why do dogs eat vomit

why do dogs eat vomit


Why Do Dogs Eat Vomit?

Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior

As a caregiver, you might be puzzled by your dog’s peculiar behavior. You ask yourself, “Why would my dog eat vomit?”. It seems strange and gross to you, but from the canine’s perspective, it’s an entirely different story. Dogs have a vastly different sense of taste and smell when compared to humans. Eating vomit, as repulsive as it might sound, is just another survival behavior inherited from their wild ancestors.

The Evolutionary Perspective

Let’s take a trip back to the time when domesticated dogs were still wild creatures. Food was not always readily available, and dogs, being scavengers, had to make do with what they could find. Sometimes, this meant eating vomit.

  1. Survival: When food was scarce, dogs couldn’t afford to waste anything that might still have nutritional value.
  2. Motherhood: Mother dogs often regurgitate their food to feed their young ones. This inherited behavior can still be observed in some dogs today.

Health Concerns

While it’s usually harmless, the act of a dog eating vomit could also indicate health concerns.

  • Nutritional deficiency: This could be a sign that your dog’s diet is lacking in certain nutrients.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Dogs with stomach or intestinal problems might eat their vomit to alleviate discomfort.

If you notice your dog frequently eating vomit, it’s advisable to contact your vet for a check-up.

How to Discourage This Behavior

You might want to discourage your dog from this behavior for hygiene reasons or simply because it makes you uncomfortable. Here are some strategies:

Strategy Description
Redirect attention Distract your dog with a toy or treat
Clean up promptly Quickly clean up any vomit before your dog has a chance to eat it
Implement a balanced diet Ensure your dog’s diet is nutritionally complete


Q: Is it normal for my dog to eat vomit?
A: While it can be normal due to their evolutionary history, it’s best to monitor this behavior for any potential health issues.

Q: Can eating vomit harm my dog?
A: In general, it’s not harmful. However, if the vomit contains toxic substances, it could be dangerous.

Q: How can I stop my dog from eating vomit?
A: Try redirecting their attention, cleaning up promptly, or reviewing their diet to ensure it’s nutritionally complete.