You probably have seen many times a dog eating his own vomit. It is gross and not something you would like to see on a daily basis. But, there are a few explanations why dogs do this. Why do dogs eat their vomit? It is one of those questions that doesn’t sound nice but you must know the answer to it. Let’s just say that once you know why they do this, you will understand the whole situation better.
Reasons Why Do Dogs Eat Their Vomit
It Smells Great To Them
The first thing you need to know is that dogs have an impressive sense of smell. This allows them to smell all the ingredients in any food and even vomit. For instance, a dog will vomit. He will smell the vomit and deduce that there is still usable food inside. This can be dog food, human food, or something similar. Why do dogs eat their vomit? They can smell the food particles and they feel the vomit as a food source, a valuable one.
For you vomit will smell bad and like a nightmare. For a dog, it can actually smell like food. After all, vomit does contain food hence he can detect it inside the vomit easily. This applies to all foods, drinks, and anything else a dog can eat. Their sense of smell is powerful enough to always discover all the ingredients in almost anything.
It is also possible that a dog smells his vomit and decides not to eat it. This simply means that there are no useful food particles inside. There is no need to eat the vomit in that case. Usually, this means that the food is old and consumed a while back.
It Is Actually Normal
Believe it or not, this behavior can be normal. In the wild, a mother dog will eat meat and then regurgitate. The food is smooth and there are no large pieces. Puppies can easily eat this type of food. It is actually a bridge between the milk and the solid food dogs will eat later on.
This is perfectly natural and many wild animals have been doing that. For instance, wolves do it as well. Domesticated dogs do it but rarely. Usually, there is no need to do it all the time. However, this may be the explanation why.
This behavior is primal and as such all dogs can show it sometimes. We can even say that it is in their blood. It is their instinct. All dogs are closely related to their instincts or better said propelled by these.
Regurgitation and Vomiting
You should know the difference between vomiting and regurgitation. These are not the same thing. Vomiting means that a dog will remove food from the stomach and also the small intestine. It is an active process and you can see him preparing to do this. A dog will be stiff in body language, droll, and also look restless. Basically, he will prepare for vomiting and you can see it.
Regurgitation is a passive process. It means that a dog will remove the content only from his esophagus. Most of them will do it after they eat. Dogs will not change their body language nor will they show any symptoms. They do this once they eat and it is perfectly normal. They will get back on track and there are no issues of any kind.
When Should You Be Worried?
Your dog will vomit occasionally. It is perfectly normal and there are countless reasons why. Maybe he had a massive meal. Perhaps he ate something he doesn’t like. One way or another, there are many reasons why a dog will vomit.
If this happens once you don’t have to worry about it. Give him water and monitor the situation. If the dog pukes occasionally but he is rather happy and has the same level of energy, as usual, there is no need to worry about it.
But, if your dog pukes and he is lethargic or he pukes for a couple of days you must take him to a vet. There are many causes for this issue and some are severe. Some are present in the esophagus while others involve the actual stomach. Both of these do need treatment and early ones can prevent complications. Keep in mind that chronic vomiting can be really bad and your pet will need immediate help. Sooner you help him, sooner he will feel better.
We should add that eating vomit is actually not harmful to a dog. He will only get back the same fluids and food particles he lost. It is not nice but not really dangerous unless your pet has some condition or does this all the time.
Discourage The Behavior
Now you know that all dogs do this and there are no big issues here. But, you still need to do something related to this situation. The best thing to do is to clean the vomit as soon as possible. Obviously, a dog won’t be able to eat it. If you see him eating it, tell him ‘’stop’’, ‘’leave’’ or some similar command.
These are all the things you can use in this case scenario. You can help him understand that you don’t like this behavior and that he should stop doing it. If your dog understands basic commands this process will be much easier. If he doesn’t, you will have a hard time making him stop doing this. Don’t forget that this is a part of their instinct and it is a strong one. Hence, making a dog stop doing this within days is not possible.
The Final Word
Why do dogs eat their vomit? To them, this smells and tastes like food. Mommy dogs will do it to ‘’make’’ food for their puppies. It is generally not something you should worry about, despite the fact it looks gross. If your dog does this all the time, take him to a vet. There is probably a health-related issue that makes him vomit all the time.