December 17

What Should I Do When My Dog Eats Paper Towels?


Dogs are feisty little creatures that like sticking their noses in places where it doesn’t belong. And even more odd is how much they love trying to eat weird items like paper products, and yes, even condoms. They love tearing them up, eating them, and making a big mess of them. And this includes their love of paper towels as well. It’s a common issue that dogs and dog owners have to deal with regularly.

Your dog may stick his nose in the garbage and suddenly discover a paper towel. Or they can pull paper towels directly off the kitchen counter and begin rolling them around all over the floor. Your pooch may even love playing with paper towels and chewing them up and spitting them out all over the place.

Guess what? Even though your dog loves paper towels it could lead to serious medical problems that need to get treated.

Medical Problems That Dogs Face from a Paper Towels

Dog Eats Paper Towels

Your furry little friend can unfortunately suffer from real health issues if it eats paper towels. This may seem kind of strange but it must be taken seriously. The potential issues your dog could face include:

  • Poisoning – believe it or not, eating a paper towel out of the garbage can could end up having poisons on it. Let’s say you recently used a paper towel to clean some of the surfaces in your home and you used toxic cleaning solutions. If your dog pulls this paper towel from the garbage can and begins eating it, you should bring him or her to an emergency veterinary visit in case they accidentally poison themselves.
  • Stomach pains – if your dog eats too many paper towels, it could end up suffering from severe stomach pains. Although better than an intestinal blockage or bowel obstruction that we’ll talk about next, it’s still upsetting to the dog. And if too many paper towels are eaten the dog could end up getting diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Bowel blockages – if your dog eats so many paper towels that it obstructs his or her bowel, you are dealing with a severe medical problem that needs immediate attention. It can be very life-threatening for your dog so take this seriously. Having paper towels lodged in the stomach or intestines can create irritability, bowel movement difficulty, bloating, lack of appetite, and stomach pains. Your dog could even end up suffering from weight loss because of the obstruction. This is an emergency that requires emergency veterinary attention.
  • Swallowing difficulties – if paper towels become lodged in the back of your dog’s trachea it will have a difficult time swallowing. If the dog is retching, coughing, and having swallowing difficulties, it requires emergency medical attention.

Diagnosing and Treating Your Dog

The veterinarian will examine your dog and run tests including an x-ray. The x-ray will help the vet locate the paper towel within the digestive system.

If serious or severe enough, the vet could induce vomiting to relieve your pooch of the obstruction. If the paper towel is further down the passage, an endoscopic procedure might be necessary to remove the excess paper towel.

Surgery could be a requirement if paper towels are so clogged up that they’re causing an intestinal blockage. But if you treat your dog early enough, his or her prognosis is excellent.


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