Why Do Dogs Eat Paper? Can Dogs Eat Paper? (+What to Do!)

Why do dogs eat paper? Can dogs eat paper? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and also teach you what to do if your dog ate paper already, and the two simple but incredibly effective commands to stop it from happening again. You’ll also learn how to treat the root cause of this behavior.

Next, we’ll cover handling if your dog ate a paper wrapper, paper bag, or paper cup. We’re also going to help you if you’re wondering about why your dog is eating paper all of a sudden, why dogs like to eat paper, why dogs chew paper, and the special considerations if you have a puppy or senior dog eating paper. Keep reading!

Why Do Dogs Eat Paper?

Why Do Dogs Eat Paper?

Dogs eat paper for various reasons, ranging from simple curiosity to behavioral issues like boredom or anxiety. While the act of eating paper might seem harmless, it can lead to digestive problems or blockages, especially if consumed in large quantities.

Why Does My Dog Eat Paper?

Your dog eats paper possibly due to boredom, anxiety, lack of stimulation, or as a way to attract attention. Puppies may chew on paper during their teething phase. Sometimes, dogs may also eat paper due to nutritional deficiencies or as a symptom of pica, a condition that involves eating non-food items.

My Dog Ate Paper, What Do I Do?

If your dog ate paper, monitor them closely for any signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty in passing stool. Small amounts of paper may pass through their system, but larger quantities, or paper with toxic substances (like ink), can be harmful. If you notice any concerning symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Train the “Leave It” Command

Training your dog with the “Leave It” command can help prevent them from eating paper:

  1. Start with a less tempting item and hold it in your hand. Say “Leave it” when your dog approaches.
  2. When your dog stops trying to get the item and moves away, reward them with praise and a treat from the other hand.
  3. Gradually increase the challenge by using more enticing items, like paper, always rewarding compliance.
  4. Practice regularly in different settings to reinforce the command.

Train the “Drop It” Command

Similarly, the “Drop It” command is effective for teaching your dog to release paper or other items:

  1. Give your dog a toy to hold, and when they have it, offer a treat while saying “Drop it.”
  2. Once they release the toy, praise them and give the treat.
  3. Repeat this process, gradually introducing items like paper under supervision.
  4. Ensure consistency in training to achieve the best results.

In summary, dogs eat paper due to various reasons, including curiosity, anxiety, boredom, or nutritional issues. These commands will help prevent problems in the future, 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 paper 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 what to do if your dog ate paper ever again!

Can Dogs Eat Paper?

Can Dogs Eat Paper?

Dogs cannot eat paper safely. Paper is not a natural part of a dog’s diet and can cause various health issues including gastrointestinal blockages, especially if eaten regularly or in large quantities.

Can Dogs Digest Paper?

Dogs cannot digest paper effectively. While small amounts might pass through their digestive system without causing harm, larger quantities or frequent consumption can lead to complications. Paper can cause intestinal blockages, particularly if it clumps together in the stomach or intestines, and these blockages can be life-threatening and may require surgical intervention.

Prevent these incidents from occurring by training your dog on the “leave it” and “drop it” commands. You can learn both now in the first section.

You should get this handled right away, because doing so will also keep your dog safe during other similar situations. You then aren’t going to have to worry about things like what to do if your dog ate tape, if your dog ate a muffin wrapper, if your dog ate a cupcake wrapper, or if your dog ate a paper plate.

Dogs Eating Paper Symptoms

The symptoms of dogs eating paper can vary depending on the amount ingested and the dog’s size. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits.

If you notice your dog straining during defecation or not defecating at all, it could be a sign of a blockage. Persistent symptoms or signs of distress warrant immediate veterinary attention.

Is Eating Paper Bad for Dogs?

Eating paper is bad for dogs. It poses a risk of gastrointestinal blockage and doesn’t provide any nutritional value. Additionally, paper products may contain toxic substances, such as ink, that can be harmful to dogs. If your dog is eating paper habitually, it’s important to address this behavior and keep paper products out of their reach.

