Has your dog rolled in fox poo? As dog owners, we all recognise and have come to dislike one of our furry companions’ least endearing habits, and that’s their tendency to roll in disgustingly smelly things. The top of the list of disgusting things is fox poo.
Fox poo is the worst because it stinks beyond belief, and trying to remove the mess and smell from your dog’s coat is a massive problem; never mind the mess it makes in the house before you can get your dog into the bath. It’s undoubtedly the “gift that keeps on giving.”
But why do dogs roll in fox poo? Is there a reason for this behaviour in our dogs?
Why Do Dogs Roll In Smelly Things?
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They don’t just roll in fox poo to give dogs their due. While that might hold the number one spot on the pungent list, dogs will roll in other disgusting things when fox poo isn’t readily available. Things like dead animals, dead fish, other dog’s poo, other animal’s poo, and if they can find some particularly pleasant-smelling pee.
While I believe it’s beyond our imagination even to begin to understand what’s going through a dog’s mind when they flip on their backs and start to rub themselves on fox poo, scientists offer a few theories.
Understanding why our dogs resort to this behaviour is fascinating, and all is well and good, but most dog owners want to know the quickest way to wash it off and get rid of the smell simultaneously. So I’m going to provide some tips on cleaning off the fox mess and how you might stop your dog from rolling in fox poo (and anything else smelly).
Why Do Dogs Roll In Other Animals Poop?
Many believe that dogs do this to disguise their scent trail so that any possible prey will be unable to detect them.
There’s a bit of an issue with this idea because it doesn’t make sense in some ways. Disguising themselves to smell like an even more powerful predator isn’t a clever way to avoid detection. If anything, it makes detection easier.
Perhaps a dog wants to smell like a predator, although I can’t find any substantial evidence that puts any truth in this idea. If a dog smells like a predator, it may deter other predators from coming too close, and they are more likely to move on to find easier prey. Your pet dog is descended from wild dogs, and part of that behaviour is built into them.
Once again, this theory has flaws because top-of-the-chain predators are known to do this, and there’s little to no risk of them being attacked and eaten.
Wolf research suggests that wolves may roll in animal faeces and carcasses to convey their scent back to the pack.
Returning to the pack covered in blood and guts might communicate to the pack that they have found food. Hyenas in Africa also enjoy rolling around in the blood and organs of their prey, which is pretty disgusting to us. Still, experts have found that the smelliest hyenas get a great deal of attention from the rest of the pack members.
I suppose what passes for entertainment for Hyenas is pretty rare, so that it might be exciting behaviour for them. From a doggy perspective, is this another form of communication? For me, though, it’s a stretch to believe what Hyenas in Africa do to communicate has any bearing on a domesticated dog that lives with its human family.
They Enjoy It
Why do dogs roll in fox poo? The simplest explanation is probably the simplest; dogs roll in fox poop because they enjoy it, and it’s fun.
By the look of ecstasy on the dog’s faces, they enjoy themselves thoroughly when they roll in fox poo. They rarely stop their actions until we get upset and pull them away.
Dogs have as many as 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses; when you compare that to humans, it’s fifty times more sensitive. In addition, the area of a dog’s brain responsible for analysing smells is forty times more powerful than ours.
It could be what we humans find a revolting smell; dogs think it’s more like Eau de Fox for the dog fraternity.
Why It’s Essential To Clean Your Dog After Rolling In Poo
While it’s smelly and inconvenient, even though it’s fun for the dog, you need to know how to clean when your dog rolls in fox poo and prevent the fox poo smell from lingering on your dog and in the home or car.
What Does Fox Poo Smell Like?
Fox poo generally smells terrible. If you’ve ever stepped in something while walking that didn’t smell like normal poo, then it was probably fox poo. The smell differs based on the food the fox eats, but it’s almost always incredibly stinky.
