Dogs are curious creatures that sometimes get into things they shouldn’t. If advertisements are to be believed, puppies and dogs love to play with tissues and toilet paper, without harming their health. And yes, while small pieces of paper that are swallowed may not cause any harm, larger amounts can. this means that it is important to understand what can happen as a result.
Yes, many dog owners return home to find torn toilet paper or paper towels scattered around the house. But what happens when it’s not just torn and your pup has decided it would be more fun to eat the scraps of paper instead of leaving them alone?
Reading: Can dogs eat paper towels
Toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, and any paper product can be a problem if your dog has consumed too much. but when should you worry, and when does it go from being an accident to a recurring problem? read on and find out if paper products are harmful, why dogs eat paper, and how you can prevent it from happening again.
my dog just ate paper. what’s next?
Let’s start off by stating the obvious. If your pup consumed any type of paper product, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately. Foreign objects of any kind can cause bowel obstructions, especially when the object is not something your dog can digest.
If you’re concerned and wondering what to do, follow the steps below in an effort to ensure your canine companion doesn’t suffer long-term damage.
step 1: gather data
first, try to estimate how much tissue it might have eaten. this is difficult when the consumed paper was shredded. you should also check if there is anything in the fabric that could be dangerous.
step 2: secure your dog
You’ll want to protect your pup. Once he’s put away all the paper products and assessed what he might have eaten, he’ll want to put them in his box or in a safe room. this way you can respond calmly and move on to step 3 and focus on that one task.
step 3: call your vet
then it is best to seek the advice of your veterinarian or veterinary surgeon. they will be able to discuss the situation with you and decide if they need to see your puppy for a checkup. they will most likely recommend that your dog be monitored at home and provide symptoms to watch for. calling your vet is usually free and will give you peace of mind.
Step 4: Follow your vet’s instructions
Your vet may ask you to come to the clinic for an exam. this is especially true if your canine companion is small and has eaten a large amount of paper towels, or is showing symptoms. however, your vet is more likely to give you a list of symptoms to watch out for. These symptoms may include vomiting or loss of appetite. You may also be asked to call back if your pet is unwell.
step 5: don’t try to treat yourself
please do not use home remedies to induce vomiting in dogs. In general, toilet paper, Kleenex, or paper towels won’t cause problems for dogs, but making them sick can make them very sick. In most cases, your vet will not tell you to make your puppy vomit at home. They will advise you to bring Fido for a visit. however, if they do, wait for your vet’s instructions before trying.
could pet insurance help?
If your pet’s insurance covers exam fees and your dog needs to be examined, there’s a good chance your policy will reimburse those costs depending on the details of your policy. however, if you are a new client, veterinary expenses will not be covered until after the waiting periods defined in your policy, so registering once you have an existing health problem will not help this time. pre-existing conditions are not covered by any current pet insurance plan.
That’s why it’s a great idea to sign up for a pet insurance policy when your pet is young and relatively healthy to ensure you’ll be covered when you need it most.
paper towels vs. kleenex vs. toilet paper
Most Kleenex or tissue paper that people use on their noses are of a similar density and weight as toilet tissue used in the bathroom. Paper towels can be thicker, larger, and denser. All three are usually made using very similar ingredients. Usually, when consumed, any of the three will be shredded before ingestion.
Because paper towels have a thicker density, they can be more harmful to dogs. it really depends on whether the paper was shredded, how much was consumed, and how big your dog is. larger dogs have larger intestinal tracts and may pass things differently. this means that a mastiff may have an easier time passing toilet paper than a chihuahua. paper towels may present a slightly higher risk of clogging depending on the density of the paper towel ingested.
Regardless of the type of paper product your dog has consumed, you will need to follow the same steps. paper towels are better known for causing intestinal blockages than other paper products, but all three warrant an immediate call to the vet.
Will eating paper products hurt my dog?
Whether or not paper products will harm your dog, largely depends on their size, and how much has been eaten. In many cases, dogs simply rip up or destroy paper products rather than eat them. When tissue, paper towels, or Kleenex is swallowed in small amounts, it should not cause harm to your four-legged friend.
A tissue or toilet paper that has been torn or shredded will likely pass through the digestive tract without incident. you may only realize what your dog has been up to when you find evidence in his feces. it is when you consume large amounts that you have a problem.
if kleenex or toilet paper is eaten in large quantities, it has the potential to get stuck and cause a blockage somewhere in the digestive tract. if a blockage occurs, this can be very serious and could make the dog feel very unwell. Surgery may be needed to correct the problem and relieve the blockage. symptoms of a blockage may include lethargy or vomiting.
Take special care if the tissue has been discarded after it has been used with cleaning products or chemicals such as nail polish remover. If you find evidence that your pup may have eaten tissue that has chemicals on it, seek veterinary advice without delay. there is a greater potential for this situation to be problematic, and it is prudent to err on the side of caution.
Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide are often found in cleaning products and, if ingested, can cause unwanted side effects. if hydrogen peroxide is ingested, the dog may drool excessively or vomit, often profusely. in severe cases, there may be inflammation or irritation of the esophagus and stomach.
