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Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face? Find Out 11 Possible Reasons

Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face? Find Out 11 Possible Reasons

As a dog owner, you have probably wondered “Why is my dog rubbing their face so often?”

You have probably seen your dog rubbing its face on the carpet, walls, the ground, or almost anything they find solid enough to scratch.

Don’t worry, there are reasons for your dog’s behaviors, and some of them you may even find interesting.

If your pooch does this from time to time, it probably isn’t serious; however, there are some occasions where you may think about it twice.

If you want to find out, keep reading because we have provided you with eight possible reasons as to why do dogs rub their face!

Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face On The Ground?

There is no doubt that you have seen your dog rubbing its face on anything that is firm like the ground, the floor, walls, carpets, etc. They could enjoy rubbing their face on the ground, but if your pooch is rubbing its face most of the time, you should probably see a vet about it.

In the list below, you will find common reasons why your dog may rub its face:

1. It Is Normal

Sometimes, your doggo just feels like it and it wants to alleviate possible itching without any serious reason.

Especially, if you own dog breeds such as the bulldog or the pug, you’ll get used to their rubbing as they have facial wrinkles that cause them to rub their face more on a daily basis.

2. Itchy Face

First things first, they will rub their face in the morning to relieve themselves and clean eye boogers. He’ll probably use the carpet to clean his face.

Your doggo probably has something annoying on its face after eating, and he wants to get rid of it by rubbing its face with its paws or on the carpet. You can help him by wiping your dog’s face with a tissue, but that doesn’t mean that the dog won’t rub its face on other surfaces.

If your dog was outside playing, he’ll probably have dirt on his face, so that could also be the reason why he rubs his itchy face.

There is no need to worry!

3. Allergies

Just like people, dogs can have allergies. Allergies in dogs manifest extra itchiness.

As you might expect, their allergies affect their paws and face, so no wonder they rub their face across the ground to find relief.

During the summer months, allergies in dogs tend to be more expressed because of environmental allergens such as dust mites, grass, or pollen. You should pay more attention to your dog’s behavior during these periods of active allergens that can cause allergic reactions, so you can help your dog ease its allergy if you see him uncomfortable and itchy.

Dogs can also have food allergies, so if you notice your dog having itchiness, malodorous ears, itchy paws, or other skin changes after consuming certain food, make sure you cut it out of his diet and find another dog food.

This could be the answer to why do dogs rub their face more in the summer.

4. To Mark Their Territory

We all know that dogs mark their territory by urinating and defecating, but did you know that they leave their scent by rubbing their face or body on it?

When dogs rub their face on the ground or any surface, they leave pheromones, so they want every dog to know that they own that territory or object.

Even though we cannot smell their pheromones, dogs leave them because other dogs can.

5. To Sniff The Ground

Dogs have an intense and sharp sense of smell, and they are interested in what could possibly smell on the ground. If they smell something like perfume, freshly mowed grass, or anything weird, they will probably rub their face in order to sense it better.

6. Eye Or Ear Infection

Another reason why dogs rub their face with their paws is if they have an ear infection or an eye irritation.

Because of the length of a dog’s ears, and their ear canal that is L-shaped, you can often see your dog’s face rubbing on anything that could help him ease the pain that may occur.

Regarding a dog’s eyes, it is worth mentioning that many things can irritate your dog’s eyes. They can have a scratch, but their solution to get it out is by rubbing their face on any surface, and it usually isn’t a big problem.

If they have an eye infection, they’ll probably hold their eye shut, and you’ll notice that they are uncomfortable.

The best thing to do if you suspect any of these symptoms is to take your pooch to the vet. It doesn’t have to be anything too serious, but it is better to prevent it and treat it on time.

7. Collar Irritation

If you haven’t noticed your dog’s rubbing until you bought it a new collar, that discomfort could be a possible reason why it rubs its face and neck on surfaces.

Because new collars are unworn, they can be a bit tight and can cause irritation on a dog’s neck. Adjust your dog’s collar so you can easily put two fingers underneath it. It would be good for your dog if you take the collar off sometimes.

As pet parents, you should make sure to change their collar according to their growth.

8. Dental Problems

Just like you, your dog can also have a toothache. It can swell, but that is not always the case.

A bad tooth can be very painful, and your furry friend in need of help rubs its face in order to ease the pain.

You can recognize that your dog has pain in its mouth if it has bad breath, bloody saliva, if it eats less, or eats food that is soft. If you see any of these signs, you should see the vet immediately.

For puppies, rubbing their face could be a sign of teething, but it does get easier for them to handle it as their teeth start coming in.

9. Fleas Or Mites

Do dogs rub their face because they may have parasites? Yes, your dog may rub its face on the ground because of external parasites, which are ear mites like demodex, fox mange, and fleas that you can’t see, but are big irritants to your dog.

It can be very difficult to see and find mites because they tend to go deep into your dog’s skin. They cause infestations that manifest extreme itchiness.

If you have noticed that your dog has begun to rub itself and itch more than he usually does, contact your vet.

I would like to give a tip for dog owners, you should get your dogs preventive medications to stave off these external parasites.

Also, you can find some useful advice in our article on how to get rid of mites on dogs.

10. Brain Tumor

Brain tumors and head injuries are not so common; nonetheless, it is important to mention that it can be a possibility as to why your dog rubs its face. This serious issue would manifest symptoms like changes in your dogs’ behavior and seizures.

Why would my dog rub its face if he has a brain tumor? Because a brain tumor can put pressure on the brain, which is painful for your dog, he seeks to relieve his pain by rubbing his head against a wall or a hard surface.

Brain tumors can also manifest changes in vision or hearing, so if you notice diversity in your dog’s behavior, your vet should take a look at your dog.

11. He Loves It

If you rule out serious issues for why your dog may rub its face, you can take a break because your dog might just love it. They feel the textures of fabrics, and for them, it just feels so good. They love to rub their muzzle after they are done eating, and in that way, they probably express delight and joy.

If you’re a person who is a social media savvy person, and if he seems to just be having fun, it could be a great thing to share on social media with a catchy dog quote or two.


Why Does My Dog Rub His Face On The Carpet?

They probably just enjoy it. Sometimes, your dog cleans his face on the carpet by rubbing it; sometimes, they do it just for fun.

If your dog is a Pug or a Bulldog, you will possibly see your dog rubbing his face more often because of his facial wrinkles. Their face is more itchy and their facial folds collect more food, dirt, and bacteria. So, for him, the carpet would be the perfect spot to clean himself after he is done eating.

Why Does My Dog Rub His Face On Me?

Your dog probably rubs his face on you either because he wants to mark his scent on you, he is looking for attention, he wants to show you love, or it makes him feel safe.

I don’t think any dog owner would complain if sometimes his dog shows his affection this way. So, if your dog rubs his face on you from time to time, enjoy it as much as possible.

Why Does My Dog Keep Rubbing His Face With His Paws?

If your dog notices that you like it when he rubs or covers his face with his paws, he will probably repeat it because he knows that his trick entertains you, and sometimes he just wants to make you happy.

According to Wag, face covering should not be seen as negative behavior if there are no serious issues, and there is no need to discourage it.

Final Thoughts

I hope we have provided you with great reasons for: “Why do dogs rub their face?”. Evidently, there are many reasons for it.

They can do it for fun and pleasure, or they may have some issues.

We have seen that Bulldogs and Pugs are more likely to rub their face because of their wrinkles.

All in all, when you observe your dog and notice that there are no severe symptoms, you can stop worrying and enjoy your playtime with your furry companion.

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