February 16, 2023

Why dogs are instantly drawn to that mud puddle

Why dogs are instantly drawn to that mud puddle
Dr. Chris Brown

You know the drill. That trip to the park is going perfectly until word spreads there’s a puddle to leap into. Then it’s complete muddy chaos!

But have you ever wondered why they love mud so much? 

Hint: We have a lot to do with it!

Getting covered in mud and stench is made just that little bit harder to cope with by the fact it so often occurs when they’re at their cleanest, STRAIGHT after a bath.

But maybe it's no coincidence. More of that in a moment…

So here’s why they’re drawn to those muddy moments:

Reason #1: It’s fun. Of course it is. That splashing is the kind of chaos and movement they love. Just ask any spaniel or retriever owner. But it’s not the main reason…

Reason #2: It's cooling. On hot days, with no ability to sweat, just placing the belly in some water (or mud) can be important relief. But it's still not why they're magnetically drawn to mud...

Reason #3: The big one. And it might be a surprise. Mud…and really any puddle, is the ultimate camouflage kit. It covers them in an earthy organic scent that makes them smell like NOTHING at all. And that’s exactly how they like it…

Let me explain. Our furry family members might look like modern day dogs. And they are. But their genes are still 98% wolf. And so a large part of their mind still works the same way. So if we’ve recently bathed them in a strongly scented shampoo or sprayed perfumes or pungent colognes on them, it instantly goes against their instinctive need to just blend in and be themselves. 

Otherwise, their all important social interactions - herding and even hunting instincts - become nearly impossible. And every dog knows they're in the park before they even get there. 

So when they’re feeling stressed and exposed, they’ll do anything to mask their foreign smell.

The most effective mask just happens to be mud…or even just a puddle. And so they indulge…

Ultimately, the greatest gift you can give your bestie is to let them smell fresh and clean but not like cologne. Otherwise, the draw of the mud and the mayhem will be simply too much.

P.S. This is exactly why I’ve made my range of washes either completely unscented or lightly scented with natural (and calming) lavender. The goal has always been to keep them clean on the outside and calm on the inside… 

Nourish My Coat Wash Unscented
Nourish My Coat Wash Unscented

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