6 reasons why your dog eats paper products
There are typically six different reasons that your pup may be consuming paper products like toilet paper. While this list isn’t all-inclusive, there’s a good chance your pup will fall into one of these six different reasons for wolfing down the Kleenex while you aren’t watching.
toothache and/or curiosity
puppies are curious creatures eager to explore the world. puppies often use their mouths to chew or investigate objects. When puppies experience teething pain, they will mouth or chew on objects in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. While a chew toy can help meet teething needs, it’s not always enough. Puppies will often chew on anything they can easily grab around the house and this can include tissue paper.
Of course, chewing or shredding kleenex or toilet paper can also be fun for puppies or dogs. If a dog doesn’t have enough mental stimulation, then he might start looking for ways to relieve boredom, this could include chewing or tearing through a box of tissues. Such behavior will attract negative reactions and for a bored dog, this could satisfy her desire for attention.
An anxious dog who may be struggling with separation anxiety can become destructive when left alone. this could include ripping or shredding paper. shredding paper could cause the dog to swallow the tissue.
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there are medical problems that can be associated with eating unusual things. Pica is a condition characterized by the consumption of non-food items and can be caused by underlying medical or behavioral problems. While pica is common in dogs that eat grass or their own feces, a dog with pica may ingest cardboard, Kleenex, or toilet paper as part of the condition.
Of course, nutritional deficiencies or a poor diet can lead a dog to seek out and eat non-food items. tissue is readily available in many homes. this makes him an easy target for a dog trying to satisfy his appetite.
In some cases, the dog may be interested in the fabric because of what it contains. this could be a paper towel or bacon grease napkin from the trash. in this situation, the dog can eat paper because, frankly, it tastes delicious. but it is much more likely to cause side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea.
If tissue paper containing a large amount of fat is ingested, the dog could also be at risk of developing pancreatitis. Kleenex can be thrown away with lotions or beauty products that may smell tempting to your pet. this could lead them to investigate and eat some of the tissue.
make your dog stop
Prevention is better than a cure in this case. Preventing your puppy or adult dog from having access to paper products will likely stop the issue and curb the habit. When leaving the dog alone in the house, ensure bathroom doors are shut and any boxes of tissues are out of reach. In some cases, using stair gates or dog crates can be key to breaking the habit of toilet tissue eating.
You should also be careful to keep tissues out of reach. this may mean using a dog-proof trash can. if you find your pup happily tearing at a piece of cloth or eating it, avoid chasing it. This could soon make it a game that Fido could be itching to repeat. instead, try to ignore the behavior and quietly remove the tissue your pet has been tearing.
If your dog has a habit of tearing tissue paper, it’s best to take action to try to discourage the behavior. Although the problem will primarily be the mess that will need to be cleaned up, there is a chance that the dog will get into trouble if he swallows a large amount of tissue. try to provide access to safe toys or enrichment when left home alone. special treat dispensers or toys can help redirect boredom or prevent anxiety that leads to destructive behaviors.
frequently asked questions
If you’ve made it this far, you may still have questions about whether your dog ate paper products of any kind. Generally speaking, most paper products are similar in nature. Below are common questions that are asked when it comes to dogs and paper products.
Can dogs easily pass tissues or paper towels?
The fabric is of course soft and in most cases can easily pass through the digestive tract without causing any problems. you may see tissue debris in the stool as it is unlikely to be digested. dogs will often tear or chew the tissue into small pieces, making it easier to pass through. however, if ingested in large enough amounts, the tissue paper could swell or potentially cause a blockage.
Is it bad for a dog to eat toilet paper?
Toilet paper is not designed to be swallowed, and there is certainly no nutritional benefit to eating it. Ideally, the tissue or toilet paper should be kept out of your dog’s reach to avoid a problem. In most cases, it won’t cause a serious problem if your four-legged friend decides to eat a tissue. again, the biggest risk is an intestinal obstruction for your canine companion.
why does my dog tear toilet paper before eating it?
For some dogs, shredding toilet paper or toilet paper becomes a fun game or a way to relieve boredom. In some cases, separation anxiety will manifest as destructive behaviors where the dog will destroy items that she has access to, which could include toilet paper. puppies are particularly prone to chewing on objects they come across. this is partly a scan, but it can also be due to teething.
what are the signs of intestinal obstruction in a dog?
If a dog swallows a large quantity of paper towels, it is known as a foreign body. this object could cause a blockage or obstruction of the digestive tract, which is an emergency. Obstructive symptoms may be subtle at first and may include lethargy, apathy, and lack of appetite. signs and symptoms may then progress to vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and straining to go to the bathroom. If your puppy shows signs of intestinal obstruction, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Paper products eaten in small amounts probably won’t be harmful to your canine companion. but it’s always best to call your vet to be sure. This way, your vet will understand the situation if your pup shows symptoms that mean she’s struggling to digest it. By following the steps above, you’ll ensure you’re prepared to address any more serious health impacts should they arise.