Can Dogs Eat Cardboard? What to Do if Dog Eats Cardboard

Can dogs eat cardboard? What do you do if your dog eats cardboard? In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about your dog eating cardboard, including what to do if your dog ate cardboard already. We’ll then explain the two commands that will ensure your dog stays away from pieces of cardboard from now on.

Next, we’ll teach you why dogs eat cardboard (and what it means if your dog is suddenly eating cardboard or you have an older dog eating cardboard). Finally, we’ll instruct you on if cardboard is bad for dogs and of course, how to stop your dog from eating cardboard once and for all. Keep reading!

Can Dogs Eat Cardboard?

Can Dogs Eat Cardboard?

Dogs should not eat cardboard. While it’s not toxic, cardboard can cause digestive issues, including obstructions. It’s also not part of a dog’s natural diet and provides no nutritional value. If your dog eats cardboard in only a small amount, they will likely pass it without issue. However, larger quantities or regular consumption can lead to more severe complications.

My Dog Ate Cardboard, What Do I Do?

If your dog ate cardboard, observe them closely for any signs of distress such as vomiting, retching, or constipation. Small pieces usually pass through a dog’s digestive system without causing harm, but larger pieces can pose a risk. If your dog shows symptoms or if you know they ingested a large amount, it’s important to contact your vet promptly for advice.

Side Effects of Dog Eating Cardboard

The side effects of a dog eating cardboard can vary. Some dogs may pass the cardboard without issue, but there is a risk of gastrointestinal blockage, especially with larger amounts. Signs of a blockage include vomiting, a decreased appetite, lethargy, and changes in bowel movements. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care as it could be an emergency.

Train the “Leave It” Command

  1. Begin with a treat in your hand, show it to your dog, then close your hand around it. When they back off, say “Leave it,” and reward them with a different treat.
  2. Repeat this process, rewarding your dog only when they obey the “Leave it” command and not when they touch the forbidden item.
  3. Gradually increase the difficulty by placing the treat on the ground and covering it with your hand, and later with no hand cover. Always reward your dog for successful compliance.
  4. Use “Leave it” with various items to generalize the command, including objects like cardboard, to prevent ingestion.

Training your dog to “Leave It” is crucial in preventing them from eating things they shouldn’t, like cardboard, which can be harmful to their health.

Train the “Drop It” Command

  1. Start by engaging your dog with a toy they like. Once they have it in their mouth, offer them a treat and say “Drop it.”
  2. When they drop the toy to get the treat, praise them enthusiastically. Repeat this several times until they associate the command with the action.
  3. Practice with different toys and in various situations to reinforce the behavior.
  4. Eventually, test the command with objects they shouldn’t have, like pieces of cardboard, to ensure they’ll drop potentially harmful items.

Mastering the “Drop It” command helps protect your dog from risks associated with eating cardboard by giving you control over what they hold in their mouth.

Dogs should not eat cardboard. Though it’s not toxic to them, it’s still dangerous due to the risk of digestive issues and blockages. These commands will help keep them safe, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (curiosity, anxiety, boredom, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present.

And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog eating cardboard and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about if your dog ate cardboard ever again!

Is Cardboard Bad for Dogs?

Is Cardboard Bad for Dogs?

Cardboard is bad for dogs. While not inherently toxic to them, it’s still not suitable for dogs to eat or chew as they cannot properly digest cardboard, and it may lead to intestinal blockages or other digestive troubles. While some dogs may chew or ingest small amounts of cardboard and pass it without incident, it’s important to ensure that your dog doesn’t make a habit of this behavior.

Can Dogs Digest Cardboard?

Dogs cannot digest cardboard. While your dog eating cardboard is an issue, it’s not due to its toxicity, it’s because of its indigestible nature. The canine digestive system is simply not equipped to break down the fibrous material found in cardboard.

While a small piece may occasionally pass through the gastrointestinal tract of a larger dog without causing problems, ingestion of cardboard can pose a serious risk of obstruction, especially with repeated exposure or in smaller breeds. Learning commands like “leave it” and “drop it” is vital for these situations; learn both now in the first section.

It’s more important than you likely realize to get this handled as soon as you can because if you don’t your dog’s issue will soon spread to other similar areas. You’ll then find your dog eating napkins, your dog eating paper towels, your dog chewing sheets, your dog chewing pillows, or your dog chewing your door mat.

Can Dogs Chew Cardboard?

Dogs cannot chew cardboard safely. Though it’s a common sight to see a dog chewing cardboard or on other various objects as a means of exploration or relief from teething discomfort, cardboard is not a safe or appropriate chewing outlet.

Both puppies and adult dogs should not chew on cardboard, as they may accidentally swallow pieces, which can lead to the complications mentioned. Be sure to offer your dogs safe and suitable toys that satisfy the need to chew while avoiding the risks associated with cardboard.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Cardboard?

