why is my older dog eating toilet paper

why is my older dog eating toilet paper

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding Pica in dogs: Pica is a condition where dogs eat non-food items. It can be caused by several factors such as boredom, anxiety, and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Common reasons why dogs eat toilet paper: Nutritional deficiencies, polyphagia, anxiety, endocrine disorders, and a calorie-lacking diet are a few reasons why dogs eat toilet paper.
  • Health risks associated with dogs eating toilet paper: Dogs who eat toilet paper are at greater risk of intestinal blockages. If your dog consumes a lot of toilet paper, it’s crucial to look for signs of intestinal blockages and contact a veterinarian immediately.

Understanding Pica in Dogs

Dogs can have some unusual eating habits, but when it comes to consuming things like toilet paper, it could be a sign of an underlying condition called Pica. In this section, we’ll dive into the definition of this condition and the various causes that could be leading your older dog to engage in such behavior.

Definition of Pica in Dogs

Pica in dogs is a behavior that involves eating non-food items with no nutritive value. This includes things like rocks, dirt, sticks, and clothing like socks or toilet paper. Anxiety, boredom, and lack of stimulation can cause pica. It could also be caused by medical issues like GI disease or nutrient deficiencies.

It is important to remember that pica can be very dangerous. Intestinal blockages could occur, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, and loss of appetite. If you notice any of these, get professional help quickly.

Why do dogs eat things they shouldn’t? It’s a mystery. But, by understanding the possible causes of pica, you can help prevent it. Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. And, if you suspect a non-food item has been ingested, seek medical help.

Causes of Pica in Dogs

Pica in dogs is a condition where they eat non-food items such as rocks, plastic, and even toilet paper. Causes can vary. From nutritional deficiencies to boredom and anxiety.

Nutritional deficiencies could cause cravings for non-food items. Also, polyphagia or excessive hunger may lead to pica.

Anxiety can make dogs chew on non-food items like toilet paper. Endocrine disorders like diabetes or hyperthyroidism could also increase chances of pica.

Calorie lacking diets might make dogs eat toilet paper. Older dogs with cognitive decline may also develop pica-like symptoms.

Eating toilet paper carries various health risks. Intestinal blockages could lead to surgeries.

If you notice your dog has eaten toilet paper, provide alternative chew toys or treats. If your dog has eaten large quantities or is showing signs of an intestinal blockage, seek veterinary care immediately.

Prevent pica-like behaviors by addressing boredom and separation anxiety. Provide adequate exercise and nutritious meals.

Why go for plain paper when your dog can enjoy toilet paper?

Common Reasons Why Dogs Eat Toilet Paper

Toilet paper eating is a common but bizarre phenomenon shown by some dogs. In this section, we will explore the reasons behind the strange behaviour of dogs eating toilet paper. We will discuss nutritional deficiencies, anxiety, endocrine disorders, and other factors that lead to this peculiar habit. The section will focus on five sub-sections that aim to identify the root causes of this puzzling behaviour among dogs.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Dogs may eat toilet paper for various reasons. One of them is nutritional deficiencies. When dogs don’t get all the nutrients they need, they may resort to eating non-food items like toilet paper. This behavior is known as pica. It can be prevented by providing your furry friend with a well-balanced diet.

It’s essential to ensure their diet has plenty of fiber, minerals, protein, calcium, and iron. These nutrients help keep your pet healthy and reduce the risk of pica. If your dog is showing signs of polyphagia, it’s time to reassess their diet. Make sure they’re getting everything they need.

In conclusion, dogs eat toilet paper mainly due to nutritional deficiencies. A well-balanced diet can prevent pica and other unwanted behaviors. Keep an eye on your pet’s nutritional value and provide the best possible diet.


Polyphagia is an abnormal hunger and increased appetite. It can be caused by insulin-related issues or malabsorption. Dogs with polyphagia may eat strange things, like toilet paper. This is called pica. Sometimes, anxiety or boredom cause it. This can lead to compulsive eating of items like toiletries.

It is important to talk to a vet. Polyphagia could mean other health issues. Dogs may eat papers when they are hungry or need attention. Understanding why your dog is behaving this way is key to giving them the right care and support.


Dogs may engage in pica behavior, such as eating toilet paper. This is often caused by anxiety. Triggers for this can include feeling separated, boredom, or traumatic events. Environmental cues or changes, like being left alone, loud noises, or unfamiliar people can cause anxiety too. Dogs with generalized anxiety disorder may drool or pant excessively.

It is important to address the cause of this anxiety to prevent it from getting worse. A stimulating and comfortable environment, with plenty of exercise and socialization, can help ease anxiety in dogs.

