My Dog Ate Paper: What Now?

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Catching your dog chomping on a piece of paper can cause quite the scare, especially if it’s not the first time they’ve decided to turn your documents into an unexpected snack. The main concern here is whether it’s dangerous if your dog ate some paper.

The Short Answer

In most cases, a dog who has eaten paper will be fine. Paper is not toxic and generally passes through their digestive system without causing harm. That said, it’s important to keep an eye on their behavior afterward.

Depending on the amount and type of paper ingested, complications can occur, and it’s best to know what to watch out for.

dog biting on toilet paper on the grass

Why Did My Dog Eat Paper?

Dogs, especially puppies, are explorers by nature, and their exploration often involves their mouths.

In some cases, the act of chewing paper can be attributed to curiosity, boredom, or even teething in puppies. On the other hand, dogs may also eat paper due to dietary deficiencies or behavioral issues such as separation anxiety.

Remember, while we may see a stack of papers, our furry friends might see an intriguing, crinkly chew toy! But if it’s destructive chewing behavior, you can redirect this.

Read more: Why Dogs Chew and How to Redirect

Is Eating Paper Dangerous for My Dog?

While most paper is non-toxic and should pass through your dog’s system without major issues, there can be exceptions.

For instance, a large amount of paper could potentially lead to an intestinal blockage, especially in smaller dogs.

Moreover, the type of paper matters. Paper products with harmful substances like ink, dye, or chemicals (such as certain glossy papers or colored napkins) could be harmful if ingested.

Always monitor your dog closely if they’ve gotten into the paper stash, and if any abnormal behavior is observed, consult with your vet promptly.

What to Do If My Dog Eats Tissue Paper or a Cupcake Wrapper?

If your dog ingests tissue paper or a cupcake wrapper, try not to panic. These materials are generally non-toxic and likely to pass through the system, albeit uncomfortably.

First, remove any remaining paper product from their reach to prevent further consumption. Then, observe them closely for signs of distress – vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior.

Always offer plenty of fresh water, as this can help the material pass more easily.

If your dog shows signs of discomfort or if a significant amount of paper was ingested, it’s best to consult with your vet. They may suggest feeding a bulky meal to help pass the material or may want to perform an examination to ensure there’s no risk of blockage.

brown dog eating paper on the floor

How to Prevent My Dog from Eating Paper

Keeping our canine companions from turning paper into their personal buffet involves a mix of training and environmental changes.

Begin by dog-proofing your home, especially areas where paper products are usually accessible. Trash bins should have lids, and children’s craft areas should be cleaned up promptly. Using deterrent sprays on paper items can also discourage curious chewers.

Training your dog to understand the command “leave it” can be a life-saver – or at least, a document saver. Reward-based training will encourage them to ignore paper and focus on appropriate chew toys instead.

I remember once, when Sam, my well-trained German Shepherd, was a puppy, he had an unfortunate fondness for my kids’ homework. We worked diligently on “leave it” using his favorite treats as rewards.

One day, a fresh stack of essays was left out on the coffee table, and to my amazement, Sam strolled right past. Instead of the usual paper shredding, he headed to his toy basket and happily selected a rubber bone to chew. (It was the Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone, for anyone wondering).

This was a victorious moment and proof that a bit of patience and consistency can go a long way in saving your paper items from canine destruction.

Warning Signs of a Blockage in My Dog

While many dogs might snack on a piece of paper and pass it without issue, there are times when complications can arise, such as a blockage.

It’s crucial to know the signs, which include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, changes in bowel movements (either diarrhea or constipation), and abdominal pain or bloating. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care.

Suggested reading: Assembling Dog First Aid Kit

As a pet parent, you know your dog’s normal behavior best, so trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right.

I recall a chilling night when Charlie, my mischievous Labrador, showed signs of a blockage after devouring an entire newspaper while I was out. He became lethargic, stopped eating, and looked visibly uncomfortable.

I rushed him to the vet, who confirmed an intestinal blockage. Thankfully, with prompt treatment, Charlie made a full recovery. This harrowing experience was a potent reminder of the importance of quick action when faced with potential blockages.

You really have to be swift and observant in such instances. Don’t let the chance determine the outcome. Watch out for your buddy, and they will love you unconditionally.

Wondering what are some typical objects that can hurt your dog? Check these posts about some typical household items in regards to dog safety, such as:


Are certain dog breeds more likely to eat paper?

While all dogs can potentially eat paper out of curiosity or boredom, puppies and younger dogs, regardless of breed, are often more likely due to their exploratory nature and teething.

What if my dog ate a paper towel or napkin?

If your dog ate a paper towel or napkin, observe them closely for any signs of distress. These items are typically non-toxic, but can cause a blockage if consumed in large quantities or if your dog is small. If in doubt, contact your vet.

How can I stop my puppy from eating paper?

To stop your puppy from eating paper, provide them with appropriate chew toys, keep paper products out of reach, and reinforce positive behaviors with rewards. Puppy-proofing your home is essential during this stage.

What if my dog ate colored or dyed paper?

If your dog ate colored or dyed paper, monitor them closely for any signs of an adverse reaction. While the paper itself is typically harmless, the dyes and chemicals used can sometimes cause minor gastrointestinal upset. When in doubt, consult your vet.

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