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5 Reasons Why Dogs Love Leaves (& Like Jumping Into Them)

Why Do Dogs Love Leaves

Does your dog go crazy about leaves?

Whether it’s chasing them, tearing them apart, rolling or jumping into them, you can’t help but wonder why.

What makes leaves so appealing to dogs? 

Read on and discover:

  • 5 reasons why your dog loves to jump and roll in leaf piles.
  • 5 possible dangers you must be aware of if your canine does that often. 
  • 5 easy tips on what to do if your furbaby just can’t stay away from leaves.
  • And many more…

Why do dogs love (jumping and rolling in) leaves?

Dogs love (jumping and rolling) in leaves because they find the smell irresistible. Plus, leaves are amusing for dogs. Canines love to play with them, especially when bored. The fact that leaves move makes dogs curious about them. Some dogs become obsessed with leaves as a result of OCD.

Have you heard about Stella, the dog who loves to jump on the pile of leaves?

I can just imagine her happiness jumping on it. 

“Oh man, this is heaven.” I can definitely hear her say it. 

Stella has nothing but pure joy on her face. Jumping several times on the stockpile of leaves. 

Watching her videos makes me wonder why dogs love leaves so much. Are you curious about that too?

5 reasons why dogs love (jumping and rolling in) leaves

#1: It’s amusing

Research shows the similarities in social intelligence between dogs and toddlers. 

Dogs and toddlers are more similar than toddlers and Chimpanzees. This information is mind-blowing. We all know that humans are the closest relatives of Chimpanzees. 

Anyway, you can expect your fur baby to act like a 2-year-old kid. 

The similarities between the two are superficial, according to Dr. Evan MacLean – the director of Arizona Canine Cognition Center. 

Think back to when you were a toddler. How many things amused you? I bet you also found leaves amusing, didn’t you?

That’s the same feeling your canine has every time they see a falling leaf or a pile of leaves. They’re amusing, tempting, and wonderful in their eyes. 

Falling leaves are magical to them. That’s why they jump and roll on leaves. 

It is easier for you to imagine it if you’re a Kdrama (Korean drama) fanatic:

When the lead actress walks on a path full of cherry blossoms and the petals fall. The scene is in slow motion, with a piece of perfect music in the background that makes it magical. 

That’s how your dog feels about it. They feel like they’re on cloud nine. So think about this scene the next time you see your fur baby jumping and rolling in leaves.

This way, you’ll understand how they feel. 

#2: Irresistible smell

James C. Walker is a scientist. He said that dogs’ sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than humans. 

They have 300 million olfactory receptors on their noses. While humans only have 6 million, according to Dr. David Dorman. 

So the part of the dog’s brain used to interpret smell is 40 times larger than the humans. 

A dog’s nose is very important to them. They use it together with their sight to communicate and assess their surroundings. Your canine uses olfactory receptors to gather information. 

These are also known as smell or odorant receptors. They help your dog identify things. Examples of this are foods, enemies, potential mating partners, and dangers. 

Unlike you, your fur baby loves the smell of rot. They find uncanny smells appealing. Garbage, decomposing animal bodies, and an old stockpile of leaves are only a few examples. 

The rotting smell of leaves excites them. They love it so much that they roll over them. So the smell will spread all over their body.

#3: Because of how leaves move

Dogs Chase Leaves

Let’s go back to the Korean actress I was talking about earlier. 

Seeing how the petals smoothly dance in the air… slowly falling above her head, makes her smile.

She jumps to catch the other falling petals because it was appealing to her. It’s wonderful.

That’s exactly how your dog sees it. It’s exciting and fun for them. They want to run around like crazy. 

According to AKC, the desire of many dogs to chase is inherent. This behavior is highly self-rewarding to them because they enjoy it so much. 

#4: Your furbaby is bored

Dogs always long for their humans’ attention and interaction. When they’re bored, they look for things that they find interesting.

But what’s interesting and fun to them might destroy your home. They might eat things they see on the floor, such as shoes, socks, and others. Sometimes they destroy your furniture.

It’s pure joy for them. And a headache for you….

When your canine is outside and bored, they might play with and eat leaves. If you don’t want that to happen, you can get a chew toy to occupy their attention.

#5: They are obsessed

Is your furbaby obsessed with hunting leaves?

