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My Dog Ate Paper: Should I Be Worried?

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Oh no! My dog ate paper! Is that bad? 

As pet owners, we can't help but worry when our dog eats something they are not supposed to.

But when it comes to times like these, we should try to calm ourselves and not panic since our dogs will be able to sense it and become terrified as well.

Dogs are naturally curious animals.

But they can get a little bit too interested at times. Some dogs may play with random stuff out of curiosity.

This blog discusses everything you need to know if your dog ever ate paper.

We'll tackle whether or not a paper is dangerous t dogs, how to prevent them from eating it again, and more.

Without further ado, let's get right into it!

My Dog Ate Paper Risk Intestinal Blockage

My Dog Ate Paper: Why Do Dogs Eat Paper?

Before discussing what you should do if your dog eats paper, let's first tackle why dogs eat paper.

Is it delicious for them? Or is it because they are curious?

There are many reasons why dogs eat paper.

Below, we've listed down possible reasons why dogs eat paper.

Pica in Dogs

Pica is a common behavioral issue where a dog consistently eats non-food objects.

To be considered pica, the dog must ingest the item, not just chew on it.

They might eat metal, plastic, clothing, paper, and more.

The most common causes of pica are mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, boredom, stress, or extreme hunger.

However, it can also be caused by sickness, parasites, or nutritional deficiency.

Boredom, Anxiety, or Stress

When left alone, dogs suffering from anxiety, stress, or separation anxiety can show destructive behaviors.

Many dog breeds, such as the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, and more, are prone to separation anxiety.

Destructive behaviors include chewing on furniture, ripping clothes, and eating paper.

Boredom in dogs can also be the culprit.

Bored dogs will find ways to entertain themselves.

However, their way of entertaining themselves can be from chewing paper, shoes, clothes, furniture, and other destructive behaviors.

Calorie-lacking Diet

Dogs that do not get the right food in terms of calorie content can cause hunger.

If dogs are not getting any food or not enough food, they tend to chew and ingest paper to satisfy their hunger.

Playing with Paper

One of the simple reasons dogs eat paper is because they are playing with it.

Some dogs like the sound and feeling of shredding paper.

And if your dog loves to tear paper with their mouth, they can accidentally eat a small portion of it.


If you wrap food with paper towels, it will keep the smell and taste of the food.

That's when Fido will start to think of it as treats.

Properly dispose of used paper towels and napkins to prevent your dogs from eating them.

Possible Health Problems

Nutritional Deficiencies

Another reason dogs eat paper is because of a nutrition deficiency.

Dogs eating paper may be craving food items they are not getting.

Paper is made of trees and plant materials they can smell and crave.

They may also be extremely hungry since they are not getting the proper food.


Dogs always begging for food and seeming hungry even after meals might suffer from Polyphagia.

Polyphagia is the term used when a dog is excessively hungry all the time.

Endocrine Disorders

Another health issues that will make your dog feel hungrier than usual are endocrine disorders.

Dogs may eat non-food items to satisfy their hunger.

For instance, an increase in appetite is one of the symptoms of Cushing's Disease.

Dogs will feel starved, begging for food or ingesting anything, even non-food items like paper.


Another health issue that can increase a dog's appetite is diabetes.

Diabetes can cause your dog to be hungrier since his body cannot utilize the sugar within the bloodstream.

Dog Ate Paper because of Boredom

Is Eating Paper Dangerous for My Dog?

Again, if you see your dog eating paper, remember not to panic.

According to vets, “Normally, dogs digest paper pretty well.” However, it can be problematic if your pooch eats much of it.

One dangerous effect that can come when your dog eats plenty of paper is bowel obstruction.

Bowel obstruction (also known as intestinal blockages) usually happens when a dog's stomach or intestines get partially or completely blocked.

The more paper your dog eats, the higher the risk of a blockage.

Food or waste cannot move through the digestive tract when this happens.

