Why Do Dogs Like Soap? (Find Out Now!)


Why do dogs like soap?

When bathing your dog, does your dog seem to relax? Even though they hate being hosed down, your dog may love the smell of soap. Who doesn’t like the smell of soap and feeling clean?

Dogs typically like soap because it reminds them of you, hides their scent, tastes good, and relieves anxiety. You can find your dog sometimes wandering around your home and smelling anything from soap to dryer sheets. Your dog might also like feeling clean, but their soap addiction could become a bad habit you need to break.

You may walk into the bathroom and accidentally walk in on your dog. That’s right, they may be burying their nose into your soap, and dogs love it. Some of the reasons are apparent, but by reading on, you can find out why your dog likes soap.

Why Does My Dog Like Soap? 

It is a common practice for your dog to smell, lick and roll in everything. Soap is no different; if it smells like something they like, you can guarantee your dog will want it. 

Sometimes any soap can be your dog’s new obsession. But why exactly does your dog like soap so much?

Soap Reminds Your Dog Of You

It is no surprise that your scent is everywhere. It is a common source of comfort for any pet and even any humans that you live with. Your mind can remember memories just by scent. 

Your dog has a nose that is so powerful and full of nerves and scent receptors. These receptors can sense and smell 40 times greater than our nose. The smell of you is sensed everywhere in your home, which is why a dog may love to lick your underwear.

They have neophilia in their nose that means they are attracted to interesting smells. Sensing and smelling you is a calming factor for your dog, and they are attracted to your scent. They know you are around, and your scent draws them in.

Soap Hides Your Dog’s Scent

It is not uncommon to see your dog’s muzzle buried in the grass and smelling anything and everything. Once dogs find something, whether good or bad, they roll in it. They roll because it is instinctual.

Dogs are pack animals, and in the wild, they roll in a scent to mask their own. With numerous packs around, they do not want any other pack knowing their whereabouts. This is commonly known as scent rolling.

You are their pack, and scent rolling in or on your soap is also a way to show community. It just feels good to be in a pack and smelling like the rest of their pack members. They want the scent to be associated with them as well. 

Soap Just Tastes Good To Your Dog

The dog food you feed your dog is supposed to have everything they need, but that’s not always the case. Dogs will look for extra nutrients in anything in their environment. Lack of nutrients means they may chew on toilet paper tubes and grass.

Soap can sometimes contain the nutrients that your dog is seeking. It can contain fat and oil that your dog genuinely wants to eat or needs in their diet. In looking at their dog food, you can see what they may need more of.

Depending on the age of your dog, chewing on soap may not be all that new. Puppies love the feel, taste, and smell of soap, and you can find them chewing on it. Chewing may be a sign of teething, and they need some new toys and chews.

In most cases, soap cannot hurt your dog but eating or chewing it too often can cause some stomach discomfort. You will need to re-evaluate your choice of toys and diet if needed.

Licking Soap Offers Stress And Anxiety Relief

Dogs are more prone to stress than most household pets. Stress can spike a form of stress eating called pica which means they eat anything and everything. Soap, because it can taste good, can become a stress reliever chew toy.

Stress can cause your dog to be destructive in daily habits such as chewing on couch pillows and shoes. Ingesting things like soap and the feel of it can be a comfort to your dog. Stress and dogs do not mix well and can cause some issues later.

Your dog may also suffer from anxiety. Anxiety and stress go hand in hand since dogs get attached to their owners. Anxiety can stem from being left alone all day to thunder during a storm.

When their anxiety peaks, dogs look for a comforting scent, and since your soap smells like you, they love it. Eating it and rolling on it gives them your scent and calms their nerves.

Dogs Love The Feel Of Clean

Dogs, though they love to roll in stinky scents, also love to smell good. You may notice your dog run and spin after a bath. Running is a sign they are relieved about being done with their bath, but it could mean they are happy.

Feeling clean and smelling like a familiar smell gives your dog a sense of relief. Using the same soap each time you wash your dog can be linked to cleaning and feeling happy. It is a sense of security and care.

If your dog doesn’t like water, stress from a bath causes your dog to have a running frenzy when done. Sometimes they are relieved to have a new smell so they can recharge their scent. It’s just a sign that after a bath and washing with soap your dog is brimming with pure joy.

Is Soap Okay For My Dog?

Depending on what type of soap you have or use, it depends on whether it is good for your dog’s belly. Most soaps are not toxic to your dog, and therefore they likely won’t pose a major threat to your pup. However, it can cause some tummy issues, so it’s best to make sure they don’t start chowing down on your bar of soap. 

Still, unless they eat large amounts, soap is very safe for your dog to roll in and even lick. If they tend to chew on soap, replacing the soap with a proper chew toy would be wise. Teaching your dog that soap is for being clean and not eating benefits everyone.

How To Break Your Dog’s Soap Obsession

Scent rolling is a common practice but can become annoying, especially if you find your soap bar missing. You can break this habit by doing the proper training to do positive reinforcement when they stop. Rolling on your soap isn’t bad unless they eat it a lot.

Eating soap may be a sign of something more than just boredom. Getting the correct medication and toys can treat their need to eat soap. A toy filled with a scent they love, like peanut butter, can draw their attention from soap.

It can take time to stop your dog from eating or liking your soap. Another technique is to rub soap or your scent all over their favorite blanket or bed. This ensures that they get your pack smell, and it gives them comfort without eating it.

Related Questions

Why does my dog like to lay on me?

Since dogs consider you and your family as part of their pack, this means they lay their body on yours. Lying on you is a sign of comfort and even acceptance. In a pack, dogs lie together and even on top of each other to show security and love.

Lying close to you is a way to receive comfort and security in return. Your dog may feel safe with you, and they show that by sleeping on you. The fact of the matter is, when they lay on you, they love you.

Why does my dog like to eat and roll in grass?

You may see your dog eating or chewing on grass. Dogs do not do this because they wish to be a cow but because grass has a lot of fiber. It helps in digestion and helps bodily functions run smoothly.

Rolling in the grass is an environmental and instinctual behavior. The grass is covered in scents, and they love to roll in the grass to mask their scent. Sometimes they love to roll in the dirt and grass because it is sometimes just warm from the sun.

Why does soap irritate my dog?

Certain soaps can affect your dog and their skin. Washing your dog with certain soaps may be too harsh for their fur and skin. Soap can wash off all the good oil and grease that your dog needs to be healthy.

Your dog’s health depends on you, and sometimes using the wrong soap can cause more problems than good. If they accidentally swallow soap, this can cause tummy issues. Also, be careful of the ears, because if soap gets in the ears, it can irritate them.

It is important to find and use a soap that is perfect for your dog. Dog soap can be beneficial if your dog has fleas or is smelly, but do not overdo it. Do not bathe them too often because you get rid of all the good oils that protect their skin naturally.

Stacy Randall

Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.

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