Dogs may vomit for a variety of reasons, but one behavior that can be puzzling is when they guard their vomit. If your dog throws up and then starts resource guarding vomit, it can be a real challenge to clean up the mess if they’re growling or snapping at anyone who tries to get close.
But why do they do this in the first place? What’s behind this strange behavior? And what can we do about it?
Contents of this article:
- Why does my dog resource guard his vomit?
- Why do dogs vomit?
- Why is vomit valuable to dogs?
- Why do some dogs resource guard their vomit?
- How to resolve your dog resource guarding vomit.
Why does my dog resource guard his vomit?
Why do some dogs become so protective over their puke? In this article, we’ll explore some of the likely reasons dogs might resource guard vomit and offer some tips for dealing with the situation. So read on to find out more!
Why do dogs vomit?
All dog owners have been through it – your morning routine interrupted that unmistakable sound. And then you realize Fido has thrown up on the carpet. But why do dogs vomit, and what can be done to prevent it?
There are a number of reasons why dogs may vomit, including overeating, eating too quickly, or eating something that doesn’t agree with them.
Dogs also tend to eat grass when they’re feeling nauseous, which can help to settle their stomachs. In some cases, vomiting may be a sign of a more serious condition such as intestinal parasites or an infection.
If your dog is vomiting on a regular basis, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.
Otherwise, there are a few simple steps you can take to help prevent vomiting episodes, such as feeding smaller meals more often and avoiding sudden changes in diet.
With a little care and attention, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and vomit-free.
Why is vomit valuable to dogs?
While it may not seem like it to us, vomit can actually be quite valuable to dogs. It contains partially digested food, which can be a source of nutrition for them.
In wild situations, if a canine feels insecure, they may bolt their food to avoid the risk of confrontation of having it taken away from them by another scavenger.
Then later, when they’re feeling more relaxed, they’ll regurgitate it and eat the vomit at a more leisurely pace.
So while we may find it gross or even dangerous, for dogs, vomit can be a valuable commodity.
Why do some dogs resource guard their vomit?
There are a few possible reasons behind this behavior.
One theory is that the dog is trying to protect a valuable resource – as we mentioned, vomit contains partially digested food which can be nutritious for dogs.
The dog may also be feeling nauseous and vulnerable, and guarding their vomit could be a result of feeling lousy. Dogs who are in pain or discomfort are more likely to display resource guarding behavior.
In some cases, the behavior may also be a sign of anxiety or stress. If a dog is feeling anxious, they may guard their vomit as a way to attempt to control their environment.
Another possibility is that the dog has learned that they’re more likely to get attention from humans if they resource guard their vomit.
Whatever the reason behind it, resource guarding vomit can be a frustrating and dangerous behavior for dog owners to deal with.
Here is an article about general resource guarding to help explain this behavior.
How to resolve your dog resource guarding vomit.
If your dog is growling or snapping at you when you try to clean up their vomit, there are a few things you can do to handle the situation.
First, try to stay calm and avoid getting angry or frustrated with your dog. This will only escalate the situation and make it more difficult to deal with.
If your dog is resource guarding their vomit, the best thing to do is to leave them alone and give them some space. If you try to approach or clean up the vomit, they may interpret this as a threat and become aggressive. If they eat it, it’s not the end of the world so try not to panic.
Instead, try to distract your dog with something else of high value to get them out of the area you wish to clean. This may be a handful of treats thrown down for them to scatter feed.
Don’t reduce the distance between yourself and the vomit whilst your dog is still in the room. Instead, go to another room, throw down some treats, wait for them to investigate what you’ve dropped and then secure them in the other room before getting closer to the vomit.
If your dog is crate trained, you can put something tasty and enticing in their crate and wait for them to enter so you can confine them.
Be mindful to keep them out of the area while you clean up the vomit to ensure your safety.
Resource guarding vomit can be a challenging behavior to deal with, but with patience and understanding, it is possible to overcome it. If you have any concerns about your dog’s behavior, be sure to consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer for assistance.
If you’re looking for professional help with resource guarding but an in-person trainer isn’t an option right now, why not try this online course on resource guarding from Canine Principles.
Have a look at our other posts about resource guarding: