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Dog Rubs Face on the Sofa or Carpet After Eating? Here’s Why

By Aviram K.
August 29, 2022
4 min read
Dog Rubs Face on the Sofa or Carpet After Eating? Here’s Why
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

It’s a typical evening, and you’ve just wrapped up dinner in your home. You take a sip of water, exhale and push your chair back from the table.

Sheesh, you’re stuffed!

As you rise up to carry your dishes to the sink, you take a peek at the ground to see how your dog liked his meal. That’s when you notice a familiar sight; his food is gone alright…and he’s rubbing his face all over the carpet…again!

You start to wonder to yourself: “he’s always rubbing his face after he eats…what does this mean?”

The most common reason dogs rub their face on the carpet or sofa after eating is to clean their mouths. However, they may also do it because they’re happy, it feels good, or in rarer cases, there might be something wrong with their health.

In this article, I will explore the reasons your dog may try to rub their face after eating. I will also explain what to do about post-meal face rubbing.

You don’t want to judge your pup because, hey, everyone has strange habits. But this whole face-rubbing after eating thing is a little odd. Are they hurt? Happy? Itchy? Still hungry?

If Fido’s face-rubbing has left you with questions, don’t worry, I’ve got answers!

Come with me as I uncover the meaning behind his behavior and what you can do about it.

Ready? Let’s go!

Table of Contents
01
Why Dogs Try to Rub Their Face After Eating
02
What You Can Do About the Post-Meal Face Rubbing
03
The Mystery of the Face-Rub Is Solved!

Why Dogs Try to Rub Their Face After Eating

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If you’ve noticed your pup seems addicted to rubbing their face on the carpet or sofa after eating, the simplest answer may be the right one: they may just be trying to clean his face.

Think about it, after you’ve had a big meal, you’re likely to straighten yourself up a bit too!

As humans, we’re keenly aware of the fact that the remnants of our meal may be showcased on our mouths, sticking out of our teeth, or have even made their way down to our clothes!

Your pup may not have the same social awareness that their food may be all over the place, but they can certainly feel wetness, crumbs, particles, and morsels that may be lingering around.

And since they can’t do it the “proper” way, your pup may be attempting to clean his face the best and only way he knows how: face-to-carpet scrubbing!

Although this is often the most common explanation, there are other reasons this may happen too. Some other reasons your dog may rub his face on the carpet or sofa after eating are:

They’re Happy

Your dog may be rubbing their face on the carpet to celebrate another great meal!

They may express gratitude, excitement, and appreciation for the meal by rubbing their face on the carpet or sofa. If this is the case, he may exhibit other “happy-dance” behaviors like wagging their tail and jumping around.

Health Problems

On the more serious side, your pup rubbing his face on the carpet after he eats could be a red flag. This action may be a clue to alert you to something deeper that could be wrong with his health.

A few health-related reasons your dog may do this include:

  • Dental issues like cavities, tartar build-up, and broken teeth
  • Infestation of tiny pests like fleas, ticks, and mites
  • Allergic reaction to food, medication, or something in the environment
  • Eye problems like a build-up of gunk or crust, which may signal an infection
  • Congestion, runny nose, or something obstructing nasal cavities
  • Ear infection or injury to the ear
  • & perhaps the most serious reason of all, brain tumors

This is much rarer, though. So don’t get alarmed just yet; unless your pup shows some other health-related symptoms.

It Just Feels Good

Your pup may rub their face on the carpet or sofa simply because they likes how it feels. Case closed; it truly may not be any deeper than that!

What You Can Do About the Post-Meal Face Rubbing

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Now you know why your pup may be rubbing his face against the carpet after eating. So let’s discuss what you can do about this post-meal face rubbing.

Since your pup’s face rubbing could have an underlying medical cause, first observe if you see any other physical symptoms. Are your dog’s eyes watery, are they having trouble breathing, are they panting, yelping, or flinching when touched?

If you see something else physically off with your pup, then the reason they are rubbing their face may be due to something going on health-wise. It’s best to take them for a trip to the vet to get to the root of the issue.

If you’ve ruled out medical issues, try getting a sense of your dog’s mood as they rub their face after eating.

Do they seem happy? Carefree or bouncy? Is their tail wagging?

You know your pup better than anyone. If they seem to be rubbing their face in a way that exudes happiness, they may just be feeling joyful! Or they may just love the way the carpet feels on their face.

In those cases, there’s really no reason to stop their on-the-floor frolicking. They can be free to rub on!

The Mystery of the Face-Rub Is Solved!

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No doubt, dogs have a lot of quirky little habits. The most consistent ones can be the cutest but also the most concerning!

Now you can lay to rest the mystery of what it means if your pup always loves to rub his face on the carpet or sofa after eating. Because, in most cases, it is totally harmless or otherwise a simple fix.

Your dog is likely just rubbing their face to clean it off, being a gentleman without even knowing it! They could also be expressing happiness, or they may love the way it feels.

There you have it! One action with several potential meanings. With a little patience and attunement to your pup, you’ll have the answer and a solution in no time!


Tags
EatingDog Food
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