Why Does My Dog Rub His Face After Eating? (7 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
dog rubbing his face after eating

After a long day of playing fetch and running around the park, there’s nothing my dog likes better than digging into his food bowl. But as soon as he’s finished eating, he immediately starts rubbing his face with his paws.

Have you had a similar experience with your dog? If so, you’re not alone. Here’re seven common reasons why your dog might be rubbing his face after eating.

1. A Dog Cleaning Ritual

While it may seem like strange behavior, there’s actually a good reason for your dog to rub his face after he eats.

When dogs eat, they often get food on their noses. This can be uncomfortable and even irritating, so they’ll often rub their faces to try to clean it off.

This is a perfectly natural grooming behavior for dogs, and it’s nothing to be concerned about. In fact, other dogs can even combine face rubbing with paw licking as well.

In addition, some dog breeds have more facial folds than others. When these dogs eat, their food can sometimes get trapped in the folds of their skin.

Rubbing their face helps to dislodge any bits of food that are stuck, preventing them from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

So if your dog has a lot of folds on his face, it’s important to help him clean them up after each meal. A quick rub on a towel should do the trick.

2. Excitement From Getting a Special Treat or Meal

Another possibility is that he’s just excited about getting a special treat or meal.

When we give our dogs something that they really enjoy, it’s not surprising that they would express their happiness by rubbing their faces against us.

This is especially likely if this behavior is followed by other signs of excitement, such as wagging his tail or panting.

3. Indigestion

After a big meal, it’s not uncommon for people to feel a little uncomfortable. Indigestion can cause bloating, gas, and even heartburn.

For dogs, the feeling is often even more pronounced. That’s why you might see your dog rubbing his face after eating. By pawing at his muzzle and cheeks, he’s trying to relieve the discomfort caused by indigestion.

The action also helps to release trapped gas. If your dog is frequently rubbing his face after meals followed by other signs of discomfort, such as whining or apparent pain, it might be a sign that he’s struggling with gastric distress.

Here are some signs that your dog might have indigestion:

  • watery eyes
  • vomiting
  • burping or gagging
  • coughing
  • smacking or licking his lips
  • pacing
  • restlessness
  • gurgling stomach
  • dry retching

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

Are There Preventative Measures I Can Take?

Chronic indigestion is a common problem in dogs, and it can be frustrating for both owners and pets. Preventive measures are key to dealing with the problem.

Some of the things you can do to help your dog avoid indigestion include:

Feed Them a Diet Filled with Low Acidity

First, it’s important to feed them a diet that is low in acidity.

Dogs are carnivores, which means that their diet should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. However, many commercially-prepared dog foods contain a significant amount of fillers and artificial ingredients.

These ingredients can be difficult for dogs to digest, and they may also cause intestinal distress.

For dogs with sensitive stomachs, it is often best to feed them food that is low in acidities such as lean meats, seafood, plenty of vegetables, and healthy fats.

Low acidity foods are easier for dogs to digest because they have less of an impact on their stomachs. This means that the food will pass through their system more quickly, which can help to prevent indigestion.

In addition, low acidity foods are often high in fiber, which is beneficial for the digestive system.

Feed Them Broccoli, pumpkin, and rice

In addition to a low acidity diet, you can also feed your dog broccoli, pumpkin, and rice.

They’re all excellent home remedies that can help to soothe your dog’s stomach and ease their discomfort. Broccoli, pumpkin, and rice are all excellent options.

Each one contains nutrients that can help to settle your dog’s stomach and ease nausea. Plus, they’re all easily digestible, so they won’t make your dog’s tummy any worse.

Just cook up a small portion of each and mix them together. Then, give it to your dog a little at a time until their stomach feels better.

Break Up Meals

Meal frequency is a vital part of keeping indigestion in check. Dogs that eat infrequently are more likely to experience problems with their digestion.

That’s because their stomachs have time to fill up and become distended, which can lead to discomfort and indigestion.

Ideally, if your dog is struggling with chronic indigestion, you might want to break up their meals into several smaller portions. This will help their stomach to digest the food more easily.

You can also try feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day rather than one or two large meals.

4. Something Stuck in His Teeth

Some dogs might have a tendency to rub their face after eating to get rid of anything that’s stuck in their teeth.

The process is similar to flossing; by rubbing their face against the ground, dogs are able to dislodge any particles that are stuck between their teeth.

Additionally, this action helps to stimulate the gums and remove any plaque that has built up.

Toothache can also cause a dog to rub his face after eating.

The most common reason is that the gums are swollen and the pain is radiating to other parts of the face. Another reason could be that there is a broken tooth that is causing sharp pains when anything comes in contact with it.

Cavities and tartar buildup can also lead to toothaches that may cause a dog to rub his face in an attempt to relieve the pain.

If you notice your dog doing this, it’s important to take him to the vet so that the cause of the toothache can be determined and treated.

In some cases, a toothache may just require a simple cleaning, but in other cases, it could be a sign of a more serious problem.

In the meantime, however, there are a few home remedies that can help to alleviate your dog’s discomfort.

