Why Do Dogs Eat Their Vomit?
Animals have peculiar behaviors and the language barrier between them and humans poses an even great problem for a seamless understanding of these peculiarities. When it comes to dogs, who make up a larger percentage of the pet population, there are a lot of behavioral traits that intrigue their owners which range from eating poop to chewing up shoes, as well as other strange things. Of all the peculiar traits that these domestic pups have, a dog eating throw up can be ranked as one of the strangest. No doubt, this behavior has sparked further questions such as “why do dogs eat their vomit?”.
Although it might seem strange, the phenomenon of a dog eating throw up is very common in the wide population of pet dogs and has been experienced by 90% of dog owners. So, to better understand the phenomenon of a dog throwing up and then eating it, we have compiled a list of reasons dogs eat their throw up. Without a doubt, this list will further help you understand why your furry companions might find their own puke very appetizing.
They Smell Food in a Pile of Puke
Dogs are known for their strong sense of smell which is forty times more powerful than that of humans. For sure, this means that they can pick up even the most obscure of odors. Unlike people who see their vomit as waste or as the food that their body has rejected, a dog’s throw up is just like new food to him/her. This is because particles of the food they just had is in the vomit. They are able to sense this because of how strong their sense of smell is.
Being unable to separate the food in the vomit from the good that comes with it, they just gobble everything up. So, the next time you behold the cringe-worthy sight of your dog eating their vomit and wonder why do dogs eat their throw up, remember that your dog might just be thinking it’s food.
It’s Part of How They Feed Their Pups
When a female dog gives birth to her pups, she initially feeds them with milk, but as they grow, the feeding process changes, dramatically. The period right after they stopped taking milk is followed by eating regular food; however, this does not mean that the young pups have fully formed digestive systems and strong teeth which makes it difficult for them to eat and digest strong food properly. Having digestive systems that are not fully formed is just one of the reasons the adult dog has to chew the food for the pups.
To provide proper nutrition for her puppies, the mother dog will chew the food, swallow it and regurgitate it for her pups to eat. At this time, the food must have been broken down in the esophagus and can be easy for the young ones to eat. While they eat, she might also join them in eating the food that she has just thrown up. This is another reason dogs eat their vomit, it is all a part of the feeding process that determines the growth of younger dogs.
They Didn’t Quite Savour The Food The First Time
As already stated, older dogs chew up food and vomit it for their pups. There are, however, cases where the puppy has been separated from its mother. In situations like this, when the puppy eats, they will most likely throw up their food because their digestive system is not yet strong enough for them to eat food that is not yet broken down. When the food has been thrown up, it is much easier for the dog to eat it one more time and then digest the food.
Coming from a childhood of eating food that has already been broken down either by their mothers or by themselves when their bodies reject the food they eat, dogs have become accustomed to eating thrown up food. It is what they are familiar with and even as older dogs, doing it again will not be a problem. However, you are not likely to catch your dog eating their vomit frequently, as a dog eating throw up only happens once in a while. It only becomes a problem if your dog throws up often.
To Hide The Mess
A lot of dogs are very sensitive to the feelings of their owners and are aware of what might upset you. This is why you hardly find poop or pee from a trained dog lying around in the house. When your dog vomits, he/she is aware of the mess made on the floor and in a bid to hide the evidence of what they consider bad, your dog might eat their throw up. This is another point that answers the question of why do dogs eat their throw up? In this case, your dog might not be eating up their vomit because they recognize it as food from their sense of smell; rather, they are eating the evidence that will make him/her a bad dog.
Ate Too Quickly and Still Hungry
After a few hours at the park or coming back home from a long walk, your dog has whipped up an appetite and when given food, he/she gobbles it all down. However, this too-quick eating might hurt its stomach, causing your pup to throw up, but because it is still hungry, your dog will eat the throw up right up. This time, it might stay down because it is in a much simpler form. Also, eating too fast can also be triggered by anxiety but because they are still hungry, they will have no problem eating their throw up which as aforementioned, still smells like food to them.
You might be a dog owner who is yet to experience this, however, it may come up later in the course of the relationship you have with your pet. Rest assured, there isn’t much to be worried about and a dog eating puke is just as normal as you eating a bowl of salad.