The Real Reason Dogs Kick Grass After They Poop

Science has managed to answer most of mankind's questions about dogs. We know now that they are all boys while all cats are girls, and that those in the Goofy family of canines possess the gene for bipedal locomotion that dogs in the Pluto family do not. But what about the big questions? The ones that keep us up at night? Why, one is forced to ask, shaking their fist to the heavens, do dogs kick up grass after dropping a deuce?

The answer to that question is a two layer dookie cake. According to Dr. Patty Khuly at Vetstreet, a big part of the reason has to do with sanitation. They're putting in the minimal, instinct driven, plumbing-free effort to cover their excrement, either to avoid pests and predators or out of a level of common decency not often seen in the forest. 

The second reason might surprise you. It turns out that kicking the grass after a hardy bowel movement is just another way that pups mark their territory. Dogs have glands in their feet which release pheromones. The scent in these pheromones is, at least to doggos, longer lasting and stronger than the smell of a heavy poo, and as the folks at PetMD pointed out, kicking the dirt releases these goo-stanks. This can communicate "territorial claims, sexual availability, possible food trails and warnings of danger."

Should you worry that your dog kicks grass after it poops?

In case you were worried, this is 100 percent normal behavior, and the only thing it's going to harm is the smooth geography of your front lawn. If you're really concerned about it, there's a simple solution that requires zero expensive training classes or behavior modification tools: starting the next time your furry bestie needs to takes their post-coffee five, put them on a leash and take them for a walk and let them trash your neighbor's yard instead. You won't make a lot of new friends, but you'll be contributing in your small way to nature's infinite beauty. Bring bags.