Why do dogs eat vomit?

April 13, 2012

Dogs really do have some very disgusting habits. They roll in obnoxious smelling things, they lap the water from the toilet bowl, they eat their own and other dog’s poop and they eat their own vomit. Yucky! In spite of all these, we still love these furry but quirky animals. Dogs are known to be great sleepers. But a dog owner would probably be aware that the pet is a great eater as well. Canines are not fussy eaters. Dogs would eat just about anything. A dog would eat the food formulated for them, would eat the food of other animals and would enjoy eating human food. Moreover, these creatures would relish eating things that are considered gross by humans. And this would include edible and non-edible things. Feces of other animals, their own feces as well as vomit would be considered as gourmet food by the dog.

Why do dogs eat vomit? There is actually no definitive answer. Although it was considered that this obnoxious behavior stemmed from the practice of regurgitating food. Dogs in the wild live in packs. They hunt together and assist in feeding and caring for the young. Dogs in the wild would feed on the prey after the kill. When the dogs return to the den they would regurgitate the partially digested food to feed the young. Additionally, eating vomit and feces has something to do with hiding the traces of a dog’s presence from predators. After thousands of years of domestication, these habits still kick in. Domesticated dogs still regurgitate food to feed the puppies. Dogs are less discriminating with what they put in their mouth. No matter how well fed the dog is it would still forage food from the trash can every chance it could get. It is said that humans and canines are about 90% similar in genetics. The 10% would probably account for the difference in our choices of food. The insects, the dead animals, the feces and the vomit that are relished by the dogs are repulsive to humans.

Dogs have heightened sense of smell. They are attracted to smells that humans find abhorrent. These creatures probably smell something very appetizing and interesting not only in vomit but in rotting animals as well. Vomit is partially digested food and dogs would not pass up the chance to get at the “food”. This habit although repulsive to humans is considered to be harmless for the dog. But since dogs are allowed to share our bed and even allowed to lick our faces it would only be natural to find ways to stop this disgusting habit.

Obviously, the very first thing that has to be done is to stop the dog form vomiting. This can be done by carefully monitoring what the dog eats. Dogs are voracious eaters. They consume large amounts of food. Often times vomiting would result from too much eating. Take stock of the pet’s diet and eliminate food that would cause vomiting. Dogs eat grasses and leaves too and often times this would result to vomiting. It would be quite hard to ensure that the pet would not ingest grasses and leaves. In this case you just have to be very quick. Remove the dog from where it has puked and immediately clean the mess before the dog can have a feast.

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