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.
First, don’t freak out. It will only stress out your dog further if you act restless around him. Plain cardboard is not toxic to dogs. It may, however, cause some digestive issues since dogs aren’t able to digest paper-based materials.
The only major concern would be if your dog swallowed a large piece of cardboard. The cardboard may get lodged somewhere along the digestive tract and lead to serious problems like intestinal blockage. This might happen an hour or two after the dog ate the cardboard.
Watch over your dog carefully for the next day or two. If the dog only ate a small amount of cardboard then it will most likely pass through the dog’s digestive tract. Anything larger, however, may lead to symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and loss of appetite. A call to the vet could be necessary if your dog isn’t acting like his usual self.
My Dog Ate Cardboard, What Now?
If your pup accidentally ate cardboard while you weren’t looking, there are a few steps you are going to want to take. Follow the steps below to make sure you get proper care, and always contact your local veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.
Remove him from the area to stop him from eating any more while you clean up any remaining bits. You’ll likely want to put your pup in a secure location, like their dog crate or in a bedroom with a closed door. This will allow you to assess how much cardboard was eaten and prevent more from being ingested.
Before throwing away the remaining cardboard, you should check what it might have contained. Has your dog eaten any of the contents? For example, if Fido has chewed a cardboard box containing chocolate, then this could cause harm to your pet.
Is he well in himself, or is he showing any signs of distress? Do you see any signs of drooling or restlessness that are more frequent than normal? Do you notice any vomiting or diarrhea? Anything else that you notice out of behavior for your pup worth mentioning to your vet? Make sure to document all of the above before contacting your local vet.
Next, you’ll want to call your veterinarian if a large amount of cardboard has been consumed. This is especially true if any of the cardboard contained toxic contents, or if Fido is showing signs of ill health.
If your veterinarian wants to examine your pet, then you should bring them to the clinic as soon as possible. It may be possible that your vet just suggests that you watch over your dog and look for any potential warning signs that may indicate bigger problems.
Why your dog ate toilet paper
The reasons why your dog loves to eat toilet rolls are wide and varied. Read them all below and see if you can find one which might apply your toilet paper munching pup.
I believe the top reason a dog eats toilet paper is because it’s fun and appeals to their instincts. Toilet paper also has a very strange consistency to it and can be ripped to shreds quite easily… all of which makes it very appealing to dogs!
Think about how dogs would hunt prey if they were wild. They would pin the prey to the ground then shred it with their claws.
Whilst nobody would ever suggest a toilet roll presents a particular difficult catch, when dogs are indoors, they look for fun things to keep themselves entertained with in the absence of any decent dog toys or owner playtime!
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