Eating toilet paper can be dangerous and can lead to intestinal blockages. Caregivers should speak to a vet about measures they can take to prevent this from happening.

Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine disorders in dogs can be harmful. They’re connected to glands that make hormones, like the thyroid and adrenal glands. These issues can lead to changes in appetite, thirst, and behaviour. Common endocrine disorders are Cushing’s and hypothyroidism.

Cushing’s results from an overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal gland. This causes weight gain, increased appetite, excessive thirst, and peeing. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too few hormones. This creates weight gain, tiredness, and decreased appetite. Both can result in dogs eating non-food items like toilet paper.

Other conditions can also affect hormone production and lead to pica behaviour. Diabetes mellitus is one example. It affects insulin and causes dogs to eat stuff like toilet paper and socks.

Pet owners should be aware of the risks of pica behaviour in dogs with endocrine issues. If your dog has signs of an endocrine disorder or pica behaviour, you should get veterinary help as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

Calorie-Lacking Diet

Dogs may eat toilet paper! One reason is a lack of calories in their diet.

Pica behavior – consuming non-food items – can occur when a dog is hungry or craving something. Nutritional deficiencies, anxiety, and endocrine disorders are other possible causes.

Low calorie diets can cause malnourishment. This weakens the immune system and increases the risk of illnesses. So, pet parents should give their dogs complete and balanced meals. This will help prevent diseases and keep dogs healthy and happy. If pica behavior continues despite proper feeding, it’s best to check with a vet. They can help diagnose any underlying health concerns.

Why Older Dogs May Eat Toilet Paper

Older dogs might eat toilet paper for various reasons. Boredom is one. Dogs, especially older ones, can get lonely and bored. So, they try to find ways to entertain themselves. Eating toilet paper might just be one of them.

Anxiety is another. Dogs can be anxious. This can cause them to chew things they shouldn’t. Eating toilet paper could be a coping mechanism.

It’s important to note that if your old dog is eating toilet paper, it could mean something is wrong medically or behaviorally. It’s best to talk to a vet to examine your pup and see if there’s cause for concern.

To help, give your older dog mentally stimulating toys or puzzles. Increasing physical activity can help too. This can reduce boredom and anxiety, and take their attention away from toilet paper. Talk to your vet for guidance on any possible underlying issues.

Health Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Toilet Paper

Did you know that your older dog’s habit of eating toilet paper could be a serious health risk? In this section, we’ll explore the potential dangers of this behavior, particularly when it comes to intestinal blockages. With the help of reference data, we’ll examine the impact that consuming non-food items like toilet paper can have on your furry friend’s health.

Intestinal Blockages

Toilet paper is a common cause of intestinal blockages, if eaten in large amounts. This can cause pain, constipation and vomiting. Surgery may even be needed to remove the blockage. But, it’s not only toilet paper that can cause this issue. Objects like socks, toys and bones can also lead to intestinal blockages in dogs, especially those with pica.

Preventing such blockages is important to keep your pet safe. Pet owners should not let their dogs near non-food items. Exercise and mental stimulation can also keep your pet occupied and help stop pica behavior.

Sadly, a friend of mine lost her beloved dog due to a blockage caused by toilet paper. Surgery wasn’t an option as the material had caused too much damage. It’s essential for pet owners to always know what non-food items their pets have access to, to prevent dangerous situations.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Toilet Paper

Dogs have a natural inclination towards exploring and chewing objects around them, but this can sometimes lead to unwanted mishaps, such as consuming toilet paper. In this section, we’ll discuss what you can do if your dog eats toilet paper. From assessing the situation to identifying signs of intestinal blockages, we’ll cover all the necessary steps to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being.

Assess the Situation

When your pup eats toilet paper, assess the situation quickly! Check if they ate a lot or not, as small amounts may be okay. If it’s a large amount, there could be a digestion blockage. Look for signs like vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the stomach, and tiredness.

Examine the area and ask: have they eaten other things? Does this happen often? This can help you understand if there’s an issue like anxiety or bad behavior.

Look at recent changes in their behavior or diet. These could point to an illness or stress, like missing you or hunger.

If it’s urgent or dangerous, contact your vet right away for help and treatment.

Pro Tip: Be aware of what your pet is eating and their behavior. Keep an eye on them when near chewable items like toilet paper. Provide a suitable alternative to prevent your bathroom from becoming a chew toy.