Some dogs are obsessed with hunting for leaves. Especially the leaves that blew in the air.

It is funny at first, but if your dog is frequently doing it, it can be bothersome.

A lot of dog parents say that dogs being obsessed with leaves is nothing to worry about.

My question is when to know if your furbaby’s behavior is no longer normal?

Chasing items like leaves can become an obsessive condition for your canine. Most dog parents know moving objects attract some dogs. They’re curious about it and may chase them.

This condition in dogs is called Compulsive Disorder. It is the same with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD that occurs in humans. 

PetMD says compulsive disorders are exaggerations of normal behavior in dogs. Your dog might have OCD if they exhibit this behavior longer than the expected periods. Hunting leaves obsessively is an example of this.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pacing.
  • Circling.
  • Chasing.
  • Fly snapping.
  • Flank sucking.
  • Self-mutilation.
  • Licking in the air.
  • Excessive drinking.
  • Acral lick dermatitis.
  • Staring and freezing.
  • Rhythmic or incessant barking.
  • Chewing on objects or pet parents.

According to VCA Hospital, the cause of OCD is unknown. Yet this is more common in dogs receiving too much calcium in their diet and energy.

Hormonal factors, genetics, lack of blood flow, rapid growth, and trauma might also cause OCD.

You can always call your veterinarian if you observe this behavior in your pet.

5 dangers if your dog loves leaves

#1: Poisonous animals or insects

Seeing your furbaby going crazy running around leaves makes you laugh. And you feel happy watching them do those silly things. 

The way they jump and roll on the pile of leaves is very entertaining to watch. 

But allowing your dog to jump in a stockpile of leaves could be dangerous. Especially if you’re not the one who piles those leaves. 

You’ll never know what hides in that stockpile of leaves. There might be poisonous insects or animals lurking in there. These could be invisible to your naked eyes. 

Other poisonous animals like snakes or even insects could be hiding there, ready to bite your precious dog. So next time, make sure you check the leaf pile for visible insects or critters before allowing your canine to jump in it.

#2: May experience PICA

Your Dog May Experience Pica That's Why It Loves Leaves

PICA is a condition that makes your dog eat non-food items. It could be dirt, fabrics, rocks, and even leaves.

This condition is behavioral. Yet, it’s necessary to take into consideration the medical condition behind it.

Examples of medical condition that causes PICA:

  • Anemia.
  • Parasite.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Liver disease.

West Park Animal Hospital said you and your vet must look at causes and prevention. You can do this once your furbaby is eating non-food items for behavioral reasons.

Some behavioral reasons of PICA:

  • Boredom.
  • Learned behavior.
  • Stress or anxiety.
  • Fear of punishment. 

Here, when your dog loves to play with leaves and accidentally eats them. It could become a learned behavior that causes PICA in the long run.

The danger of eating leaves is not as dangerous as swallowing socks. 

Your canine’s stomach can’t fully digest leaves. But unlike socks, leaves are the least problematic. It can’t damage or block your pet’s intestines. 

Dogs can easily get bored, and they’re curious creatures. They explore and assess things through their nose and mouth. So they tend to eat things they find enjoyable or interesting. 

A leaf is both entertaining and fascinating to your furbaby. So it’s not surprising if they eat one. 

Just observe them as much as possible and don’t allow them to eat leaves. They may suffer from digestive disorders or may develop a habit of eating non-food items. 

#3: Other types of leaves are toxic

Dogs put anything in their mouth. When your furbaby loves leaves, it might chew or eat leaves and even nuts that fall from the tree. 

You might not see the danger of chewing nuts and leaves. And yes, most of them are safe. However, some certain leaves and nuts are poisonous to your dog. 

Poisonous nuts and leaves to dogs:

  • Yews.
  • Ficus.
  • Oaktree.
  • Avocado.
  • Angelica.
  • Oleander.
  • Pine trees.
  • Chinaberry.
  • Coffee tree.
  • Golden chain.
  • American holly.
  • Horse chestnut.
  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Yellowbird of paradise.
  • Schefflera or umbrella tree.

#4: Old piles might have molds and bacteria 

An old stockpile of leaves has more moisture than a new one. Letting your canine play on an old pile of leaves may be dangerous for your dog. 

Molds and bacteria are present in moisturized environments. Your furbaby can catch bacterial infections or inhale the spores from molds. 

