Dog Ate Paper Towels? What to Do + How to Stop It!
Have you ever come home to find your dog has gotten into the paper towels? It’s a common problem for pet owners, but it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous situation. In this article, we’ll discuss why dogs eat paper towels, how to stop this behavior, and what to do if your dog swallows a paper towel.
Additionally, we’ll cover whether dogs can pass paper towels, the possibilities of pica, and if your dog will grow out of this habit. Keep reading to learn more about keeping your pup safe and your paper towels out of harm’s way!
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Paper Towels
To stop your dog eating or chewing paper towels:
- Keep paper towels hidden away or as out of reach as possible.
- Ensure your dog always has available a safe outlet for chewing like a toy that keeps them occupied.
- Spray a deterrent, like a 1:1 solution of water and distilled white vinegar onto a cloth and wipe down the paper towels with it.
- The vinegar smell will not be detectable after about an hour, but your dog will still be repelled.
- Give a calm, firm “no” or “stop” the second when you notice that your dog is eating paper towels.
- Don’t yell or get mad, because if they’re misbehaving like this stemming from anxiety (which is very probable), this will only make their worries worse.
- Put them in a brief time-out in their crate or a closed-off room for approximately ten minutes.
- If you observe your dog starting to go towards the paper towels, redirect them to a favorite toy.
- Reward them with praise, pets, and a treat when they choose a toy instead of chewing on paper towels.
- Be sure that anyone else in the house is also using these procedures.
- Stay patient and consistent.
This should stop your dog from chewing paper towels, but you’ll still need to address the underlying issues which were almost certainly causing all of this in the first place: your dog’s anxiety and boredom. If you ignore that, your dog will continue to suffer, and you’ll find that they’ll keep misbehaving in other related ways.
And to do that, we must first talk about what makes dogs tick and has for thousands and thousands of years now. You’ve probably heard before that all dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.
But when your dog chews or eats your paper towels, they are without a doubt telling you that they don’t trust you as the head of the family pack.
If they did, they wouldn’t chew up your paper towels and continue doing so even after you’ve commanded them to quit. They wouldn’t engage in any other types of misbehavior or disrespect. And they would obey your commands at all times — happily — and they would do so right away.
Show your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable and deserving one who they must respect, and you’ll make all of these wonderful things a reality.
Obviously, you’ll win. But your dog will be the even bigger winner here because they’ll no longer have to deal with all of the worry and confusion that their behavior issues are currently saddling their little shoulders with every moment of every day.
Sounds like a great thing, wouldn’t you agree?
“Yes, absolutely, but how do I do this then?”
You should watch a fantastic free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this exact subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In Dan’s series, he explains everything in ways that are very simple to follow and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these critical changes in your dog before things get any worse.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your dog. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving teaching techniques at all times. Not just because they’re the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.
Why Do Dogs Eat or Chew Paper Towels?
Dogs eat or chew paper towels primarily because of anxiety, boredom, or simply because they enjoy the taste and texture. Anxiety can cause your dog to seek comfort through chewing, while boredom may lead to destructive chewing habits as a form of entertainment. On the other hand, some dogs just find the taste and texture of paper towels appealing and enjoy ripping them apart.
Teething can also be a reason for this behavior, especially in puppies. As their teeth grow in, they may seek to soothe their gums by chewing on various items, including paper towels. It’s important to provide appropriate chew toys during this stage to deter them from damaging household items.
Storing paper towels where your dog can’t access them is a wise precaution, but it’s important to understand that this won’t solve the underlying issue. Your dog will simply turn to other objects to chew destructively in an attempt to soothe their problem.
Your dog might eat your napkins, eat your paper towel rolls, eat your paper bags, or chew your dish towels. Practically anything accessible can become an attractive target. I’m sure you can see now why tackling the root cause of the issue is so crucial. To learn the exact steps to accomplish that, go back to the first section of this article now.
What to Do if Your Dog Swallowed a Paper Towel
If your dog swallowed a paper towel, it’s crucial to monitor them closely for signs of distress or intestinal blockage. These signs may include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance on the next steps.
Do not attempt to induce vomiting without consulting your vet first, as this can cause further complications. In some cases, your vet may recommend a wait-and-see approach, while in others, they may suggest bringing your dog in for an examination or even surgery.
Can Dogs Pass Paper Towels?
Dogs can sometimes pass paper towels without any issues, depending on the size and amount swallowed. Small pieces of paper towel may pass through the digestive system and be excreted without causing harm. However, larger pieces or a significant quantity can cause a blockage, which is a serious medical concern.
It’s essential to monitor your dog’s bowel movements and general behavior closely if you suspect they have consumed paper towels. If you notice any signs of distress or symptoms of intestinal blockage, seek veterinary assistance right away.
Is My Dog Eating Paper Towels Because of Pica?
Your dog may be eating paper towels because of pica, a condition where animals are driven to consume non-food items. Pica can result from a variety of factors, including nutritional deficiencies, underlying medical issues, or even behavioral problems such as anxiety or boredom.
If your dog is consistently eating non-food items like paper towels, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes. They may recommend blood tests or other diagnostic tools to identify any underlying health issues.
Addressing any potential nutritional deficiencies by providing a balanced diet can also help improve your dog’s pica-related behavior. Additionally, offering mental stimulation, exercise, and appropriate chew toys can help curb the desire to chew on paper towels or other non-food items.
Will My Dog Grow Out of Chewing Paper Towels?
Growing out of chewing paper towels depends on the underlying cause of the behavior. If the chewing is related to teething, your dog will likely grow out of it as their adult teeth come in. However, it’s essential to address the chewing behavior immediately to prevent it from becoming a learned habit. Even though the teething phase will eventually pass, it’s important not to let it become a learned behavior now, as they will still find it pleasurable and soothing even as an adult.
For dogs chewing paper towels due to anxiety or boredom, you’ll need to address the root cause to see improvements. Providing mental stimulation, exercise, and appropriate chew toys can help reduce the likelihood of this behavior continuing into adulthood.
You should now know everything you need to handle your dog’s paper towel chewing, so I’ll let you get started. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Dog Ate Paper Towels? What to Do + How to Stop It!