10 Reasons Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face On the Ground

Every dog owner has seen their furry friend run and rubs its face on the ground. Whether on the grass, carpet, or floor, dogs will get their face on it and start rubbing in. Most pet owners are confused about the potential reasons why do dogs rub their faces on the ground?

Why do dogs do this? Why do they always seem so happy when they are doing it? Is it normal behavior for them?

Some dog owners think that this is a common behavior for dogs. Yes, they are correct, but it is not considered normal in other circumstances. Excessive rubbing on the ground may call for a consultation with an expert. It could be a sign of some health issues that need to be addressed.

Dog owners must know the reasons why do dogs rub their faces on the ground. There are many good explanations for this behavior, which we will elaborate on in just a bit.

Why Do Dogs Rub Their Faces On The Ground

Often, there is no cause for concern when you see your dog rubbing their face on the ground. Our pets sometimes do silly or weird things, and it’s okay! Here are some potential reasons for such actions.

1. Cleaning Up Their Face

When dogs rub their faces on the ground, they are likely trying to clean up. Sometimes it is a sign that your pet has dirty paws and needs grooming.

After a day of playing, getting messy, and then taking a bath, your dog will like to roll on the ground or rub their faces. It is one of their ways to get something off their fur.

Your pet may also do this after eating to get rid of the food or broth that gets stuck on their face. It might be something sticky and irritates their face, so they start rubbing on the ground, carpet, or floor.

2. Uncomfortable Collar

Sometimes, dogs will start rubbing their faces on the ground because of an uncomfortable collar. A tight or too-loose band around your pet’s neck can irritate them and make them feel like they are being choked.

They might want to rub it away from their face by smacking it against something hard such as concrete or tiles.

Your pet may also do this when wearing a new collar that is too hard or tight. Make sure to buy a collar in the proper size – a soft and easily manageable collar for your pet.

If you have to buy new color recently, first checked to make sure it isn’t too tight. Make sure to check the collar as your pup is growing and adjust it with the neck size.

3. Your Dog Has Itchy Eyes

If a dog is rubbing their face on the ground, it might be because they have an itchy eye. They may do this to try and get relief from the itchiness that irritates them.

Check your pet’s eye for irritants. In some cases, chemicals from dog shampoo or soaps can also cause irritation.

If you notice your pet doing this often or any other visible signs of discomfort around its eyes, such as redness or discharge, then it is time to take them to the vet.

4. Dental Problems

If you notice that your pet is rubbing its face on the ground, it might be a sign of dental problems. Sometimes, they will do this to get rid of food caught between their teeth or relieve pain caused by tooth decay.

Dogs who have mouth diseases such as gingivitis can also suffer from excessive salivation. The irritation of their mouth can cause them to start rubbing the ground.

The problem may be more serious than just dental issues. It might involve gingival disease and swollen, inflamed or infected tonsils that are causing your pet to react this way.

5. Your Dog Might Have Parasites

A parasite such as a worm or tick on your pet’s face can start irritating it. Your pet will then rub its face against the ground to get rid of the pest that’s bothering them.

It can be anything from fleas, ticks, or worms. These pests can cause irritation and unbearable itching. Your dog’s face may also become swollen.

Check your dog for these pesky creepers and see if they are still there after removing one from the hair coat, skin folds, and ears.

Contact your veterinarian if this is the reason why your pet is rubbing its face on the ground.

6. Your Dog Might Have An Allergy

If your dog is rubbing their face against the ground, it might be because they are suffering from an allergy. Your pet’s skin or fur can become irritated by specific food or ingredient such as pollen, dust mites, and irritants in the air.

It could also signify a more serious condition, such as an allergy to fleas or mites.

7. It’s Because of their Wrinkled Face

If your dog is one of those breeds with wrinkly or squashed-up faces like the Pug or Bulldog, you will often see them rubbing their face on the ground.

Dogs with wrinkled faces often use grass, carpets, or the ground to soothe itch or irritations. These folds on their faces collect dirt, bacteria, or food, and it is difficult for them to clean it up with their tongue or paw.