One such remedy is to wrap an ice pack or a heat pack in a towel and gently hold it against your dog’s face. The ice can help to numb the pain, while the heat can help to soothe any inflammation.

5. Allergies

Allergies are a common problem in dogs and can cause severe itching and irritation, leading dogs to chew their footpads relentlessly, which can look a bit like they’re trying to rub their mouth with their paws.

In some cases, the irritation can become so severe that it leads to hair loss, open wounds, and secondary infections.

They can be caused by a variety of things, including food, pollen, and even cleaning products. While some allergies can be relatively minor, others can be quite serious, and they can often lead to other health problems.

Common symptoms include redness, tenderness, and goopiness around the eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to take your dog to the vet for a checkup. The vet will be able to determine if your dog is allergic to his food or something in his environment.

Should your vet determine that your dog has food allergies, they may prescribe a special diet to help alleviate the symptoms. This diet will likely be high in protein and low in carbohydrates, as these are the two main components of most dog foods.

By changing the ratio of these two ingredients, you can help to reduce or eliminate your dog’s allergies.

In addition, you may also need to change the type of protein and carbohydrates that you’re feeding your dog.

For example, if your dog is allergic to beef, you’ll need to change his food to novel protein sources, such as venison or turkey.

6. The Collar Is Too Tight

A collar that is too tight can cause a dog to rub his neck in an attempt to relieve the pressure, which can look a lot like he’s trying to rub his face.

This can lead to irritation and even sores on the dog’s skin. In addition, a tight collar can also restrict the dog’s movement and make it difficult for him to breathe.

As a result, it is important to ensure that a dog’s collar is not too tight. When choosing a collar, make sure to leave enough room so that you can fit two fingers comfortably between the collar and the dog’s neck.

If the collar is too loose, however, it can also pose a safety hazard, as the dog may be able to slip out of it. As such, it is important to find a balance between too tight and too loose.

7. Parasite Infestation

There are a variety of parasites that can infest a dog’s body and sink their teeth into the skin, causing intense irritation.

Fleas are the most common type of parasite, but there are also mites, ticks, and lice. These parasites can cause a dog to scratch and bite at his skin relentlessly in an attempt to get rid of them.

In addition to causing intense itching, these parasites can also lead to hair loss, open wounds, and secondary infections.

Here are some tips to combat these pesky parasites:

Regularly groom your dog and check for any signs of parasites

One of the best ways to combat fleas and mites is to regularly groom your dog and check for any signs of parasites.

By carefully examining your dog’s coat, you can often spot fleas and mites before they have a chance to do any real damage.

If you do find parasites, there are a number of effective treatments available.

Regular grooming also helps to build a bond between you and your dog and gives you a chance to check for any other health problems that may be developing.

So take the time to give your dog good grooming on a regular basis – it’s good for both of you.

Use a flea and tick repellent

There are a number of different flea and tick repellents on the market, and many of them are quite effective.

Repellents work by either killing the parasites outright or making them less likely to bite.

There are a number of different formulations available, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your dog’s age, weight, and health.

Bathe your dog in a flea bath

If your dog has a heavy infestation of fleas, you may need to give him a flea bath.

Flea baths are available at most pet stores and work by killing the fleas on contact.

To use a flea bath, simply wet your dog down with warm water and then work the flea bath into his coat. Let the flea bath sit on your dog for at least five minutes before rinsing it off.

Be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully, as some flea baths can be quite harsh.

Vacuum your house regularly

If your dog has fleas, there’s a good chance that your house does too.

To help prevent a flea infestation, vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture regularly.

Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag after each use, as it will likely be full of fleas.

Wash your dog’s bedding regularly

Another way to help prevent a flea infestation is to wash your dog’s bedding regularly.

The bedding should be washed in hot water and then dried on high heat to kill any fleas that may be hiding in the fabric.

By taking these steps, you can help to keep your dog’s environment free of fleas.

Use flea spray and powder

Flea spray and powder are two of the most popular options. Flea spray is typically used as a preventative measure, as it helps to keep fleas from gaining a foothold in your home.

Powder, on the other hand, is more effective at killing fleas and mites that are already present. It’s important to note that neither of these methods will work instantaneously – it may take a few days or even weeks to see results.

Use natural flea remedies, such as baking soda and water

Baking soda can be used as a natural flea repellent, as it absorbs the oils that fleas need to survive.

To use baking soda, simply mix it with water to form a paste and then rub it into your dog’s coat.

Let the paste sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.


Dogs may rub their faces after eating for a number of reasons, including to clean their face, to relieve itchiness, or to soothe a toothache. If your dog is rubbing his face after eating, and you suspect that something may be wrong, be sure to take him to the vet for an evaluation.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Dog Rub Themselves On The Carpet?

Have you ever noticed your dog rubbing their back along the carpet and wondered why they do it? It turns out that there are a few reasons.

First, it feels good. Your dog is probably enjoying the sensation of the soft fibers against their skin.

Second, they may be marking their territory. By rubbing themselves on the carpet, they are leaving their scent behind, which helps to keep other dogs away.

Finally, it could be that they are trying to relieve an itch. If your dog is constantly scratching themselves, it could be a sign that they have fleas or allergies.