why is my older dog eating toilet paper

why is my older dog eating toilet paper

Key Takeaways:

  • Pica disorder in dogs can cause them to eat non-food items, including toilet paper. Factors that can cause this disorder include anxiety, boredom, and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Eating toilet paper can pose certain risks to dogs, such as intestinal blockages and digestive issues. It is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and seek veterinary care if necessary.
  • Preventing your dog from eating toilet paper involves providing them with acceptable chew toys, managing boredom and anxiety, and monitoring their nutritional intake. Treatment options for Pica disorder may include medication, behavioral training, or dietary changes.

Understanding Pica in Dogs

Dogs are notorious for eating all sorts of things that aren’t food, including toilet paper. In this section, we’ll explore a specific eating disorder in dogs, known as Pica. We will start by defining what Pica is and how it can manifest in dogs. Then, we will discuss the factors that can cause Pica disorder in dogs. With the help of these insights, you can better understand why your older dog may be eating toilet paper or other non-food items.

Definition of Pica disorder

Pica disorder is a medical issue that affects dogs. It causes them to eat non-food items like rocks, dirt, and even toilet paper! This behavior isn’t normal and should be addressed quickly. Pica disorder leads to digestive problems and can damage the dog’s teeth and stomach lining. So, it’s important for pet owners to recognize the signs and get help from a vet.

The causes of Pica disorder aren’t always clear. But, some factors that can contribute are nutritional deficiencies, boredom, anxiety, and medical problems like gastrointestinal or neurological issues.

To prevent Pica disorder, feed your dog a balanced diet recommended by their vet. For puppies, give them acceptable chew toys. For adult dogs, keep them active and mentally stimulated. That way, they won’t want to eat non-food items.

Factors that can cause Pica disorder in dogs

Dogs with Pica disorder eat non-edible items such as wood, rocks, plastic, paper and more. The cause can vary. Puppies may chew on things due to teething or oral fixation. Adult dogs may chew due to boredom. Deficiencies in nutrients and gastrointestinal discomfort are also possible triggers. Stressful environments such as shelters could be the source too. Medical issues can also be an underlying cause. For example, dogs with anemia may eat dirt for iron. Or, they may eat stuff to induce vomiting because of intestinal blockage. Diseases that affect organs like the liver or pancreas can also lead to Pica behavior.

Psychological factors are a big part of it too. Anxiety disorders lead to chewing on fabrics. A dog’s environment can create anxiety if there is limited outdoor access or overcrowding of pets. But why do dogs eat toilet paper? It’s not just for the taste, but also the satisfaction of a good rip!

Why do dogs eat Toilet Paper?

Ever caught your dog munching on toilet paper and wondered why? In this section, we’ll discuss the reasons why dogs eat toilet paper. From behavioral causes to medical conditions, we’ll explore the factors that contribute to this peculiar habit. Additionally, we’ll take a closer look at the potential risks associated with dogs consuming excessive amounts of toilet paper.

Reason behind dogs eating toilet paper

Dogs may eat toilet paper due to Pica disorder – a condition where they consume non-food items. This could be due to boredom, anxiety, stress or a lack of proper nutrition. Chewing and exploring their surroundings can also lead them to inappropriate items.

Toilet paper is often easily accessible and nearby. Dogs might find it exciting and get attention from their owners when they shred it up. But, too much of it can be dangerous. Digestive problems, constipation, blockages and infections can occur.

Pet owners must monitor their dog’s behavior and regulate their nutrition. Providing appropriate chew toys for puppies and managing anxiety levels can help deter them from eating toilet paper. So, if you don’t want messy consequences, better start stocking up!

Risks associated with eating toilet paper

Dogs eating toilet paper can cause serious issues. Blockages, choking and perforations in the intestine can lead to digestive problems and allergies. This can also expose them to dangerous bacteria, causing infections and diseases, and in some cases, death.

To protect your pup, make sure tissues are out of reach. Keep the toilet lid closed and train puppies on chew toys like bones.

Ignoring a dog’s habit of eating non-food objects can result in costly emergency treatments. One dog ate a whole roll of toilet paper during its owner’s weekend away.

