Why is my dog eating paper all of a sudden? As a dog owner you may start noticing that your dog is behaving in weird ways and you are wondering why is my dog eating paper all of sudden. All dogs love messing around in their immediate environment and may find paper shredding and eating of paper a fun way to play.
Are you asking yourself why is my dog eating paper all of a sudden? Or have you noticed that your dog’s poop has paper residue and you are scared that your dog may have eaten a paper? Or are you suspecting that your dog’s health condition is an effect of paper eating?
Then you are in the right place to discover on “why is my dog eating paper all of a sudden”. Continue to read on to understand your dog and find a suitable way to make your dog stop the sudden behavior.
Although these behaviors are normal in growing dogs, sometimes they are indicators of serious underlying behavioral or health issues.
If a dog with no history of eating paper or shredding papers starts eating paper all over sudden, you should definitely ask yourself why is my dog eating paper all of sudden and investigate to find out the reason behind the sudden change and take measures to correct the change.
To help you understand why the sudden eating of paper by your dog, I have highlighted some common reasons that may explain why your dog has started eating paper all of a sudden and the possible interventions.
Why Is My Dog Eating Paper All Of A Sudden? 6 Clear Reasons
Dog Is Having Fun
Dogs delight in the feeling of shredding things with their mouths, that is why your dog is eating paper all of sudden. Dogs may find it fun to rip toilet papers off their holders while they are playing.
In this case, the dog needs toy-like things to occupy their mouths that will distract them from eating paper. Furthermore, dog owners should avoid leaving paper lying around where their dogs can reach them and restrict access to areas where they keep their paper towels and toilet paper.
Dog Is Bored
If your dog gets bored, it will definitely look for something to do and sometimes it may start eating toilet paper or paper towels that are found in his/her environment.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs will often resort to creating a mess with anything they find if they have a routine exercise to let out their extra energy.
Dogs are playful beings and therefore they need to find a way to let out their extra energy. When they are not given ample time to play or exercise, they try to engage their energies in anything they find which may be eating paper.
Moreover, dogs get bored when they do not get their caretakers attention, therefore to get attention they tend to do naughty things like shredding paper to create a mess or even eat paper.
So if you notice that your dog has started creating a mess all over then it may simply be craving for your attention. Take time to engage your dog in routine exercise like taking a walk together, and even playing together.
Dog Is Hungry
Sometimes you can find your dog eating cupcake paper wrapper or papers used to wrap food stuff. This may indicate that your dog is hungry and is trying to find food to satisfy his/her hunger.
To prevent your dog from eating food wrappers, you need to increase his/her food portion. However, if you’re certain that your dog gets enough food then this urge may be caused by an underlying illness.
Sometimes, hunger is a result of other health conditions like diabetes and high blood sugar levels that make the dog want to eat more. In this case, you make an appointment with the vet so that they can ascertain the health status of your dog.
Dog Is Stressed or Anxious
Just like people, dogs become stressed or anxious too. The causes of stress or anxiety in dogs vary from in different dogs. Perhaps your dog is stressed out by changes in his/her daily routine.
Since our dogs cannot voice their restrained feelings, they tend to create chaos to display their irritations. That may be why your dog is eating paper all of sudden. Paper eating, cardboard eating and napkin chewing can be indicators that your dog is stressed or anxious.
So if you realize that your dog is anxious or stressed, try to first identify the stressor and eliminate it from your dog’s immediate environment. Afterwards you may want to treat your dog by either exercising or petting him to distract him/her from the stressor.
If your dog persistently eats paper because of anxiety even after treating him, then you may want to consult your vet to ensure that your dog may not have another underlying medical condition that is causing the anxiety.
Dog Is Trying To Sooth Teething Pain
Chewing things is a common symptom of a puppy teething. So, if your dog is not only eating paper, then it may be he is trying to relieve the pain in his mouth or his gums.
When dogs are teething, their gums itch and hence the urge to eat things especially paper because they soothe their gums. It takes up to six months for a puppy to finally finish teething, during this time ensure that you provide your puppy with teething toys to help them soothe the pain.
Also, it is important to understand that it’s just a matter of time and this period will be over. If you are not sure whether your dog is teething then you can schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to confirm or rule out teething as a reason why your dog started to eat paper all of a sudden.
Dog Has Underlying Health Condition
Another common reason why your dog may start eating paper all of a sudden is a medical condition known as pica. Pica is a condition where a dog is attracted to eating items that are not food such as paper, plastic, cloths, metal or even garbage.
