There are many things that dogs do that simply defy belief and common sense. Eating toilet rolls and toilet paper is one such odd thing they can do. I’ve certainly walked past our bathroom before to see a paper trail and a guilty looking dog… but why do dogs eat toilet paper, and is it bad for them? I decided to find out…
Why does my dog eat toilet paper? Dogs eat toilet paper and rolls for a number of reasons including stress, boredom, anxiety, fun, hunger, teething, hunting and prey instinct, or a condition called pica where dogs eat non-food items. Some toilet roll eating habits can be easily broken, others will require investigation from a vet.
Distract your dog with something else
If you can commit to keeping the door shut, you should now focus your dog’s attention elsewhere. This is essential because there is one thing worse than chewed toilet paper… a toilet door that is getting scratched to pieces!
Some of the best toys for big chewers are things like the popular Kong (view on Amazon). We will often fill one with xylitol-free peanut butter or treats as it keeps our dog Claude occupied for ages – meaning he won’t have the inclination to tear up and eat toilet rolls!
An alternative could be a game that requires more mental dexterity, such as a puzzle. Here’s a puzzle toy on Amazon that dogs love. It’s said to keep them mentally active and distract them from destructive habits such as chewing things up.
Either of these toys will keep your dog busy and should alleviate the boredom which is often at the root of why dogs eat toilet paper.
If you do see your dog eating toilet paper, don’t chase or shout at them as this will amplify the behavior, and will make them think the game has started.
Instead redirect their attention towards one of their new toys, making what you’re doing with it look like the most exciting thing ever.
Bored and inactive dogs will look to entertain themselves, and this can manifest itself in many different ways. Some dogs like to chew through partition walls, others like to eat paper towels.
You can stop your dog from eating toilet paper and forming destructive habits by keeping them well exercised. We try to walk our own dog at least twice a day which helps to tire him out and keep his mind active.
Boredom, separation anxiety, or stress
A bored or stressed dog will often exhibit attention seeking and destructive behaviors. This could be chewing up shoes, tearing into walls, or eating toilet rolls.
Stress can manifest itself in many different ways, and will often occur due to a change in your dog’s environment or even a one-off event such as fireworks.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common issues that leads to destructive behavior. When dogs are left alone for long periods of time, they will often chew and scratch things in the home. Given how easily accessible toilet rolls are, many times dogs eat toilet paper to get your attention.
Puppies will eat toilet paper when teething if they can get access to it. It’s not even the fact that toilet rolls are particularly fascinating as teething puppies will chew on anything for relief.
By eating things around the home, puppies can soothe their sore gums so keep things they keep chewing well out of reach… and invest in a teething toy like the ones on Amazon below!
Pica is a condition that’s hard to diagnose as it can be down to so many different things. It’s a condition that affect humans too, and if you’ve not heard of it before, the West Park Animal Hospital explain pica in dogs as:
From my own research into pica, it’s a very common reasons for dogs eating toilet rolls, and is said to be brought on by the following issues:
It can be hard to stop a dog eating toilet paper if you don’t know the root cause, and this is where a pica diagnosis can be hard. The Best Friends Animal Society also say that pica in dogs is caused by:
As you can see, there’s a lot of reasons why it could be happening, so is best checked over by your vet.
Your dog might be eating toilet paper just because he is hungry. For example, if your dog has eaten well during the day then gone on a big walk and expended lots of energy, he might need to find those extra calories once you get home.
Obviously, there are no calories in toilet paper, but once it chewed and eaten, it can clump in your dog’s stomach and give them the illusion that they are full.
Keep the bathroom door closed!
The simplest answer is to make sure that your bathroom door is always shut. That brings an end to the game and will stop your pooch from getting to the toilet roll holder.
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