Ah, the life of a dog. Most of us think they have it pretty good. They get to lay around all day on the couch, don’t have to go to work (at least most of them don’t!), meals are prepared by someone else and the extent of “doing the dishes” is to lick the bowl clean. But, there are some things about a dog’s daily routine many of us find gross, even though they are perfectly normal for our dogs.
Licking (themselves, us, really anything)
A dog’s tongue is much more than just something he uses to taste what he eats and help it go down the throat. Like all animals, canines use their tongues as a way to clean themselves. And that means cleaning every part they can reach. You may find it gross that your male dog licks himself (especially if he then wants to come give you a kiss) but it keeps him clean. They will also lick their own wounds, for the same reason. However, we all know too much licking is not good, hence why we use the cone of shame on our dogs.
Rolling in Stinky Things
Another thing that may make you rethink life as a dog is their desire to rolls in stinky things. We did a whole article explaining this here -> https://stayloyal.com.au/blog/why-does-my-dog-love-to-roll-in-dead-animals/. Let’s just say, it’s perfectly normal for your dog to want to roll in smelly things, or a dead thing, though the exact reason is not known. And besides what’s the big deal if they lick themselves clean afterward, right?
This is the dog equivalent of a handshake. While a person may get arrested for harassment if they did this (and honestly, why would we want to?), to a dog, this is the polite way to greet. In fact, a dog that doesn’t go around to the rear-end is one that should be approached with caution, or not at all. Dogs that are going to react out of fear or aggression, will stand stiff and stare at the front of the other dog, or sometimes just past their shoulder, to the side, rather than circling around.
Regurgitating and Eating It
Yeah, no reason to explain why we think this is gross. But for a dog, this is completely normal. Many dogs gulp there kibble without chewing, so it’s still in big pieces, their body is programmed to cough back up the partially processed food so they can re-chew it, making it easier to digest. Read this article here for more information on the many forms of vomiting in dogs -> https://stayloyal.com.au/blog/dont-freak-out-if-your-dog-is-vomiting-or-regurgitating/.
And of course, there is poop eating. This is a no brainer why we think it’s gross. And, while some of the time for dog’s this is also not normal, but rather a sign of something wrong nutritionally or medically, there is one time in a dog’s life when this is perfectly normal – motherhood. Bitches eat the poop of their puppies as a way of “cleaning up” the den before they are able to leave and go potty outside the den.
While these things may seem a bit unsettling to us, to a dog it’s just part of being a dog. Maybe it’s a good thing to be human after all???