If you find your dog eating tissues or other strange things, it can lead to concerns about dangerous intestinal blockages. If you can figure out why you find your dog eating toilet paper, shredding paper towels, or devouring other paper products and you'll have a leg up on changing the behavior.
She's prone to pica
If your dog is eating tissues, chances are that she's gobbling other strange things like leaves, sticks, or socks. This unusual craving for eating usually inedible items is a condition known as pica.
Pica can be a compulsive disorder but is frequently caused by certain physical conditions according to Best Friends Animal Society. Medications, pancreatic or liver disease, poor diet, and neurologic diseases all can be at the root of your dog eating tissues or other strange items. However, pica can also be normal exploratory behavior according to the animal rescue.
His teeth are coming in
Shredding tissues or chewing things like clothing, shoes, or computer cables can be your dog's way of relieving the aching and itching of new teeth making their way through the gums, according to Tupelo-Lee Humane Society (TLHS). This chewing behavior is most common when a puppy is less than 6 months old. All 42 adult teeth should be in place at that time.
Give your pup acceptable things to relieve teething discomfort. Don't let him tear up stuffed toys, old shoes, mail, or other items that you don't want him to associate with acceptable chewing. Such items will train him to find pleasure in items that could cause a dangerous intestinal blockage.
Your dog is bored
If your dog is eating toilet paper and is older than 6 months old, she may be bored, frustrated, or anxious. Keep track of when you find your dog eating tissues — is she digging in the trash when she's left home alone?
Before leaving home, exercise your dog so she's more likely to want to rest than explore what she can chew, suggests Best Protection Dogs. A long run or rousing game of fetch can go a long way toward calming the anxiety or boredom from long hours without your presence.
Dog-safe puzzle toys where your pet has to figure out how to access a treat, kibble, or peanut butter is another way to help her pass the time and stop your dog eating toilet paper or other bad chewing habits. Avoid leaving her with bones that can splinter or get caught in her mouth.
Stop your dog eating tissues
Dispose of used tissues in a trash can with a closing or locking lid so your dog does not have access to them. Keep the bathroom door closed and boxes of tissues out of reach of your pet.
If your dog's tastes include other household items, consider training him to stay in a crate when you're not at home. When he's out of the crate, make sure clothing is picked up off the floor, cords are inaccessible behind furniture, and children's toys are stored out of reach. Limit your animal to dog-proofed rooms where he can't be tempted.
If you see your dog going after a tissue left within reach, redirect its attention. Throw a ball for an indoor game of fetch, call your dog over to sit for a pet or a treat, or take him for a walk. Having alternatives to your dog eating tissues is an important step that can help him break the habit.
Consult with your veterinarian to stop your dog from eating tissues if you're not able to stop these odd eating habits. Your vet can look for medical issues at the root of the problem, prescribe anxiety medication, or refer you to a trainer or specialist that can help change its behavior.