Why Do Dogs Eat Tissues and Toilet Paper?

There’s one thing every dog owner can attest to – dogs are weird. Usually, that weirdness is expressed in a good and fun way, however, it can be puzzling sometimes.

One of the funnier and weirder behaviors of our canine friends is their proclivity to eating everything in their way. That’s partly explained by dogs being omnivore animals rather than strictly carnivores. However, some of the things just don’t make sense.

So, if you’re one of the many dog owners wondering “Why does my dog eat toilet paper and tissues?!” here’s your answer.

There are three main reasons why dogs would sometimes eat tissues, toilet paper, paper bags, or even clothes and rags. Two of them are relatively simple but one is a bit more complicated:

Your dog is bored

One of the main answers to “Why does my dog eat tissues?” is simple boredom. While this sounds simple enough, it can actually be a time-consuming problem to deal with. Many dog breeds are very prone to boredom, anxiety, and even depressions precisely because of how intelligent they are.

To prevent your dog from getting bored and getting into mischief you’ll have to play much more with your pooch and give him/her much more attention. In the meantime, hiding the tissues, toilet paper, and clothes is a good idea.

Your dog is teething

Just as with human babies, when your dog’s teeth are coming in, it’s normal for the dog’s gums to be itching. In these situations, dogs love to chew stuff to alleviate that itch – clothes, cables, tissues, shoes, anything that makes the itching go away for just a moment.

The easy fix here is to hide whatever your dog is chewing now and give him or her some chew toys instead. Consulting with a vet is also advisable.

Pica disorder

The third and least desirable reason for why do dogs eat Kleenex or toilet paper is pica disorder. Pica is a common disorder that’s very well explained by the Best Friends Animal Society.

In short, pica is a compulsive disorder that causes your dog to crave paper, tissues, leaves, sticks, and clothing items such as socks or scarves. It can be caused by various things such as liver or pancreatic disease, certain medications, as well as neurological diseases.

However, there are also milder cases of pica where it’s expressed as a simple exploratory instinct. In either way, it’s a good idea to talk with your vet about it.

And, as a side note – if you’re wondering “Why does my dog eat toilet paper with poop?” and not just clean toilet paper – this is also usually caused by pica

Is this behavior dangerous?

Once you’ve answered the burning question of why your dog does this, the next one is – should I do something about it?

In most cases, the answer is “Yes.”

Eating leaves, tissues, or toilet paper is usually harmless enough but your pooch can get some intestinal problems if he/she ingests too much. And if you start noticing that your socks are missing, the problems can get even worse.

The first step to solving the problem is restricting your dog’s access to such items. Next, you should consult with a vet. If it was simple boredom and misbehavior, training your dog and giving him/her enough alternative pursuits and playtime should solve the issue.

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