Avoid the risks of toilet paper – give them safe chew toys instead!

How can you Prevent Dogs from Eating Toilet Paper?

Toilet paper consumption is a common issue among dogs of all ages, with older dogs being particularly susceptible. In this section, we will explore practical solutions to prevent dogs from eating toilet paper, including:

  1. Providing acceptable chew toys for puppies
  2. Managing boredom and anxiety in adult dogs
  3. Monitoring and regulating their nutritional intake for overall wellbeing

Providing puppies with acceptable chew toys

Puppy owners know: puppies love to chew on everything! This includes toilet paper rolls. To prevent this, you need chew toys for your pup. There are four things to consider.

1. Get a toy the right size. Not too big or too small.
2. Look for interesting textures.
3. Avoid toxic materials.
4. Rotate the toys to keep them entertained.

Durable toys are important, as broken ones can be a choking hazard. Supervise your pup while they play.

My friend Jill faced a similar situation with her Golden Retriever puppy. After research, she found the right toys. Soon, her puppy was preoccupied with his new friends instead of destroying toilet paper rolls! Good chew toys will keep your pup happy and occupied.

Managing boredom and anxiety in adult dogs

Adult dogs can suffer from boredom and anxiety, which can lead to Pica disorder. This is when they may eat non-food items, like toilet paper. To help manage this, providing interactive toys is beneficial. Also, allowing sufficient space for exercise and play is crucial. Daily activities can be added, such as walks, training, and playtime.

Hiding treats and making them think before eating can help too. Every dog is different, so consulting with an animal behaviorist is suggested. If the solutions don’t work, it’s time to consult a vet. They can determine any underlying health issues and create a personalized treatment plan.

Finally, make sure your pup has a balanced diet. This can help stop toilet paper consumption.

Monitoring and regulating your dog’s nutritional intake

It’s key to keep an eye on your pup’s nutrition when managing Pica disorder. A balanced diet with all essential vitamins and minerals is essential for their well-being. You must make sure they are getting proper nutrition or it can lead to pica tendencies.

The food you feed your dog can influence their eating habits too. Stay away from foods high in fat, salt, or sugar as they can make your dog crave non-food items like toilet paper. Eat healthier options instead.

Take note of how much your pup consumes as well. Overfeeding can cause obesity, which may result in diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues. Feed smaller meals throughout the day instead of one large meal to prevent overeating.

Pro Tip: Get advice from your vet on the best nutritional plan for your pup based on their age, breed, weight, and activity level. There’s no quick fix for pica disorder, but a combination of medication, behavior training, and a healthy diet will keep your home free of tissue.

Treatment Options for Dogs with Pica disorder

Dogs with pica disorder may exhibit abnormal behavior, such as eating toilet paper. In this section, we will discuss treatment options to manage this behavior.

We will explore the three main approaches for managing pica disorder in dogs, including:

  1. The use of medications to address underlying medical issues
  2. Behavioral training
  3. Dietary changes

Medications to address underlying medical issues

Pica disorder in dogs can be a problem. Chewing non-food items like toilet paper is common. It can be due to medical issues like gastrointestinal diseases or hormones. Medication like antacids or anti-nausea drugs, or hormone replacement therapy, can help. Vitamins and minerals may also help.

Medication is not enough. Behavioral training and diet changes can help. Positive reinforcement training, chew toys, managing anxiety and boredom, and regulating nutrition are all useful. A dog once stopped Pica behavior due to a thyroid issue treated with hormone therapy. Find the root cause to choose the right treatment. Training is important, so seek expert advice.

Behavioral training

Implementing behavioral training is recommended. Positive reinforcement techniques should be used. This means rewarding good behaviors and ignoring bad ones. Redirecting the dog’s attention to more suitable activities, like chew toys or interactive playtime, is also helpful. Consistency and patience are key.

It’s vital to understand why the dog engages in Pica behavior. Anxiety, boredom or nutritional deficiencies may be the cause. Addressing these root causes can prevent Pica, and improve the dog’s mental and physical health.

Behavioral training is important for addressing Pica disorder. It helps to ensure a healthy lifestyle for our furry friends. With proper training techniques, and understanding why the behavior occurs, owners can stop their dogs from eating non-food items like toilet paper.

