Why Do Dogs Chew Paper and Toilet Tissues?

It’s all fun and games the first couple of times you watch your puppy go off with paper or toilet rolls. It happens more than thrice, and as a true lover of your dog, you’re worried. What could this spell for your puppy or grown dog? Is it unhealthy behavior? Why do dogs chew paper and toilet tissues? Let’s talk about this inordinate chewing habit.

Why Do Dogs Eat Paper?

Why can’t your dog be like Scooby-Doo and act like a grown adult for once? It’s downright annoying to watch the new roll of tissue paper torn into shreds by a dog you’re training. It feels like it defeats the purpose of those hours you’ve logged into training him or her.

Dogs wiggle their tails to things that fascinate them; bark around, perhaps hop around a bit and, ultimately, they use their teeth (sometimes in a non-threatening way). So what’s so fascinating about paper and tissues that make dogs so interested in chewing them?

Perhaps your dog is fascinated to the tissue because of an inviting smell it perceives to be coming from it. Or it could also be because paper and tissues are so soft. This can subconsciously trigger memories of soft, fluffy matter like feather and fur, reminiscent of catching things in the wild (evolution).

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Why, oh Why???

  • Evolution, baby.

For certain dogs, the basis of this behavior, as earlier pointed out, could be due to an intrinsic need to tear things apart, reminiscent of an evolutionary trend. The mere act of tearing the tissue roll might remind him of the tearing of smaller animals, birds, insects et al. when he had to fend for himself in the wild.

  • Attention-seeking

For some other dogs, it might be due to plain boredom and a need to be stimulated. Remember when you couldn’t go thirty minutes without patting Snoopy’s head lovingly? Well, now, he’s a bonafide member of the family and, to be honest, your attention has waned!

Maybe your dog is trying to get your attention, snap you back into your loving traits by pursuing her all over the house? Anyone who’s ever had to ‘seek attention’ has probably tried the whole negative attention thing, so please, your dog might not be an exception!

Should you increase your playtime, maybe? Getting a dog brush is one way to play with your dog while also ensuring she has a clean body!

  • Something more serious: Is your dog nutrient-deficient?

There’s something called Pica, and it refers to a compulsive desire to eat non-food items when deficient in a nutrient, e.g. iron.

If you’ve tried to show your dog more attention and tried other general behavior-modification tips, you might consider the possibility of Pica in your dog.

Bearing this in mind, you might have to set up an appointment with your veterinarian to properly check this out, and finally put a stop to it.

Discouraging the Behavior

Paper and toilet rolls are not exactly good for your canine friend’s digestive system.

Discouraging this behavior, especially if it is not a medical disorder, would require an application of behavior modification training.

You would have to be patient with your dog while you teach him or her obedience, and how to appropriately respond when you tell her to ‘leave it’ or ‘stop.’

Giving your dog key obedience training will not only serve you well with regards to stopping unhealthy behavior such as this but also help your canine’s overall psychological health.


“Why Do Dogs Chew Paper and Toilet Tissues?”

Guest Writer: Camila Merashi is the content manager at Kingkomb, which offers innovative products for pets aimed at providing owners with all-natural alternatives that promote health and well-being in their pets. 

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Does your dog eat paper, cardboard, and toilet paper?

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