6 Reasons Why Dogs Rub Their Faces

presa canario dog rubbing face with their paw

Dogs are seen often rubbing their faces. Ever wonder why dogs rub their faces so much? It might be on the ground while on a walk, on furniture, or even on a wall. This behavior isn’t always a cause for alarm, but here are a few reasons why dogs rub their faces:

Why Do Dogs Rub Their Faces?

Intermittent rubbing of their faces is perfectly normal for dogs. They may have an itchy spot or perhaps a flea or bug is bothering them. It could be wet fur that is annoying them or an eye irritant. These are all logical reasons a dog may be rubbing their face. Here are a few more reasons why dogs rub their faces:

1. Their Collar is Bothering Them

Collars are necessary for walks and identification. However, collars can cause irritation to your dog. This is something to consider when weighing a dog collar vs dog harness. If your dog recently got a new collar, expect some adjustment with rubbing. If it continues, check and make sure they’re not having a reaction to the material, and consider switching to a harness.

Sometimes the collar is too tight and needs to be adjusted for comfort. If your dog is still growing, be sure to adjust the collar as they grow and choose the right dog collar for them. And, if your dog gains some weight, make sure their collar is adjusted accordingly. This should help take care of their discomfort and rubbing.

2. Your Dog Has Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can have allergies and it can cause irritation of the skin. This can lead to rubbing of their faces if the irritation continues. Dogs can be allergic to household cleaners, their toys, pollen, and even food.

If you notice rubbing after your dog is in contact with something specific, do some investigating to see if that object is the culprit. You may need your vet’s input as well if it continues. If it’s seasonal allergies, there are ways to help your dog survive seasonal allergies and reduce face rubbing.

3. They’re Marking Territory

Dogs are territorial animals. They want other dogs to know they live there and it is their home or space.

They do this by leaving their scent on an object. Often, rubbing their faces on the object is a good way of marking their territory. This is perfectly normal and to be expected with dogs.

4. Your Dog May Have Dental Pain

Your dog might have dental pain if they are rubbing their face a lot. Observe your dog as they are eating. If they are eating less, or chewing on one side of their mouth, they could be experiencing dental issues.

Check their mouth for bloody saliva and if it’s present, take your dog to the veterinarian. Loss of appetite, lethargy, and more are all symptoms you should never ignore in your dog. If you see these symptoms, it’s still a good idea to get to the vet.

5. It Could Be an Eye Irritation

Dogs play outside in the dirt and grass a lot and sometimes dust or dirt will get stuck in their eyes. Other times, they can develop an ulcer on their cornea.

Sometimes the irritant dislodges on its own, but other times it may be more serious. If your dog continues to rub their face or paw at their eye and keeps their eye shut, seek medical attention.

6. Your Dog Smells Something Good

Sometimes the cause of face rubbing isn’t serious at all! Dogs’ sense of smell is very strong and sometimes they rub their face on whatever smells delicious to them.

While this may be appealing to them, it might not smell good to us, depending on the source of the smell. Dogs may rub their faces on a dead animal, which is not ideal. But, a quick bath or spot cleaning will have your dog smelling fresh!

These are just a few reasons why dogs rub their faces. You know your dog best. If something feels off, get a second opinion from your vet. This will help keep your dog healthy and happy!