Why Does my Dog Eat Paper?

Dogs eat all sorts of things on a regular basis, including paper.

In fact, this seems to be a favorite thing for these animals to sink their teeth into.

Despite how much they enjoy eating paper, it is not good for them and should be discouraged.

Reasons Your Dog is Eating Paper

There are a multitude of reasons that your dog is eating paper that you’ll want to know about. When you understand the reason behind this behavior, you will have a much easier time putting a stop to it.

1. They Need More Calories

It is a possibility that your dog is munching down paper because their current diet isn’t providing them with enough calories. This is especially common with larger dogs that need to consume more calories on a daily basis.

Make sure that you know what your dog’s needs are with regards to nutrition based on their breed. You might need to start feeding them more or get more calorie-dense food. Once your dog starts getting what it needs each day, it will probably stop eating paper. Check here to find the right food for your dog: The Best Dog Foods.

2. Pica

Pica is a condition that causes a person or animal to eat things that are not edible. While this is usually observed in children, adults and dogs can struggle with it. The problem with this explanation is that there is really no test for it. This means that all a veterinarian can do is rule out everything else first.

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If you vet determines that your dog may have this condition, they can put them on certain medications that could be helpful. While pica is pretty rare in dogs, it does occur from time to time. Those who have a dog with pica will notice their pet eating lots of other inedible things on a regular basis.

dog trash paper

3. They are Bored

Some dogs will eat things they know they aren’t supposed to in an effort to get their owner’s attention. This is especially common with dogs that are known for being very energetic and playful. 

You might just need to spend more time with your pup to stop this behavior. The fact is that there are a lot of ways that dogs can act out when they aren’t getting enough attention, and this is one of them.

4. Anxiety

Separation anxiety is not at all uncommon with dogs, especially if they haven’t yet been properly trained. If your dog is left alone for a while and gets very anxious, it might start eating paper just to distract itself. This might also be a cry for attention, despite the fact that nobody is actually home. It is definitely not the kind of issue that you want to ignore with your dog.

Consequences of Your Dog Eating Paper

While it might not seem like your dog eating paper is the most serious thing ever, it can lead to some pretty serious health consequences.

Some of the side effects of this include:

  • Vomiting: You might notice your dog throwing up shortly after it eats paper. This is because paper isn’t something that these animals were meant to digest.
  • Constipation: It is also possible that your dog could become constipated from eating paper. If your dog doesn’t defecate for more than 24 hours, you should take it to the vet right away.
  • Intestinal blockage: Perhaps the most serious consequence of your dog eating paper is an intestinal blockage. This usually only occurs when smaller dogs eat a large amount of paper at once. This can be very dangerous for the animal, even resulting in death.
  • Lack of appetite: After your dog has eaten paper, it might not want to eat its normal food. This could be due to the fact that they are full or because they have an upset stomach.
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puppy eat paper

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Paper

It is absolutely crucial that you do everything in your power to keep your dog from eating paper. These animals cannot properly digest it, and there are all sorts of potentially serious health consequences from doing so.

Keep it Out of Reach

If your dog has a tendency to eat paper, you’ll need to make a point of putting it out of reach so your dog cannot get to it. Whether it is paper napkins, paper towels or even gift wrapping paper, you shouldn’t just keep it lying around.

Change Your Dog’s Diet

As we mentioned above, your dog’s paper eating could be an indication that their diet is lacking in some way. You should consult with your veterinarian to find out if what you are currently feeding your pet is okay. 

You also need to make sure that they are getting enough to eat with each meal. A hungry dog will often go looking for anything it can find to get their teeth on, including paper.

Consider Crate Training

If your dog is eating paper due to separation anxiety, you will need to start training it as soon as possible. Crate training can be particularly effective when it comes to getting your dog to stay calm when it is left alone for short to moderate spans of time.

Conclusion

  • It is possible that your dog is eating paper because of a nutritional deficiency. It might also not be getting enough to eat with its meals.
  • Some dogs actually suffer from pica, which is a condition that causes some animals to eat things that are not edible.
  • Separation anxiety is a fairly common explanation for this behavior, but it should not be tolerated or ignored.
  • If you don’t spend quite enough time with your dog each day, it might start eating paper as a way of acting out.
  • Make sure that you keep any paper in your home out of reach so your dog cannot get at it.
  • Consult with your vet to find out if the diet you have your dog on right now is satisfying its nutritional requirements.
  • If separation anxiety is a problem with your dog, crate training can work very well.
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