Why is it when you give your horse or dog a bath they can't wait to roll around in the dirt?
I don't care how long you wait, how dry they are, they cannot wait to roll, wailer, dig, and play in the dirt, mud, grass etc. They don't care as long as it's a different color than white. Do you have the same problem or an idea of what could possibly make them want to do this?
We have the same problem with one of our dogs! No matter what we do he goes out and starts rubbing his face and sides in the grass! If you don't let him out he does it on the carpet! It's cute but I have no idea why they do it!
Because they looove the smell of nature! Dirt, mud, dust, dead things... Ahhh, the odor of wilderness.
Maybe its because our horses and dogs like to keep their own smell , or the smell of their surroundings, so getting filthy again does that. Primeval instinct i reckon.
LOL Yes, I think we all do. Dogs don't have the same idea of smelling good that we have. I am not sure why they do it, but they may be trying to pick up a more "normal" dog smell.
With dogs it probably goes back to their ancestry from wolves. As far as I know dogs do this in order to cover up their scent. I would imagine this would have some benefit while out hunting, to disguise them from their prey.
Horses might be the same, in that if they were preyed on, then covering up their scent from their prey could have valuable survival benefits. It's only an idea, I'm sure animal specialists, vets etc. might know the answer.
It may be dirt to us, but it is a useful element to them.
Dirt is a sunscreen, protecting their skin from sunburn, especially where hair is sparse or short.
Dirt dries them off if they are wet or sweaty.
Dirt is a pest repellent. It makes it harder for insects to bite them.
Dirt scratches their itches while they are rolling. You can see this as they roll onto their backs and wiggle around.
BTW, it isn't just these two species but many. If you watch cattle, they paw the ground to create a dust storm around themselves. Even cats, as fastidious as they are known to be, will roll in the dirt.
We have to stop looking at things from a human angle and begin looking at it from their point of view if we want to understand why they do things.
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