In summary, dogs cannot eat paper safely. Paper can lead to digestive issues and blockages, and it doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits. Monitoring your dog for any signs of gastrointestinal distress after they have eaten paper is crucial, and seeking veterinary care is necessary if symptoms arise.

Dog Eating Paper: Will He Be Okay?

Dog Eating Paper

If your dog is eating paper, it’s a common yet potentially problematic behavior. While a small amount of paper might not cause any harm, larger quantities or certain types of paper can lead to serious health issues including gastrointestinal obstruction. The impact depends on the amount and type of paper consumed, as well as the size and overall health of your dog.

Puppy Eating Paper

If your puppy ate paper, monitor them closely. Puppies are more prone to gastrointestinal blockages from ingesting non-food items due to their smaller size. Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, lack of appetite, and difficulty defecating. Providing appropriate chew toys and keeping paper out of reach can prevent this behavior.

Dog Ate Paper Wrapper

If your dog ate a paper wrapper, consider what was wrapped in it. Often, paper wrappers have traces of food, which can be more attractive to dogs. While the paper itself might pass through their system, any residual food or grease could cause stomach upset.

Observe your dog for any signs of digestive discomfort like vomiting or difficulty defecating. Learn the commands to prevent future problems in the first section.

Dog Ate Paper Bag

If your dog ate a paper bag, there’s a risk of gastrointestinal irritation or blockage, especially if it was a large bag or if your dog is small. Watch for symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, or changes in bowel movements. If you notice any concerning signs or if the bag was particularly large, contact your veterinarian.

My Dog Ate a Paper Cup

If your dog ate a paper cup, the concern is similar to eating other paper products. The size and shape of the cup could pose a risk of causing an obstruction. Additionally, if the cup had contained food or drink, there might be additional risks from the residue. Monitor your dog for any unusual behavior or signs of distress.

In summary, dogs should not eat paper of any type. Each situation, such as consuming a paper wrapper, bag, or cup, carries its own risks and should be monitored closely. If your dog shows any symptoms of discomfort or illness after eating paper, it’s important to contact your veterinarian.

Why Is My Dog Eating Paper All of a Sudden?

Why Is My Dog Eating Paper All of a Sudden?

Your dog is eating paper all of a sudden due to a range of potential reasons, from natural curiosity to more concerning issues like nutritional deficiencies, behavioral changes, anxiety, or even boredom.

Why Is My Senior Dog Eating Paper?

Your senior dog is eating paper possibly due to age-related changes, such as a decline in cognitive function. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), similar to dementia in humans, can cause unusual behaviors in older dogs.

Additionally, sensory decline might lead them to explore objects like paper with their mouths more frequently. It’s important to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Why Do Dogs Like to Eat Paper?

Dogs like to eat paper for various reasons. Some dogs may be attracted to the texture or taste of paper, especially if it has remnants of food on it. Others might eat paper out of boredom, to seek mental stimulation or soothe anxiety, or as a way to gain attention.

In some cases, pica, a condition where animals eat non-food items, could be the cause, stemming from nutritional deficiencies or psychological factors.

Why Do Dogs Chew Paper?

Dogs chew paper often because it provides a satisfying texture to chew on, which can be comforting, especially for puppies during teething. For adult dogs, chewing behavior can be a stress reliever or simply a way to pass the time. However, it’s important to distinguish between harmless chewing and compulsive behavior that may require intervention.

Training your dog on the “drop it” command will be perfect to stop your dog chewing paper. Learn it now in the first section.

In summary, a dog eating paper suddenly can be due to various reasons, from age-related issues in senior dogs to boredom or nutritional deficiencies. Understanding the underlying cause is crucial for effectively addressing this behavior.

You’re certainly ready now that you have all of your questions about why dogs eat paper answered, so I’ll let you get started. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Why Do Dogs Eat Paper? Can Dogs Eat Paper?”

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.