You must clean off your dog from a health standpoint as quickly as possible. Many of the intestinal parasites carried by foxes are transmissible to dogs. Hookworm, parasitic worms and lungworm can be unpleasant, causing anaemia and diarrhoea. However, you can prevent these parasites if your dog is wormed regularly.
Can Cause An Upset Stomach
Aside from the fact that fox poo includes a lot of bacteria, it can also cause an upset stomach in your dog if they inadvertently swallow or lick any off their body. Wash your hands after coming into contact with a dog that has been merrily rolling in fox poo.
You must thoroughly clean the dog before Children, pregnant women, and others with impaired immune systems touch or handle the dog.
How To Clean Fox Poo Off Your Dog?
Standard dog shampoos can’t clean fox poo and other nasty things your dog might have rolled in because they are not strong enough. After all, most dog shampoos don’t contain a deodoriser, and while the shampoo might wash your dog’s hair and remove the bacteria, the revolting fox poo smell is not going away anytime soon.
You want a dog shampoo that is effective in killing germs and odour-causing bacteria but simultaneously gentle on your dog’s skin.
Recommended Shampoo for How To Get Rid of Fox Poo Smell on Dog
We highly recommend ANIMOLOGY Fox Poo Dog Shampoo. This fox poo shampoo is not just tough on fox poo and the lingering smell it leaves behind; it’s equally efficient in removing the odour and residue of anything else your dog decides to roll in. This will leave your dog smelling fresh.
In addition to the essential deodoriser, the shampoo’s formula is low on foam, making it easy to rinse and preventing the time-consuming process of getting all the suds out under the shower.
Less time spent rinsing helps keep the whole bathroom from smelling like fox poo, and dog owners with long-haired pets will be particularly impressed. It contains an in-built conditioner with Pro-Vitamin B5 that will leave your dog’s coat soft and shiny. What’s even more crucial it will obliterate the smell of fox poo, which means your dog will be welcome in the home again without everyone gagging.
The shampoo is suitable for all dog breeds, even puppies, whatever their coat type or length.
We have also heard of a home remedy involving tomato ketchup rubbed into the fox poo with a damp cloth. We haven’t tried this, but if you have, please let us know how you get on.
How To Stop Your Dog Rolling In Fox Poo?
While we mention fox poo, in particular, this information is helpful whatever your dog rolls in.
I realise this is not always convenient, but avoiding areas where a fox has been is the most straightforward approach to keep your dog from rolling in fox poo.
If you live in the countryside or enjoy walking your dog in these areas, you may have difficulty because foxes are so common.
Ideally, please keep your dog on the lead so that you may quickly remove them from any odiferous surroundings. When a dog drops its head and body before it begins to roll, this can be a helpful warning sign if you’re quick enough and can yank them away.
Sometimes I see my Cockapoo Luna sniffing the ground at the same spot for a long time, and I know she’s about to roll in something unpleasant she’s found. I have to tell her to leave it firmly before she gives up the opportunity.
Teach Your Dog The “Leave It” Command
The “leave it” command is a crucial term your dog must understand and obey in the same way they should know the “stay” command. These commands should be taught very young and practised so the dog never forgets or gets lazy.
You don’t want your dog to go near so many potential hazards, not just to stop them from rolling in something disgusting. A well-trained dog instantly obeying the “leave it” command can be the difference between an affectionate pat on the head and a “good boy” to a visit to the emergency animal hospital. You will also need your dog to have good recall.
Dogs rolling in fox poo and other revolting-smelling objects seems a natural habit that most, if not all, dogs are given a chance will exhibit; it’s challenging to prevent. Dogs love getting poo or whatever on the neck area, although if the dog is an expert, they can get the mess all over their backs.
Final Thoughts on Why Do Dogs Roll In Fox Poo
What more can be done to deter naughty dogs from rolling in fox poo? Sadly, not much!
However, the risk is minimal if you have thoroughly dewormed your dog and family members aren’t allowed to handle the faeces. Even so, dealing with fox poo and other things isn’t fun, so please try to use these suggestions.
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.