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Why do dogs eat vomit?

Updated on February 18, 2012

For centuries dogs have been one of the most popular pet if not the most popular. In US, statistics tell us that more than 70 % of households have dogs. This is how these furry friends are valued and loved. Dogs are affectionate and loyal creatures. A dog is kind of addicting. We always want to have them around. However, these animals have some very disconcerting habits. Drinking in toilet bowls, eating their own and other animal’s feces and eating vomit are only some of abhorrent habits of dogs.

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A primitive habit

Wolves are the ancestors of modern day dogs. In the wild, wolves live in packs. Wolves hunt together. After a prey is eaten, wolves would assist in feeding the young by regurgitating food. Modern day domesticated dogs also feed their young this way…by regurgitating partially digested food.

A self preservation behavior

Dogs are voracious and indiscriminate eaters. In the wild, dog’s habit of filling their bellies with rotten meat of prey and non-edible things would result to stomach upset and vomiting. Dogs eat their vomit and their feces to hide signs of their presence from predators. Apparently this habit of eating vomit was handed down to present day dogs.

A dog’s voracious appetite

Dogs have great appetites. Even though well fed, a dog will not pass up the chance to eat spoiled food from the trash cans and to filch food from the table when the master’s back is turned. Vomit is partially digested food. Dogs are not very choosy in what they put in their mouths. They eat feces and rotten animals. Would it be surprising for the dog to eat its vomit too?

A dog’s heightened sense of smell

The dog may have smelled something interesting and very appetizing in its vomit. Humans would find the smell of vomit repulsive but evidently dogs find the smell of vomit mouth watering.

Stopping the vomit eating habit of the dog

Vomit eating may not be dangerous to the dog. Nevertheless, this abhorrent behavior must be stopped. Dogs after all are allowed to give us sloppy kisses. Dogs have big appetites and even if they are already full they would go on eating. Too much eating is often the cause of vomiting.  Rocks, grasses, poisonous plants can make the dog vomit as well. It would be best to limit the amount of food given to the pet. It may be hard to prevent the dog from eating non-edible things especially if the dog is an “outside dog”. To prevent the dog from eating its vomit it would be best to clean the mess created by the dog at once.

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