You’ve just noticed that your dog ate toilet paper. Is this cause for concern or can you simply shrug it off? Your neighbor’s dog had to undergo surgery recently to remove a paper towel that had caused a blockage. Is it something that you need to worry about?
Your dog will eat toilet paper due to a number of issues one of which is pica. This is a condition where the dog eats toilet paper and other nonfood items due to malnutrition or another underlying issue. If your dog ingests small amounts of toilet tissue, there is no need for concern but larger paper towels and napkins can cause blockages that require professional help.
Your dog eating toilet paper is not something that you usually need to worry about because, in most cases, they just rip it up and never swallow it.
They may swallow it accidentally and you need not be concerned because it simply ends up making its way through the digestive system and coming out when they poop.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Tissue?
In most cases, you do not need to be alarmed when you see your dog playing around with a few sheets of toilet paper because, in most cases, they just enjoy ripping it apart as they play with it and don’t actually ingest it.
When they do ingest it, it’s usually a few small pieces that they swallow accidentally and these really don’t cause for concern.
When you see your dog actually eating and swallowing the toilet paper, then there could be deeper underlying issues that you need to further investigate.
Your dog could be experiencing pica which is when dogs eat other none food items like paper, plastics even soap and other substances.
This is one of the reasons that causes dogs to eat toilet paper with poop in it or that you used to wipe your mouth. It’s also common for dogs to eat soiled baby diapers.
In this case, you need to take your dog to the vet so that they establish what the true cause of the pica is so that you take the necessary corrective action.
When a dog ingests a large paper towel or napkin, it may not pass through the digestive system naturally and it may get lodged in the intestine causing blockages. These are actually life-threatening and if they can’t be flushed out with a laxative, they will need to undergo surgery.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Toilet Paper?
One of the first things you can do is get a Chew toy to Help keep the Dog from going after objects like toilet paper, the one I recommend is by EETOYS Dog Toys (See Reviews on Amazon).
You need to be mindful of is whether or not they exhibit any signs of pica. Under normal circumstances, your dog only wants to play with and rip up paper.
They have no interest in swallowing it. When your dog is actively trying to eat toilet paper, there is a great possibility that they may have pica.
You need to take them to the vets as soon as possible and make sure that you feed them a nutritionally balanced diet. As a preventative measure, make sure that you keep them away from places like the bathroom where they can easily access toilet paper.
To prevent your dog from eating toilet paper, there are a few precautions that you can take in order scroll down:
1. Keep Toilet Paper Out of Reach
The easiest way to prevent your dog from eating toilet paper is to keep it out of reach. Store your toilet paper in a closed cabinet or on a high shelf where your dog can’t get to it.
2. Provide Appropriate Chew Toys
Dogs often chew on things when they are bored or anxious. Providing your dog with appropriate chew toys can help redirect their chewing behavior. Choose toys that are durable and safe for your dog to chew on.
Also Read: How can I Get My Dog to Chew His Food?
3. Train Your Dog
Training techniques can be used to discourage your dog from eating toilet paper. One method is to teach your dog the “leave it” command. You can use this command to redirect your dog’s attention when they are showing interest in the toilet paper.
4. Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior
Keep an eye on your dog when they are in the bathroom or other areas where toilet paper is accessible. If you notice your dog showing interest in the toilet paper, redirect their attention or remove the toilet paper from their reach.
5. Provide mental and physical stimulation
Boredom and anxiety can often lead to destructive behaviors like chewing. Make sure your dog is getting enough mental and physical stimulation throughout the day. Take your dog for walks, provide interactive toys, and spend time playing with your dog.
How Does Eating Toilet Paper Harm Your Dog’s Health?
Dogs are curious creatures, and they often explore their surroundings by using their mouths. However, some of the things dogs like to chew on can be harmful to their health, including toilet paper. Eating toilet paper may seem harmless at first, but it can lead to a range of health problems for dogs, and dog owners need to understand why.
Here’s why eating toilet paper can harm your dog’s health:
- Digestive issues: Toilet paper can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal discomfort.
- Obstruction: Eating large quantities of toilet paper can obstruct the digestive system, which can be a medical emergency and require surgery to remove.
- Choking hazard: Pieces of toilet paper can get stuck in a dog’s throat and cause choking.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Eating toilet paper can interfere with a dog’s ability to absorb nutrients from their food, potentially leading to nutritional deficiencies over time.
- Intestinal perforation: If a dog swallows a large amount of toilet paper, it can form a dense mass in the stomach or intestines, which can lead to perforation or rupture of the intestinal wall.
- Bacterial infections: The fibers in toilet paper can provide a surface for bacteria to grow, which can cause infections in the digestive system.
- Foreign body ingestion: If your dog eats toilet paper regularly, it may develop a habit of eating non-food items (known as pica), which can lead to the ingestion of other foreign objects that can be dangerous or toxic.
- Chemical exposure: Toilet paper may contain chemicals that can be harmful to your dog if ingested, especially if the toilet paper is scented, dyed, or contains additives.
- Parasites: If your dog eats toilet paper that has come into contact with feces or other animal waste, it may ingest parasites that can cause health problems.
- Dehydration: Eating large amounts of toilet paper can cause dehydration, as the toilet paper absorbs water in the digestive system and can prevent your dog from getting the hydration they need.
- Behavioral issues: If your dog develops a habit of eating toilet paper, it can lead to other behavioral issues such as anxiety, compulsive behavior, and aggression.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Toilet Paper?
Dogs eat a lot of things that they should not eat but they rarely suffer any ill effects. When they do this, you are none the wiser and won’t even realize it until you see the residue in their poop.
It’s good if you actually see your dog eating the toilet paper because, in this way, you can act quickly. If you see them eat it, you need to induce vomiting so that they get it out of their system.
Another thing that you can do is use a dog laxative such as Metamucil. Metamucil coats the paper as it passes through the digestive tract and your dog is able to pass it out.
If you don’t have these options available to you, giving your dog a bowl of water will also do the trick. It causes the paper to pass through the digestive tract a whole lot faster.
Monitor your dog to see whether or not they pass it out. Also, watch for any signs of discomfort and if you see any, take them to the vet. It might just save their lives.
In conclusion, while eating toilet paper may seem like a harmless behavior for dogs, it can have serious health consequences. From digestive issues to intestinal perforation and chemical exposure, the potential health risks are numerous. Dog owners need to be aware of the risks associated with their dogs eating toilet paper and take steps to prevent it. By keeping toilet paper out of reach, providing appropriate chew toys, and monitoring your dog’s behavior, you can help keep your furry friend safe and healthy. If your dog does ingest a large amount of toilet paper, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible to prevent serious health complications.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.