Symptoms of mold sickness in dogs:

  • Lethargy.
  • Hair loss.
  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Scratching.
  • Runny nose.
  • Head shaking.
  • Noisy breathing.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Eyes discharges.
  • Labored breathing.
  • Changes in behavior.
  • Self chewing or licking.
  • Face rub on floors or furniture.

Note: Vet visits can be pricey. So taking extra precautions for your pet will save both your furbaby and your money. 

#5: Hidden sharp branches or objects

A stockpile of leaves is like a mystery box. You’ll never know what you can get. It’s mysterious and fun at the same time.

Maybe that’s how your canine feels when they jump on a pile of leaves. 

Rolling and jumping around gives a lot of pleasure to your furbaby. It’s very rewarding. However, your dog’s safety is more important than entertainment. 

So make sure that the place they’re having fun with will not be a place of danger for them. 

One of the best things you can do to make sure they’re safe is to inspect and look for hidden sharp branches or objects. Do this, especially if you’re not the one who piles the leaves. 

This might be a little tiring for you. But seeing your doggo bleeding caused by a sharp object that hid in that pile would be more tiring and horrifying.  

According to VCA Hospital, a shock may occur when a vast amount of blood is lost over a short time. When your canine is in shock, there will be an increase in heart rate. Plus, your dog will experience low blood pressure.  

Things to happen when left untreated:

  • Organ system shut down.
  • Suffer permanent damage.
  • The worst-case scenario is death. 

It is important to remember that every minute counts. You should know how to control the bleeding from your canine’s body to prevent shock before rescue arrives. 

5 tips on what to do if your dog loves leaves

#1: You should supervise your doggo

Being a pet owner means having certain responsibilities to make sure that your furbaby’s welfare is good. 

Responsibilities of a great dog parent:

  • Dental health.
  • Keep them safe. 
  • Let them socialize.
  • Give them proper training. 
  • Shower them with so much love.
  • Add mental and physical stimulation.
  • Provide nutritious and balanced diets.
  • Arrange an annual check-up for your canine.
  • Clean up after them especially in public places. 

One way to keep your furbaby safe is by supervising them. Especially when they’re playing in a stockpile of leaves. 

This will help you avoid unwanted diseases or accidents that may threaten your dog’s precious life. 

#2: Check for ticks and other pests

Another way to show your love to your furbaby is by inspecting if their play area is secure from potential danger. 

Ticks and other pests like humid areas, so you can expect some of them in a pile of leaves. 

I know, I know. Finding ticks and other pests in leaves stockpile can be challenging. Because most likely they’re small and others have the same color as the leaves. 

The best thing to do is to scan the body of your dog after they’re done playing with leaves. This way, it will be easier for you to examine if they have little monsters on their body. 

Surely, your furbaby will thank you for making this extra step to take good care of them. 

#3: Create your stockpile of leaves

When your furbaby is so precious to you. You’ll do anything in your power to make sure that they’re doing well. 

If you’re too afraid your dog’s health or life will be endangered. And you love your furbaby so much, you can create your stockpile of leaf for them. 

This way, you’re sure that there are no sharp objects that can cut your canine while jumping around the pile. 

Sure, other things are uncontrollable. Yet your primary goal here is to cut the danger your doggo may encounter. If your furbaby is so crazy about leaves, there is no such thing as 100% safety precaution. It’s impossible.

Unless you quarantine them that is. 

#4: Avoid going to leaf piles

I discussed above the dangers your dog may encounter if they love leaves so much.

If you avoid your canine from going to leaf piles, you will get rid of the 3 out of the 5 dangers. 

They’re no longer prone to lacerations from sharp objects.

Your doggo can avoid the danger of being bitten by poisonous insects and animals.

Plus, your furbaby will most likely avoid molds and bacterial infections. 

#5: Use a short lead

Using a short lead while walking outside will help you control the movement of your canine. 

However, please make sure that you’re not hurting them when you do this. Just train your dog not to go crazy playing with leaves. 

It will be hard for them to jump and roll any time they want if you use a shorter lead. And it will keep your doggo from chasing the falling leaves. 

Trying this for the first time may be difficult. Particularly, if you have a bigger dog. And if they have been playing with leaves for a long time already. 

Training them to undo what they used to do takes time. Especially if they have a blast doing it.