Have you ever been in one room watching TV and taking it easy, only to hear your dog getting sick in another room? Then you quickly run in to see what’s going on, only to find your canine companion has eaten what he just lost? This is a common occurrence and if you’ve been a pet parent to a dog, then chances are you’ve had to deal with this issue.
While it is common for a dog to eat their own vomit, what causes this behavior? We find this horribly disturbing and gross, but our fur babies seem quite content to snarf up what they just lost. UGH.
We understand this is not a pleasant topic to read about but is important to understand this type of doggie behavior and when it could be an indication of illness.
Dogs Vomit & Regurgitate: What’s the Difference
There’s a difference between a dog regurgitating and vomiting. So, what’s the difference?
Regurgitation: usually happens when the food your fur baby has eaten doesn’t make it all the way to his stomach. Instead, the food may be stuck in the esophagus. This may happen for various reasons including:
- Blockage in the esophagus (tumor, foreign body, etc.)
- Megaesophagus (the esophagus lining becomes floppy and dilated)
- Esophagitis (inflammation or irritation of the esophagus)
Dogs do regurgitate food for other reasons, too, including if they have puppies. Parent dogs regurgitate food for their puppies to make the food easier for puppies to eat. Think of this like the baby food we make for our young children, which is pureed.
Vomit: is the body’s process of getting rid of something that can be toxic, or the dog is sick for some other reason. Vomit usually includes stomach acid, bile, saliva, and food that’s partially digested. There are several reasons a dog may vomit:
Dietary indiscretion (eating something they shouldn’t—which is common in dogs)
- Stomach ulcers
- Kidney disease
- Liver problems
- Gut infections
- Inflammation of the bowel
- And more
Why Does My Dog Eat His Vomit?
There are several reasons your fur baby may eat his vomit. This is gross to us, but one reason a dog eats their vomit is because it may smell like food. Another reason is that they may fear getting into trouble, and so eat the vomit to hide the evidence.
What I Should Do About my Dog Eating Vomit?
If this is just a once in a while issue, then more than likely this is just normal doggie behavior. However, if your dog vomits or regurgitates on a regular basis, then they’ll need to be seen the vet. The vet will check for any underlying health issues that could be causing the problem.
While this is normal behavior, do call your vet if you’re worried about your fur baby eating vomit. Your vet will have the best advice for you and your dog.