My dog ​​eats paper - Causes, consequences and solutions

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Although it may seem strange to us, dogs may find eating paper appealing. This unusual behavior can be accompanied by the ingestion of other inappropriate objects and is often a cause for concern for owners, since it can pose a health problem for our dog..

If you are wondering why your dog eats paper and you want to try to solve it, in AnimalWised we encourage you to continue reading this article.

You may also be interested in: My dog ​​is aggressive towards other dogs - Causes and solutions Index
  1. Why does my dog ​​eat paper?
  2. Why does my puppy eat paper?
  3. What if my dog ​​eats paper?
  4. What to do if my dog ​​eats paper?

Why does my dog ​​eat paper?

Eating paper is an inappropriate behavior that is part of the so-called pica disorder. We understand pica as a disorder characterized by the fact that the dog has the urge to ingest elements that are not part of its diet and that could even harm its health. An example is coprophagia (when they eat feces, either their own or from other animals), the ingestion of soil, clothing, etc..

This behavior can have different causes. For this reason, let's see which are the main ones and what can explain why your dog eats paper:


Many times, this problem is associated with the fact that the dog is bored at home and for this reason he needs to find alternatives to keep himself entertained. These cases occur especially in dogs that spend many hours alone or to which not much attention is paid and / or need more activity, such as not playing with them enough or not taking them for a walk as much as should be. This inactivity can, in turn, generate frustration and anxiety in your dog, resulting in other inappropriate behaviors and a nervous mood.

Separation anxiety

Destructive behaviors, including shredding newspapers, toilet paper, etc., can also be associated with a problem of separation anxiety. Similar to the previous case, this behavior occurs in dogs that spend hours alone, but what, also, they are very dependent emotionally from their human companions, so that if they do not meet them, a high level of anxiety and stress is generated, which are manifested in behaviors such as destroying different household objects (not just paper), excessive barking when the owner leaves the home ... For more information, we recommend reading: "Separation anxiety in dogs - Symptoms and treatment ".

Lack of nutrients

A nutritional deficiency it can lead to appropriate ingestion behaviors, such as trying to eat paper or derivatives such as cardboard. And you can even try eating other things, like dirt or feces. So, if you notice that your dog eats toilet paper, newspaper, cardboard and other materials, do not hesitate to review his diet to see if this is the cause..

Find the desirable role

If the paper your dog eats is used napkins or is stained with some kind of substance, it could be that the smell that they give off is appetizing for your dog and for this reason ingest it. It would be common, for example, if it came from the kitchen or the garbage can.

Clinical pathology

Your dog may have started to eat paper due to some disease, such as stomach pain, a thyroid condition, diabetes…

These cases occur especially in adult or elderly dogs, although we do not rule out that it can also occur in puppies, suddenly. If you suspect that it may occur for this reason, check with your vet ASAP so you can rule it out.

Why does my puppy eat paper?

It is natural for puppies to bite and destroy all kinds of objects that are within their reach, including paper, especially newspaper, which is the one most used to educate them to relieve themselves before being able to go out on the street. . You may also end up ingesting it in the process (especially if it smells palatable). This is because the development of teething is usually painful and they need bite objects to calm down. For this reason, we must provide our puppy with specific toys that he can chew on, such as resistant toys with treats inside, which are usually attractive to them because they provide them with food. And at the same time, avoid dangerous or valuable objects from being within reach.

On the contrary, when we see that our puppy inappropriately bites something, We will never scold or snatch him away, since we will only make him mistrust us and hide when he gets an object to avoid, well, that we take it from him. As well we will avoid chasing him, since this action can be taken as a game, learning in the process to draw our attention unduly by biting objects when bored.

In these cases, when we see that the puppy eats paper, for example, we will call his attention so that he is the one who addresses us, and we will teach him to let go, showing him a toy that is interesting to him and that he can bite to make him release paper. When he does, we will reward him and give him the toy. In this way, we will redirect the behavior by providing it with more appropriate game alternatives, allowing it to perform this behavior that is part of its puppy nature.

For more information about why puppies have this urge to bite, we recommend reading: "¿Is it normal for the puppy to chew on everything? ".

What if my dog ​​eats paper?

This behavior can pose a great risk to your dog's health, since eating toilet paper, newspaper, cardboard, etc.., it could block your airway and therefore choke you and even cause internal damage to your stomach or intestines.

For this reason, do not hesitate to take him to the vet If you notice that your furry tries to vomit, coughs, seems to have something stuck in his throat or has difficulty breathing, makes diarrhea or, conversely, cannot defecate.

What to do if my dog ​​eats paper?

That your dog eats paper can be an inconvenience to be able to achieve a harmonious coexistence with him. But in addition, as we have commented, it is also a risk to your physical health and an indication of psychological discomfort. Therefore, it should not be ignored. In these cases, we should take our pet to the vet to help you determine the cause of this behavior, ruling out that it was not of organic origin. In the case of a purely behavioral disorder, the procedure that we advise you to follow to prevent your dog from eating paper will be as follows:

Prevent your dog from having paper at his fingertips

Keep all kinds of paper out of your dog's reach, such as cardboard, toilet paper, napkins, newspaper… For this reason, it is recommended monitor what places you have access to your dog, blocking the bathroom or kitchen door and closing the garbage can, for example.

If it is a puppy and still cannot go outside, you can choose to use pads instead of newspaper. If he eats them anyway, then you should schedule the schedule to be present when he does his business and make sure he does not eat anything improper..

Improve your dog's physical well-being

Once you have the situation under control, you should try to find out where your dog's well-being is limping. You may not be providing a proper diet And, for this reason, you will have to find the most convenient diet for your dog based on its breed, size and physical exercise. In this regard, the best thing you can do is consult the vet.

On the other hand, your dog may need get more exercise. If so, we recommend that you walk your furry at least three times a day or take a very long walk (at least an hour and a half) and a shorter one. Keep in mind that there are dogs that need more exercise than others and, therefore, the most active breeds may not have enough of two hours a day of walking.

Have your dog entertained

It is also advisable to keep your dog tired through cognitive exercises. That is, you must provide activities that stimulate you mentally through games and environmental enrichment. You can, for example, divide the portions of food that we give each day and try to give them in a challenging way: through smell games, intelligence games or as a reward for learning behaviors. Also try to pay more attention to your furry and give him more time to play, always without paper in between to make him lose interest in him..

Environmental enrichment is also vitally important if your dog spends many hours alone at home bored, for this reason you should give him attractive toys that provide him with rewards, so that you will discourage him from playing with other household items, such as toilet paper..

If your dog has this habit constantly or as a result of a more complex disorder, such as anxiety, it is recommended consult an ethologist that can help you solve the problem from the source focus.

On the other hand, if you suffer from separation anxiety, this video can help you:

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