Why do dogs eat tissues?

In this brief discussion, we will answer the question “Why do dogs eat tissues?“ We will also talk about whether it is dangerous for dogs if they eat tissues and different ways to help prevent this behaviour.

Why do dogs eat tissues?

There are a number of medical and/or behavioural reasons why dogs eat tissues:

  • Puppies explore their surroundings with their mouth as they indulge their curiosity. Munching on tissues, chewing, and biting can indicate that a puppy is trying to get some respite from teething pain. Adult dogs may also be drawn to tissues out of curiosity since they learn about their environment by tasting various textures.
  • Dogs who lack essential elements like iron in their diet may develop a craving for tissues. When dogs don’t get the right nutrition or have enough calories for their size, they frequently try to absorb other things to soothe their desires.
  • Medical ailments may also be the cause, as dogs with worms, diabetes, or digestive issues may turn to eating tissues when they are starving. 
  • A medical disease known as “pica,” an eating disorder (also found in humans) that causes dogs to want inedible foods and is frequently brought on by anaemia or zinc deficiency, may induce dogs to chew tissues.
  • Dogs who are anxious may also chew or tear paper to calm themselves. 
  • Dogs may also consume toilet paper out of boredom. A dog may consume toilet paper to attract attention if they aren’t getting the attention they want. Even negative responses are viewed as attention by dogs. Some dogs will simply eat toilet paper because they find it amusing.

Is it dangerous for dogs to eat tissues?

Serious stomach problems can result from eating tissues. Your dog might, at the absolute least, feel queasy as the tissue paper moves through their system. Lethargy, constipation, vomiting, and diarrhoea could result from this.

Tissues can potentially result in an ER visit because it can induce surgically necessary intestinal obstructions in dogs. Weight loss, bloating, pain, or an inability to eat are indicators of a choked intestine.

How can I prevent my dog from eating tissues?

Following are some tips to help prevent your dog from eating tissues:

Restrict your dog’s access to tissues

Making sure your dog can’t easily reach tissues is the first step in breaking this bad behaviour. All additional tissues and toilet paper should be kept out of reach or hidden behind baby-locked cupboards. Always keep the bathroom door closed.

It can be beneficial to spend money on a special tissue paper dispenser that keeps dogs away from toilet paper because dogs are frequently drawn to tissue paper rolls as they spin.

If you can’t keep an eye on your dog at home, you should either confine him or install gates to block his access to the restroom.

Focus on your dog’s physical engagement

Dogs can release all of their excess energy through regular exercise and plenty of playing. This will prevent your dog from munching on tissues out of boredom or anxiety. Take your dog for longer walks or play tug-of-war with them to increase their exercise.

Dog training

You must teach your dog fundamental obedience commands like “leave it” and “give” if you want to stop this behaviour of eating tissues. Teaching dogs that even though an object is available, it is not for them requires some basic obedience training.

After they’ve finished their obedience training, practise it with them at home. Put your hand under your dog’s mouth and say “give” if you catch them with tissues in their mouth. Say “leave it” and offer your dog a toy if they reach for the tissue roll.

Tissues are a high-value item for dogs because they view it as a prize when you notice them because they have it. The same holds true if they pick up a toy and don’t get any attention for it. Giving dogs a different toy helps to positively refocus their attention and, as a result, change their behaviour. 

What to do if my dog eats tissues?

Make an appointment with your veterinarian right away if your dog is eating tissues. It’s crucial for your dog to have a physical examination because this could indicate underlying medical issues. 

Any tests required to make a diagnosis can be done by your veterinarian. If a health issue is the underlying cause, your veterinarian may advise specific medications, diets, or other measures.

If a physical disease is not the root of the issue, it is highly likely that your dog is going through behavioural issues which is causing him to chew tissues. Your veterinarian can offer advice on helpful behavioural strategies.

Conclusion 

We answered the question “Why do dogs eat tissues?“ We also talked about whether it is dangerous for dogs if they eat tissues and different ways to help prevent this behaviour.

References

https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-do-dogs-like-eating-tissues

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