My Dog Eats Toilet Paper
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Although it may seem strange, dogs may find it desirable to eat toilet paper. This unusual behavior can be accompanied by ingestion of other inappropriate objects and is usually a concern for their companions. This is because eating toilet paper can lead to health issues.
If you are wondering why your dog eats toilet paper and how to solve this issue, keep reading this article form AnimalWised where we will explain everything you need to know.
Why your dog may be eating toilet paper
Eating paper is an inappropriate behavior associated with pica disorder. Pica disorder is characterized by the impulse a dog may have to ingest elements that are not part of their diet and that could even harm their health. Some examples are coprophagy (when they eat feces, whether they are their own or those of other animals), ingestion of soil, clothing, etc. The causes for this disorder may vary but the main reasons are:
This problem is often associated with the dog being bored at home. This leads them to looking for alternatives to keep themselves entertained. This especially occurs in dogs that spend many hours alone or who do not receive the attention needed or the daily exercise they require.
Lack of activity can generate frustration and anxiety in your dog, which will result in other inappropriate behavior.
Destructive behavior can also be associated to separation anxiety. Similar to the previous case, this behavior occurs dogs that spend hours alone, but in addition, are very emotionally dependent on their human companions. This means that if they are spending a lot of time alone and away from their human companion, they might develop separation anxiety.
Lack of nutrients
A nutrient deficiency can cause your dog to eat bizarre objects, such as trying to eat paper or cardboard. They might even try to eat other things like dirt or feces. If you observe your dog consuming these things, it's best to look into their diet and take them to their local veterinarian for a check-up.
In the case where the paper your dog ingests is used as napkins, it's probable that they have ingested it for its appealing smell. Be careful of where you leave your napkins and where the trash is located.
Another possibility is that your dog has started eating paper due to a disease. They might be experiencing stomach pain, a thyroid condition, diabetes or another illness. It is important to take them to the veterinarian to make sure this behavior is not due to a medical issue. These cases occur especially in adult or elderly dogs, although it is still possible for puppies.
Why your puppy may be eating toilet paper
It is natural for puppies to bite and destroy all kinds of objects within their reach, including toilet paper, napkins or newspaper. They may also end up ingesting it in the process, especially if it has an appetizing smell. This is because the development of teething is usually painful and they need to bite objects to calm the pain down For this reason, we must provide our puppy with specific toys that they can bite, such as resistant toys with prizes inside, which are usually attractive to them because they provide them with food. This way we can avoid the dangerous objects that are within their reach.
However, when we see that our puppy is biting something inappropriate, we should never scold them or punish them. That will only get them to distrust us and may bring behavioral problems in the future. We mustn't chase after them to get the object either, as they will think it is a game. Instead, we must focus on providing them with the toys, exercise and nutrition they need. We can also try to keep the trash or dangerous objects out of their reach.
If you see your puppy get paper as a toy, the best way to make them let go of the paper is by introducing him to an interesting toy that will better serve his purpose. Whether it's a teething toy or simply entertainment. If they are truly hungry, then make sure to provide them with a proper nutritional meal.
Is it safe for dogs to eat toilet paper?
Eating any kind of paper is very dangerous and can pose a great risk to your dog's health. This is because toilet paper, newspaper, cardboard, etc., could obstruct your dog's respiratory tracts and cause internal damage to their stomach or intestines.
For this reason, it's crucial you take your dog to the veterinarian if you notice that they try to vomit, cough, or they simply seem to have something stuck in their throat. Other symptoms may include having difficulty breathing, diarrhea or the contrary, being unable to defecate.
What to do if your dog eats toilet paper
The ingestion of paper is a dangerous habit that can bring severe health problems to your dog. Therefore, it should not be ignored. In these cases, we should take our pet to the veterinarian to help determine the cause of their behavior. In the case it is a purely a behavioral disorder, we recommend the following tips:
Prevent your dog from having paper within reach
Keep all kinds of paper, such as cardboard, toilet paper, napkins and newspaper out of reach from your dog. For this reason, it is advisable to monitor what places your dog has access to. Perhaps you will need to block the bathroom or the kitchen door and close the garbage can.
Improve the physical well-being of your dog
Once you have the situation under control, you should try to find out how you can improve your dog's over-all health. You may not be providing the proper diet for your dog. Research the most convenient food for your dog depending on their breed, size and required physical exercise. In this case, the best thing you can do is consult a veterinarian.
Or perhaps, your dog may need more exercise. If so, we recommend that you walk your dog at least three times a day and if necessary, involve them in dog sports. Keep in mind that there are dogs that need more exercise than others. The most active breeds need more than a daily two-hour walk.
Keep your dog entertained
It is also advisable to keep your dog entertained through cognitive exercises. In other words, you must provide them with activities that mentally stimulate them through games and environmental enrichment. For example, you can divide the portions of food you give them each day and try to give it to them in a challenging way. This could be through smell games, intelligence games or as a reward for learning new tricks. Try to pay more attention to your furry friend and give them plenty of play time with safe toys.
Environmental enrichment is also of vital importance if your dog spends many hours alone at home. You should give him attractive toys so that you can dissuade him from playing with other household items, such as toilet paper.
If your dog presents this habit constantly or as a result of a more complex disorder, such as anxiety, it is advisable to consult with an ethologist who can help you solve the problem from the focus of origin.
If you want to read similar articles to My Dog Eats Toilet Paper, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.