Provide an Alternative Chew Toy or Treat

Dogs may eat toilet paper for various health or behavior reasons. Offering a safe chew toy, like a rubber Kong or nylon bone, can help. Interactive toys, like puzzle feeders, can distract them too. Frozen treats, like peanut butter-stuffed Kong, can provide mental stimulation and satisfy their urge to chew.

Avoid giving objects that resemble toilet paper – always monitor new toys for safety. Providing an alternative chew toy may not solve underlying issues. Consult with a vet to ensure pet’s health and well-being.

Signs of Intestinal Blockages

Intestinal blockages in dogs are a serious health risk. They happen when a pup eats non-digestible stuff, like toilet paper. So, it’s key to watch out for signs of intestinal blockages. This way you can spot them early and get your furry friend the help they need.

Signs to watch for: vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, no appetite, lethargy, and weakness. But these vary from pup to pup. Therefore, observe your pet’s bathroom habits if something is off.

If not treated, this condition can lead to abscesses, infections, and peritonitis. So, get medical attention quickly. Consult a vet or pet poison helpline. That way, you can avoid any nasty complications.

Vets also suggest taking precautions to stop your pooch from eating something dangerous, like toilet paper. That way, you can protect their digestive system.

In short, knowing the signs of intestinal blockages, and getting help fast, is vital to keep your pet safe and healthy. Talk to a vet or pet poison helpline for professional advice.

Consult a Veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline

When your pup has eaten something bad, it’s vital to get help from a vet or pet poison helpline. This is for cases when you think your furry friend has had toilet paper or something strange. Talking to an expert can help spot potential threats and risks of eating loo roll for dogs. Symptoms like throwing up, the runs, tummy aches, being sluggish, and not wanting food are signs that the animal could be in trouble.

A vet is prepared with experience and tools to tell if there’s an intestinal blockage. You must look for medical help straight away. Remember, blockage signs could take a while to show, which can cause major, long-term problems like damage to inside organs. So, if you think your pooch has a blockage due to loo roll, don’t wait – time is essential to sort it out fast.

Prevention is better than a cure, so it’s always best to deal with why dogs eat toilet paper. Things like being bored, feeling lonely, and not getting enough nutrition could cause your pup to eat weird stuff. It’s key to make sure your dog is content, healthy and well-fed to stop them eating loo roll. Give them chew toys and make sure they’re eating the right things.

Preventing Your Dog from Eating Toilet Paper

Toilet paper-eating is a common and dangerous habit found in many older dogs. In this section, we’ll discuss how to prevent your dog from eating toilet paper, highlighting the importance of addressing boredom and separation anxiety, ensuring adequate exercise, and providing nutritious meals for your furry friend.

Let’s find out how these solutions will help your older dog lead a healthier and happier life.

Addressing Boredom and Separation Anxiety

Dogs need stimulation and socialization, just like us humans. Absence of these can cause harmful behaviors, such as pica. To help ease boredom and separation anxiety in your pup, give them toys, puzzles, and chews. Plus, crate training gives them a secure space to chill when you’re away. Building a routine around your comings and goings can help make them feel calm.

If the behaviors don’t stop, it could be wise to get advice from a pro. Like a pet parent who found their pooch had been eating toilet paper for weeks. With help from a vet, they realized the pup had anxiety due to being alone during the day. Addressing the main issue did the trick and the pup stopped eating non-food items completely.

Ensuring Adequate Exercise

Regular exercise is a must for dogs to stay healthy and happy. It helps burn calories, strengthen muscles, reduce obesity, lift mood, and sharpen the mind. Plus, it helps digestion and prevents constipation.

Consider your dog’s age, breed, size, and needs when deciding how to exercise them. Sporting breeds need more running – Labs or Shepherds – whereas small breeds may only need short walks.

For older dogs, low-impact activity like swimming or walking is best. Puppies need regular exercise too but avoid high-impact stuff until their bones develop.

Mental stimulation during exercise is just as important. Activities like fetch or playtime with toys use their energy while satisfying their natural instincts.

So, provide your pup with adequate exercise to keep them healthy, active, and happy!

Providing Nutritious Meals

Good nutrition is vital for your pup’s wellbeing. It stops health issues such as pica which is caused by lacking nutrients. When feeding your furry pal, provide them with good quality pet food full of the right nutrients, mainly protein. Do not feed any human food that could harm them; instead, add fresh fruits and veggies for extra vitamins and minerals. Also, keep an eye on their portion sizes according to their age, breed, activity and weight.

Nutrient deficiency is a chief cause of pica, so a balanced meal helps ward off shortages and keeps digestion healthy. Elderly dogs can also acquire pica from various causes like senility or cognitive decline, so it’s important to offer them a nutritious diet their whole life.

