Is it bad if my dog ate a napkin? Here’s the Answer

Assess The Situation

If you suspect your dog has eaten a napkin, take time to investigate the area.

Did your dog just swipe one napkin around dinner time, or that missed going in the trash can? Did they raid the garbage for every napkin they could find?

Were the napkins paper or cloth?

These are all questions you should consider when you feel your dog may have eaten a napkin.

Since we know that eating one paper napkin isn’t likely to cause most dogs a problem, you can relax a bit if you realize that your pup just grabbed one strange snack.

If you notice that your dog ate many napkins, you know that close monitoring is very important.

If your dog ate a napkin of any size that wasn’t paper, skip ahead and give your vet a call for advice.

Medical Causes

In rare cases, a dog may suffer from a medical condition that makes them want to eat a range of non-food items.

The condition where a dog regularly eats non-food items on purpose is called Pica.

Dogs with pica will eat items such as napkins regardless of whether they have been used or not.

They often won’t shred the item but will eat it whole.

If you notice your adult dog often eating (not just destroying) items that aren’t food, it might be worthwhile to get a veterinary examination.

Check your dog

Depending on the amount and content of the paper towel consumed, dogs may react very differently:

Some may appear perfectly fine and continue their day as normal, including eating and drinking without difficulty. Others may start to vomit, particularly if they have eaten a large volume of paper towel, or if it contains substances such as grease or bleach. They can be quiet, appear uncomfortable and unable to settle, and refuse drink or food. If they have eaten a lot of paper towel, their bellies can look bloated and they may be tender when they are touched by their belly.

If several hours have passed after eating the offending paper towel, your dog may have diarrhea as the paper towel can irritate the lining of the intestines as it passes along the digestive tract. They can strain to go to the toilet and may pass small pieces of the paper towel in their stool.

No matter how your dog is currently behaving it is always best to contact your vet for advice as sometimes it can take a few hours for the damage to be noticeable, especially if your dog is stoical.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate A Paper Towel (Or Toilet Paper)

Dogs are inquisitive creatures who will sometimes get into things they shouldn’t. If advertisements are to be believed, puppies and dogs love playing with tissues and toilet paper, with no harm to their health. And yes, while small bits of paper being swallowed may not cause any harm, larger amounts can. This means it’s important to understand what can happen as a result.

Yes, many dog owners return home and find toilet paper or paper towels ripped up and scattered around the house. But what happens when it’s not just ripped up, and your pup has decided it would be more fun to eat the paper scraps rather than leave them be?

Toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, and any paper product can be a problem if your dog has consumed too much. But when should you be worried, and when does it move beyond 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.