If your dog eats cardboard, they might display signs of gastrointestinal discomfort or distress, such as trying to vomit, producing no stool or unusually small or large stools, and showing signs of abdominal pain. These could be symptomatic of a partial or complete obstruction, which is a veterinary emergency.

Some dogs may seem fine at first, but symptoms can develop hours or even days later, meaning you’ll need to keep a close eye on them.

Puppy Ate Cardboard

Puppies are naturally curious and often ingest non-food items, but their smaller size and developing digestive systems make them particularly vulnerable to the hazards posed by ingested cardboard.

A puppy’s narrower intestines can be obstructed more easily than those of an adult dog, leading to a riskier situation where prompt veterinary attention might be required. Keep your puppy’s environment clear of such hazards and supervise them closely.

How Much Cardboard Can a Dog Eat?

Dogs cannot eat any amount of cardboard safely. Even minimal amounts can lead to problems, so it’s best to prevent any cardboard consumption at all. Regular consumption, even in small amounts, can cause cumulative effects that may lead to chronic digestive issues.

It’s always best to prevent your dog from accessing cardboard and to consult your vet immediately if they have consumed a significant amount or are showing any signs of distress or discomfort. Learn the “leave it” and “drop it” commands to keep your dog safe now in the first section.

In summary, cardboard is not safe for dogs to eat due to its indigestibility and the potential to cause blockages. Dogs chewing cardboard should not be allowed. Provide appropriate toys and chews for their pets.

If a dog eats cardboard, monitor their health closely, and if there are any signs of digestive distress, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Always err on the side of caution with your pet’s health.

Why Does My Dog Eat Cardboard?

Why Does My Dog Eat Cardboard?

Your dog eats cardboard for a variety of reasons, ranging from boredom and anxiety to dietary deficiencies or even behavioral issues. It’s not an ideal situation, as cardboard can be difficult to digest and may lead to intestinal blockages. If you notice your dog eating cardboard, it’s important to understand the underlying cause and take steps to prevent this behavior.

Why Is My Dog Eating Cardboard?

Your dog is eating cardboard possibly due to boredom, anxiety, or the need to chew. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and they may choose cardboard if they lack more suitable alternatives. Additionally, puppies may eat cardboard during their teething phase to relieve discomfort.

Some dogs may also be attracted to the texture or taste of cardboard, especially if it has been contaminated with food residues. It’s important for them to know commands like “leave it” and “drop it” for these types of situations. You can learn both now by going back to the first section.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Eating Cardboard?

Your dog suddenly eating cardboard could be due to increased anxiety or stress, usually because of a recent change in their environment. Their seeking to relieve this can then result in the development of compulsive behaviors, such as chewing or eating non-food items.

Another possible cause for a sudden change in your dog’s habits could be a nutritional deficiency, prompting your pet to ingest various objects to try to address the imbalance.

Why Is My Old Dog Eating Cardboard?

Your old dog is eating cardboard possibly as a symptom of age-related cognitive decline, which can manifest in ways akin to dementia in humans, leading to disorientation and atypical behaviors, such as consuming non-edible objects.

As some dogs age, they also may experience a diminished sense of taste and smell, leading them to explore their environment with their mouth more frequently. In addition, older dogs might seek cardboard as a texture to chew on if they are experiencing discomfort from dental issues, or as a way to cope with changes in their diet or environment that come with aging.

It’s important to watch out for any new or unusual behaviors in your senior dogs and consult with a vet to ensure these actions are not symptoms of underlying health problems.

Why Do Dogs Like Cardboard?

Dogs like cardboard because they find it mentally stimulating or physically satisfying, and a great reliever of boredom, stress, or oral discomfort. Cardboard can also retain scents, particularly of foods that were once packaged within, which can be enticing to a dog.

How to Stop Dogs Eating Cardboard

To stop your dog from eating cardboard, ensure that they have plenty of appropriate chew toys that are more enticing than cardboard. Keep cardboard out of reach by securing trash cans and recycling bins.

Provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation through exercise and interactive play, which can help to divert their attention away from cardboard. Lastly, make sure your dog’s diet is complete and balanced to prevent nutritional deficiencies that may lead to pica, the craving for non-food items.

In conclusion, while dogs eat cardboard for various reasons, it is a behavior that should always be discouraged. Understanding why your dog eats cardboard (or chews it) is the first step in addressing the problem.

Once you know the cause, you can work on redirecting their behavior to more appropriate activities and ensuring they don’t have access to cardboard. Always consult with a veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s eating habits or if they consume cardboard, as this can lead to health issues.

I’m sure you’re ready to begin now that you have all of your questions about your dog eating cardboard answered, so I’ll let you get started. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Can Dogs Eat Cardboard? What to Do if Dog Eats Cardboard.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.