There May Be a Biological Reason That Dogs Vomit on the Carpet
I am proud to be childless. I often tell my infant-bearing friends that I just can't imagine spending all that time cleaning up crappy diapers. And let's be real. If the kid isn't wearing diapers, they don't much care where they blast off. I know it's a natural bodily function, but it's gross and a big NO THANKS!
Now, that said, I am a dog owner. I currently have three dogs and I am proud to say that all of them are completely house-trained. There is a rarely an accident in the house. The inside of our home is relatively #1 and #2 free.
However, my dogs, particularly the two Bichon Frises, are power-vomiting machines. If they eat a treat that doesn't sit well in their stomachs, you can bet it's coming back up quick. And, you can bet a kidney or other major organ that when they start to vomit, they're going to do it on a rug or the carpet. Just Wednesday, I was working from home and heard Ellie in full heave mode. I looked over and there she was- standing right in the middle of the brown, shag rug getting ready to yak her guts out. I jumped out of the chair, basically did a dive-roll across the room, picked her up and got her to the tile floor of the half bath just in time.
This happens constantly and it got me wondering if there's a biological or scientific reason why. As it turns out, there just may be.
I first messaged my dogs' veterinarian, Dr. Laura Richey with Animal House Mobile Vet. I asked her, "Is there a biological reason that dogs seem to prefer vomiting on carpet instead of hardwoods???" And, yes. I really did use THREE question marks.
While Dr. Richey suggested it's basically a mystery, she did acknowledge that I am not alone in this. She has experienced the same dynamic in her own house which is precisely why she "took all the carpet out" of her house and doesn't "even have area rugs."
We're not alone, People!!
I dove into the interweb to do some more research and I found an interesting article on the website Dog Discoveries. Honestly, a lot of this makes sense.
The author, Adrienne Farricelli CPDT-KA, says "vomiting on carpets may actually be a way to keep their living quarters clean." And there are some specific examples, all of which I have witnessed from my own dogs. One minute, they're in the bed. The next moment, they're off the bed and throwing up on the carpet below it. Or, the dog will run out of the kitchen and off the tiles, to go throw up on the carpet in a different room. And here's the point that really drives this theory home. The kitchen tiles are often where the dogs are fed. Mine certainly are.
The Dog Discoveries article shared this quote from Dr. Myrna Milani from The Secret Life of Dogs. "Dogs have a strong instinct not to soil the spaces where they sleep, eat and drink." That's certainly true and I see it nearly every time one of my dogs decides to barf its face off.
The website Wag Walking adds some further insight. Like humans (specifically, my college friends who used to get hammered), want something sturdy to hang onto when they vomit and "carpet provides more support than the bare floor." And, another fun fact. To a dog, carpet (and my brown shag rug) resemble grass more.
The bottom line is this. Dogs are going to vomit. My dogs are treat bullies and demand them for virtually every single command they obey. LOL! And while I may have to dive roll across the room and parkour on the furniture to get to them, I still say that cleaning up dog puke is WAY better than changing baby diapers.
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