Dietary changes

To improve your dog’s health and avoid Pica disorder, dietary changes are important. Your dog’s diet should be tailored to their age, health and breed. Your vet may recommend professional-grade food for balanced nutrition. Sweet potato and pumpkin puree, high in natural fibre, can be added to your dog’s meals to aid digestion and reduce the urge to eat non-edible items.

Adjusting meal frequency can also help. Feeding small meals throughout the day can help regulate hunger and reduce snacking.

Hydration is key too. Dehydrated dogs may crave licking and chewing anything they can get, including toilet paper.

Regular feeding schedules with nutrient-dense meals and healthy fruits and veggies, or supplements approved by vets, are essential to maintain optimum health and prevent Pica disorders like eating toilet tissue.


Surprising habits of pets can be seen, like eating toilet paper. This is not rare. Reasons can be medical or behavior. Elderly dogs may do this due to lack of nutrients in their diet. This can cause hunger or digestive issues, making them crave items that aren’t edible. It could also be that the dog has anxiety, boredom, or loneliness. Toilet paper can be comforting, entertaining, or a way to get attention.

If your pup starts eating toilet paper, take action right away. A vet can diagnose any medical conditions. Adjusting their environment can help with anxiety or boredom. Having a balanced, nutrient-rich diet helps discourage them from eating non-edible items.

If you observe your pet eating toilet paper, you must understand why. A healthy diet and a comfortable enviroment will help them overcome medical or behavioral issues. Consulting a vet is important for a proper diagnosis and changing their diet can make a huge difference in their behavior.

Some Facts About Why an Older Dog Might Eat Toilet Paper:

  • ✅ Pica disorder, which causes dogs to eat non-food items like toilet paper, can be caused by anemia, nutrient deficiencies, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Source: K9 of Mine)
  • ✅ Anxiety, boredom, and lack of activity are common causes of pica disorder in dogs consuming inappropriate objects. (Source: AnimalWised)
  • ✅ Endocrine disorders, diabetes, and a calorie-lacking diet can also cause dogs to eat bizarre things like toilet paper. (Source: WagWalking)
  • ✅ Eating toilet paper might be a sign of stress, diabetes, intestinal cancer, or the need for attention in older dogs. (Source: Rover)
  • ✅ Providing older dogs with acceptable chew toys instead of toilet paper is a good way to prevent this behavior from becoming a habit. (Source: K9 of Mine)

FAQs about Why Is My Older Dog Eating Toilet Paper

What is the veterinary term for eating strange objects?

The veterinary term for eating strange objects is called pica. Dogs may eat paper, rocks, rubber bands, string, clothing, socks, and even feces as part of this behavior.

Why is my older dog eating toilet paper?

Dogs may eat paper for various reasons including stress, boredom, separation anxiety, nutrient deficiency, and even diabetes. Eating toilet paper is generally associated with pica, which is an eating disorder seen in both humans and animals.

Is paper eating a common behavior in adult dogs?

Yes, many adult dogs exhibit the behavior of eating strange objects, which is known as pica. Most dogs outgrow this behavior by the time they are two years old. However, if an adult dog is doing it, it could be related to stress, diet, diabetes, intestinal cancer, and even the need for attention.

What are the causes of pica disorder in dogs?

Causes of pica disorder in dogs include boredom, lack of activity, separation anxiety, nutrient deficiency, anemia, zinc deficiency, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and endocrine disorders that make dogs feel hungrier than normal.

How can I stop my dog from eating toilet paper?

To prevent this behavior from becoming a habit, provide puppies with acceptable chew toys instead of toilet paper. For older dogs, providing them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them busy, and training them not to eat strange objects may help. A calorie-lacking diet may also contribute to these eating behaviors, so ensure the dog’s nutritional needs are being met.

When should I see a veterinarian about my dog’s paper eating behavior?

If your dog is eating paper frequently or in large amounts that could cause health issues, it’s important to visit a veterinarian. The vet may find nutritional deficiencies or digestive issues that need treatment. The best option for you is to deworm your dog and see if the paper eating persists, in which case you may need to consult the vet.

Joe Inglis
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