My Dog Ate a Food Wrapper, What Do I Do?

It’s not uncommon to find your dog feasting on something they shouldn’t be, like a food wrapper. In our article, “My Dog Ate a Food Wrapper, What Do I Do?”, we discuss why dogs might be tempted to eat food wrappers and how you can help stop this behavior.

We’ll also address the potential dangers of dogs eating food wrappers and whether they can chew on them without harm. By the end of this article, you’ll be well-equipped to handle your dog’s fascination with food wrappers and keep them safe. Let’s begin below!

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Food Wrappers

My Dog Ate a Food Wrapper

To stop your dog eating fast food wrappers:

  1. Throw away wrappers as soon as you’re done with them.
  2. Use a trash can with a closing lid.
  3. Be sure your dog always has a proper outlet for chewing like a toy they enjoy.
  4. Spray something to deter your dog, like a 50/50 mixture of water and distilled white vinegar on a cloth and wipe the outside of your trash can with it.
  5. The smell of vinegar will be gone after about 1 hour, but your dog will continue to be deterred.
  6. Give a calm but firm “stop” or “no” right away when you see that your dog is once again eating food wrappers.
  7. Do not get angry or scream, because if they’re doing so due to anxiety (which is the most likely explanation), this will only make their difficulties worse.
  8. Put them into a brief time-out in their crate or a closed-off room for roughly ten minutes.
  9. If you catch your dog beginning to go after the wrappers, point their attention to a toy.
  10. Give them praise, a small treat, and praise when they select their toy instead of eating or chewing on wrappers.
  11. Ensure that everyone else who lives in your home is also using these steps.
  12. Be patient and consistent.

This will get your dog to stop chewing and eating wrappers, but it’s important to remember that the issues which were causing all of this to begin with (anxiety and boredom) will still remain. And you definitely need to address those, because not doing so means that your dog will continue to suffer, act up, and misbehave in other ways.

To properly cover that, we must first talk about what makes dogs function deep down. 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 eats wrappers, they are without a doubt proving to you that they have no trust for you in this leadership role.

If they did, they wouldn’t continue chewing, tearing, and eating your fast food wrappers even after you keep telling them to stop. They wouldn’t engage in any other types of misbehavior or disrespect. And they would obey your commands at all times — immediately — and they would do so happily.

Prove to your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable one who must be respected, and you’ll make all of these wonderful things a reality.

You’ll be better off for obvious reasons. But your dog will be too because you’ll have freed them from all of the confusion and worry that their behavior problems are currently saddling them with every moment of every day.

Sounds terrific, don’t you agree?

“Sure, absolutely, but how do I actually do this then?”

You should watch a tremendous 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 all you’ll need to know in ways that are very easy 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 worry, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your dog. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because loving teaching techniques are 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 Food Wrappers?

Dogs eat food wrappers primarily because of the lingering scent and taste of food on them. As curious creatures, they are naturally attracted to anything that smells or tastes like food, which often leads them to explore and consume wrappers.

Anxiety can also be a factor, as some dogs resort to chewing on objects to soothe themselves when feeling stressed or anxious. In puppies, teething can contribute to chewing and ingesting items like food wrappers.

Anxiety should always be considered when your dog is eating food wrappers or other non-food items. A dog experiencing anxiety might chew on objects to self-soothe, which can lead to swallowing potentially harmful materials. If you suspect your dog is anxious, it’s important to address the issue to prevent further incidents.

While puppies will grow out of teething, it’s essential to address the chewing behavior immediately. 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.

Storing food wrappers where your dog can’t get to them is a smart move, but it’s crucial to understand that this won’t fix the main issue. Your dog will just shift their attention to other items to destructively chew as a way to soothe their problem.

Your dog might eat your paper plates, eat your wrapping paper, eat your construction paper, or even just eat your mail. Virtually any item within reach could become a tempting target. It’s obvious now why you need to deal with the problem at its root. To learn the exact steps to do that, go back to the first section of this article now.

Is My Dog Eating Food Wrappers Dangerous?

Yes, your dog eating food wrappers can be dangerous because it can lead to intestinal blockage or other health issues. Food wrappers, especially plastic or foil ones, are not easily digestible and can become lodged in your dog’s digestive system. This can result in serious complications, such as an obstruction or gastrointestinal perforation, which may require surgery to correct.

Additionally, some wrappers may have sharp edges that can damage your dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines. Ingesting such materials can cause cuts, tears, or other injuries that can lead to infections or other complications.

In some cases, your dog may pass the wrapper without any issues. However, it’s crucial to monitor your dog for any signs of distress or discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms or are concerned about your dog’s health, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Can Dogs Chew Food Wrappers Safely?

Dogs should not chew on food wrappers because of the potential dangers associated with swallowing them. Even if your dog does not swallow the wrapper, chewing on it can still pose risks. Sharp edges can cause injury, and chemicals or inks on the wrapper can be harmful if ingested.

To keep your dog safe, it’s best to prevent access to food wrappers and other potentially dangerous items. This can be done by storing food and wrappers out of your dog’s reach, using pet-proof trash cans, and closely supervising your dog during mealtimes.

While it’s important to provide safe chewing alternatives for your dog, food wrappers should not be among them. There are numerous dog-safe chew toys and treats available that can help satisfy your dog’s natural urge to chew without posing health risks.

I’m sure you’re ready to get started on preventing your dog from eating food wrappers, so I’ll let you get going. Best wishes, and thanks for checking out our article “My Dog Ate a Food Wrapper, What Do I Do?”

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.