Pica is a result of malnutrition or underlying medical conditions in dogs. When your dog lacks essential nutrients in his body, then he tends to eat non-food objects to compensate for the deficiency.
Also psychological issues can compel a dog to start indulging in non-food items. Issues like anxiety, stress and depression can cause a dog to suffer from pica.
Other non-psychological medical conditions that can cause a dog to start eating paper include, diabetes, anemia, parasitic infection, hyperthyroidism and neurological diseases.
Pica is a serious condition that requires a professional dog handler to undertake an in-depth diagnosis to rule the correct cause. So, in this case you must consult your vet or a professional behaviorist immediately if you suspect that pica is the reason why your dog has started eating paper all of a sudden.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats Paper?
By now you might be wondering what will happen if my dog eats paper? Will he be able to digest paper? Is it bad for my dog to eat paper?
It is normal to worry but at least now you already have an idea why your dog is eating paper all of a sudden and probably you have taken appropriate measures to avoid further indulging your dog in eating paper.
In most cases where a dog has eaten a small amount of paper, the effects might go unnoticed since it may not affect the dog’s body and will probably be passed as dog waste. In other cases the consequences may be severe and may require medical interventions
So what really happens when your dog ingests paper? Here I will list common effects of paper in your dog’s body.
Dog Will Constipate
Paper towels, cardboards, wrappers and toilet paper can slow digestion in a dog ‘s digestive tract, making a dog constipate. A constipated dog may be restless and always yelping as if he/she is trying to poop but not being able to poop.
To help a constipated dog you can give him/her a laxative to trigger bowel movement. You can also give water and encourage him to exercise so that his bowels can be stimulated to start decongesting.
Exercises are brilliant ways of encouraging bowel movement and maintaining a healthy digestive system in dogs.
Dog Might Get A Digestive Tract Blockage
Digestive tract blockage is a severe effect of ingesting paper and it mainly affects small-bodied dogs, like the Havanese and the pug, when they take a large amount of paper.
When the paper is not passed out it may block part of the digestive tract. Signs of intestinal blockage in dogs include moaning, vomiting, general body weakness, diarrhea, dehydration and abdominal pain.
In this case, your dog must see a vet immediately because any delay may be fatal.
Dog Might Vomit
Paper material may cause discomfort in your dog’s digestive tract hence the throw up. In fact, most healthy dogs throw up immediately when they ingest non-food items.
Dog Will Have Diarrhea
Your dog might have diarrhea to pass out the paper towels. This should not worry you unless it goes more than 24hrs.
Dog Will Lose Appetite
When your dog ingests dirty paper, it might get a stomach infection causing temporary loss of appetite.
Dog Will Lose Weight
Continuous eating of paper will eventually lead to malnourishing. If paper eating is a symptom of an underlying medical condition then your dog will lose weight if the condition is not diagnosed immediately. Any prolonged eating of paper accompanied with other symptoms should worry you as a dog owner.
Final Verdict – Why Is My Dog Eating Paper All Of A Sudden
Still wondering why is my dog eating paper all of a sudden? Dogs eating paper indicate various reasons. It may just be fun or be an effect of a serious underlying issue that requires a professional input.
As a good dog owner, you should always observe your dog’s behavior to ascertain normal behaviors against abnormal behaviors.
Dog eating paper may be normal and abnormal in various ways. Furthermore, dog eating paper may be one of the symptoms of other underlying health conditions.
There is no need to panic when you first notice your dog has started eating paper, take your time to understand the needs of your dog and if need be, consult a professional. In most cases serious medical conditions have other accompanying symptoms, it may not only be that your dog has started eating paper.
Effects of paper when ingested by dogs vary depending on the amount ingested, the size of the dog and the context.
Dog eating paper might be severe for small dogs unlike in big-bodied dogs that may even go unnoticed.
While large amounts of paper might cause stomach upsets, small amounts do not cause any harm to dogs.
Additionally, understanding the reason for – why is my dog eating paper all of a sudden – can help you anticipate the effects. If it is for fun and boredom then you can be sure that your dog is just shredding paper and playing with them, however if it’s because of hunger or pica, then some serious consequences will follow and therefore you may want to intervene.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that a dog eating paper can be a symptom of pica or hunger or other underlying psychological issues. I hope by now you know why your dog has started eating paper all of a sudden and can get it sorted out quickly after closely monitoring the symptoms.
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