It can irritate your dog and rub its face to relieve the discomfort. Thus, be sure to clean its facial folds regularly.

8. They Love the Smell of the Ground or Grass

When a dog rubs its face on the ground, they enjoy the smell of dirt or grass. It may also want to get rid of potential toxins that are coming from chemicals in its fur.

Humans and dogs seem to have different appreciation when it comes to scents. Our dogs love icky smells like grass, insects, or poop! The smell humans love, such as those in dog shampoos, is irritating for some dogs, so they automatically rub themselves on the ground to get rid of it!

9. Your Pup Maybe Teething

Young dogs teething may want to rub their face on the ground because they find it soothing. You will often see them licking or chewing on anything like a stick, rock, or plastic bag.

The sensation of rubbing against things such as grass and rocks might make your dog feel better due to its immature teeth cutting through the gums.

10. Ear Infection or Mites

Another possible reason why dog rubs their face on the ground is because of ear mites or infection.

The constant irritation caused by bacteria and yeast in its ears will make them want to rub their face against anything they can find, like grass or dirt. Your dog may also shake its head often because it feels irritated when the inside of its ears is sore.

An ear infection is very serious and needs to be treated by a vet as soon as possible because it can cause sepsis, anemia, or meningitis in your pet.

Is it Normal for Dogs to Rub Its Face on the Ground?

It is not unusual for dogs to rub their faces on the ground. However, it does depend on your dog’s breed and age and other factors like allergies or parasites that may be bothering them.

Tips to I Stop My Dog From Rubbing Its Face on the Ground

Dogs sometimes act weird, and rubbing their face on the ground is normal behavior. However, if this habit becomes excessive, look for its root cause and take action to prevent it.

Wash Your Dog’s Face Daily

Keeping your dog’s face and hair coat clean by washing regularly will prevent dirt, bacteria, or food from getting into the folds. It will also rid of irritants such as sticky food or foreign materials.

Brush Your Dogs Teeth

It is important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent tartar build up and gum disease. Tooth brushing also helps stimulate the gums, which can help with bad breath!

Keeping good oral hygiene also helps prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis and other conditions that cause discomfort to dogs.

Clean Your Dogs Eyes and Ears

Ask your vet for mild cleaning solutions for your dog’s eyes and ears. You can also use warm water and a cotton ball to do this.

Make it a regular habit to clean your dog around its eyes and underneath its ears to remove any irritants.

Change their Food or Diet if They Have Allergies

If your dog is always rubbing its face on the ground, then you may want to try changing their food or diet as they might have allergies.

It’s still unknown to scientists why some dogs are allergic, but it could be because of a lack of nutrients or protein in their diet.

A change will also help with bad breath and other symptoms such as itchiness and hair loss.

Give Them Food Rich Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Foods high in Omega-three fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the skin folds and improve skin and coat quality for dogs. It might also make their hair grow thicker!

Give Your Young Dogs A Chew Bone or Teething Toy

If you have a young dog that keeps rubbing its face on the ground due to teething, give it a chew bone or toy. It will prevent your pup from chewing on other items that are not appropriate for them to chew!

Check For Ticks, Mites, Fleas, and other Parasites

If your dog has some parasites that are making them itchy or irritated, you will need to clean and treat them quickly!

Consult with your vet for the best treatment option for this condition and give your dog freedom from itch and discomfort!


Dogs rubbing their faces on the ground might be a normal situation for many dog owners.

Dogs may be trying to get rid of the scent on their nose or mouth that they picked up from another animal. It could also just be something they enjoy doing, and it is a way for them to mark territory as well. Pet owners can ask themselves these questions when wondering why dogs rub their faces on the ground.

It is best to check and discover the real reason why your dog is behaving this way. However, it is normal for dogs to rub their face on the ground, such as those we’ve mentioned. Also, there could be an underlying health reason for it.

We hope we can share with you vital information on the possible causes of your dog’s weird behavior. Be sure to check out more of our posts for tips on how to handle the why’s about your dog’s actions!


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