Symptoms of intestinal blockages include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and more.

Furthermore, chemicals are another concern you should look for when your pup ingests paper.

Watch out for the type of paper your dog ate because some paper may have chemicals that can be toxic and harm your pup.

Printed paper is a no-no due to ink.

These kinds of paper are not meant to be ingested, and the ink used to create these papers can be toxic.

On the other hand, other paper types, such as paper towels, can also pose a risk since they contain formaldehyde and chlorine, which are toxic when eaten.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Paper

Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog consumed any paper product.

Foreign objects such as paper can cause bowel obstructions or chemical concerns.

If you're worried about your dog and don't know what to do next, follow the steps below to ensure your pup is safe and there will be no long-term damage.

Remove access to Paper

The first step is to ensure that they don't eat more paper. Hide these paper products where your dog can't find or reach them.

If your pup loves to go into the trash, try using trash cans with lids to deny them access to it.

Find out what type of paper and how much

The next thing you need to do is to determine what kind of paper your dog ate and how much of it.

Check if they ingested paper that has chemicals on it.

It's best to write all of these notes down, including the type of paper, other ingredients (if any), the amount of paper your dog ate, and when they ate it.

These pieces of information will be very useful for vets to assess the situation properly.

Monitor their Poop

Monitor their poop to see if the paper has passed.

They should've passed it within 24 to 48 hours.

If you don't see any paper in their stool, this can be a problem.

But it can also mean that they have digested the paper since other types of paper can be broken down easily.

Check for signs of Blockage

If you've already seen the paper pass on their poop, you must watch for signs of bowel obstruction.

Remember that a partial blockage will allow some material to pass through, but a complete blockage won't allow anything to get through.

Call your Veterinarian

When we are worried or if anything happens to our dog's health, it's best to seek veterinary advice immediately.

If your pup ate paper, contact your most trusted vet, as he'll be able to discuss the situation with you and decide whether or not they need to bring your pup to the clinic.

The vet will most likely ask you to come to the clinic for an examination if you own a small-sized dog that has eaten a large amount of paper or if your dog is showing symptoms.

Dog Eating Paper Homework

How to Prevent My Dog from Eating Paper

When it comes to any danger or sickness, it's best to prevent it than find a cure.

You can prevent your dog from eating paper by removing access to all types of paper products in your home.

When leaving your pup alone at home, remember to close the bathroom doors to prevent them from eating or messing up tissue papers.

Moreover, your dog might be eating paper because of boredom.

If that's the case, provide them with interactive puzzle toys to entertain them.

You should also provide your pup with the right balance of nutrition.

If you're unsure of what to give, consult with your vet or with a pet nutritionist.

My Dog Ate Paper: FAQs

Will my dog be okay if he ate toilet paper?

Small amounts of toilet paper can pass through your dog with no complications.

However, large amounts can cause trouble, such as intestinal blockage.

Consult your vet immediately if your dog has eaten any foreign objects.

Why do dogs eat paper and socks?

If your dog eats paper, clothes, socks, and other objects, they may suffer from Pica.

Pica is a behavioral problem in dogs where they consistently eat non-food items.

What happens if a dog eats plastic?

Plastic is very harmful to dogs as it is not digestible.

It will not break down in their stomachs.

It can cause intestinal blockage, mouth injuries, choking, gastrointestinal perforations, and more.

Dog eating paper

My Dog Ate Paper: Before You Go…

“My dog ate paper! What should I do?”

The first thing you need to do is calm things down and assess the situation carefully.

There's no need to panic just yet.

Small amounts of paper can normally pass through your pup.

However, if your dog ate a lot of paper, this can be a problem.

The first thing you need to do is to monitor your pup.

Check for signs of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, or refusal to eat or drink.

If you see these signs, take Fido to the vet immediately because these can be symptoms of intestinal blockage.

But if your dog is acting normal, you still need to monitor their poop and check if the paper has passed through.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.