One example is an aging pup who had a weird craving for toilet paper but had high-grade pet food. After they were examined, it was found that they had an underlying medical condition called malabsorption syndrome. This caused them to search for non-food items like TP. The vet suggested changing their diet and that fixed the matter, except for occasional relapses which had to be measured for potential triggers.

To sum up, giving them nutritious meals is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. Stick to these tips and you can prevent health issues including pica, so your furry companion can lead a comfortable life.

Conclusion: Taking Action to Protect Your Dog’s Health

It’s vital to prioritize your senior dog’s health. A threat to their wellbeing is eating toilet paper – as highlighted in the article “Why is my Older Dog Eating Toilet Paper” from Reference Data 9.

To safeguard them, take several steps. Firstly, close bathroom doors to stop easy access to toilet paper. Secondly, offer chew toys to fulfill their chewing needs and keep them from getting bored. Thirdly, consult a vet if the habit continues, as it might mean an underlying health problem.

Another factor is their diet and nutrition. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet with enough fiber can help with digestive issues that make them eat toilet paper. Monitoring their stress is also essential – stress, and boredom can cause them to eat destructively. So, exercise and mental stimulation through games and activities is necessary.

The article from Reference Data 9 states that eating toilet paper can block a dog’s digestive system and cause serious health problems. Therefore, remain aware and take action to protect your beloved pet. In short, it’s essential to act to keep your pup healthy.

Some Facts About Why Is My Older Dog Eating Toilet Paper:

  • ✅ Dogs may continue eating toilet paper as a habit if not properly trained. (Source: K9 of Mine)
  • ✅ Pica, an eating disorder, can cause dogs to eat non-food items like toilet paper due to factors such as anemia or zinc deficiency. (Source: WagWalking)
  • ✅ Polyphagia, a condition where dogs constantly want to eat, can lead to them eating non-food items like toilet paper. (Source: WagWalking)
  • ✅ Eating large amounts of toilet paper can cause intestinal blockages in dogs, which may require surgery. (Source: Pet Poison Helpline)
  • ✅ Providing appropriate chew toys for puppies during the teething process can prevent them from eating toilet paper. (Source: K9 of Mine)

FAQs about Why Is My Older Dog Eating Toilet Paper

Why is my older dog eating toilet paper?

There could be various reasons why your older dog is eating toilet paper. It is possible that they are experiencing boredom, stress, or anxiety, and eating toilet paper provides a form of comfort. Nutritional deficiencies or endocrine disorders can also cause dogs to crave non-food items like paper. Lastly, pica disorder, which is characterized by a desire to ingest non-dietary elements, could be the root cause of this behavior.

What should I do if my dog ate toilet paper?

If your dog ate toilet paper, it is important to assess the situation and keep them away from it to prevent further consumption. Small amounts of toilet paper may pass through your dog without harm, but large amounts can cause intestinal blockages. Look out for signs of weight loss, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or an inability to eat, and consult your vet immediately if you see any of these signs. Intestinal blockages may require surgery, which requires anesthesia and medication for pain and potential infection.

Why might my dog seek out toilet paper to eat?

Dogs may find toilet paper desirable to eat because it’s readily available within reach and soft to chew. Puppies that are teething may also find toilet paper to be a great relief for their aching gums. Additionally, dogs may have pica disorder, which manifests itself in a desire to ingest non-food items that could be harmful to their health.

Is paper chomping a sign of a sickness or disease?

Paper chomping is commonly associated with pica disorder, which is characterized by the impulse to ingest non-dietary elements that could harm the dog’s health. Nutrient deficiency and endocrine disorders can also make dogs eat bizarre objects, and it’s best to consult your vet if you suspect your dog has these issues.

What is the best option if my dog ate toilet paper?

If your dog ate toilet paper, the best option is to monitor them for signs of intestinal blockages and consult with your vet if you notice any unusual behavior. Additionally, providing your dog with appropriate chew toys and healthy treats could alleviate their boredom and reduce their desire to eat non-food items like toilet paper. If you suspect your dog has worms, the best option is to deworm them with the guidance of a veterinarian.

What can cause a dog to ingest paper?

Dogs may ingest paper due to stress, boredom, or anxiety. Endocrine disorders and nutritional deficiencies could also cause dogs to crave non-food items like paper. Pica disorder, which is characterized by the desire to ingest non-dietary elements, could also be a factor. Dogs that spend many hours alone or do not receive enough attention or daily exercise are more prone to this behavior.

Joe Inglis
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