, grass, and so on. You can easily recognize it as the dog would be relentlessly scratching particular body parts like the belly, armpits, or paws.

Attack of The Parasites

Dogs hate it when they’re body is attacked by parasites. You can quickly get to know this as they start to rub and scratch the affected body part vigorously. There are generally two categories of parasites as given below:

Internal Parasites

They tend to reside inside the dog’s body. A perfect example would be a tapeworm. When they attack, the canines will start to rub their bellies to relieve an itch. 

External Parasites

They settle on the dog’s exterior fur coat. Examples of the same include ticks, mites, or fleas.

If they land on the dog’s face, there will be a visible swelling or inflammation that will result in an unbearable feeling of itching themselves.

Parasitic attacks are not something to be ignored. They require medical attention, and as a responsible pet parent, you need to take your dog to the vet and strictly follow the prescribed medication at the earliest.

Teething Phase

If your pet dog is in the puppy phase of two to eight weeks of age, their milk teeth will get replaced with the adult ones. Due to this teething phase, the dogs can rub their faces on the ground.

Here again, the puppy performs this action as a countermeasure to tackle the pain involved with the teething.

Eye Irritation

Did you change your dog’s shampoo recently? We advise you only to get gentle shampoos that are soft on their eyes. 

Apart from this, there are other more severe medical conditions of ulcers in the cornea, inflammation in the outer eyes (also called Blepharitis), and eyelids.

Here too, taking your dog to the vet is completely necessary.

Dental Issues  

Your buddy may be rubbing their face as a result of suffering from dental problems. You can identify this issue if your dog is eating fewer food quantities recently or chew the food only on one side.

Other signs of dental problems include the presence of blood in the saliva and bad breath. Getting this problem sorted out with the help of a medical professional can be a painful procedure, but it has to be done to avoid it from getting worse.

Attraction Towards The Scent  

The scents which humans find attractive may not be so for dogs and vice versa. Dogs can be fans of the smell of many strange items like grass, poop, or insects. Therefore, they rub their faces and bodies to get that smell attached to them.

When you apply the same logic, you can understand why your dog runs off towards the grass or the carpet to get rid of the smell of shampoos or soaps right after their bath.

Breeds With Wrinkles 

Dog breeds with wrinkles such as Pugs or Bulldogs can cause them to rub their faces due to their physical structure. The reason is that the skin between the wrinkles can easily collect dust, bacteria, food, dirt, etc. that can cause irritation.

In order to dislodge this uneasiness, the dogs will resort to rubbing their faces on surfaces with friction.

Apart from all the above-listed reasons, your dog may be rubbing their body or face on random surfaces just because they enjoy doing it. Just like humans, dogs can also resort to a few irrational behaviors for the sake of it.  

Wrapping Things Up

Now you know the primary factors behind why your dog rubs their face on surfaces like the ground, carpet, wall, etc. However, if this behavior is repeatedly happening, never hesitate to get the medical expert’s help to have it sorted out.

Maintaining a solid hygiene regimen for your dog can help avoid most of the causal links behind this behavior. In addition, focus on your dog’s proper nutrition and make sure any grooming product is checked with the vet before applying it.

We have reached the end of this doggo article. We hope you could grab some valuable pointers from it. Follow the guidelines listed, and you can successfully regulate your dog’s unwanted behavior of rubbing their face frequently.