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Why is my Dog Eating Paper all of a Sudden?

Dogs are the most loveable creatures anyone could have as a pet. Running around the house madly for no reason, scratching the floor, or chasing their tails are among the few abnormal behaviours that are abnormal for us but normal for canines. However, both the human owner and the pet itself do not consider certain moves normal. One of such most significant behaviour is the desire to eat non-edible things.

If you have seen your dog eating paper for the dinner, it is something about which you should worry. The situation needs a lot more attention when your dog has no previous history of such behaviour and is suddenly expressing so. Continue reading to learn all the reasons why your dog started eating paper, and how can you prevent it.

Dog eating paper

Reasons Why Dogs Eat Paper And Paper Towels

Eating paper is not such a casual behaviour in dogs. When you see your friend eating paper towel, you must wonder about the main reason for this behaviour. Dogs are not that selective about healthy snacks, but they do have a feeling to leave the dirty or harmful one.

Pica is a condition when one develops the desire to eat nonfood items. It is same for human pregnant females. The body overworks during the duration and misinterprets nonfood items as food as a source to replenish energy and nutrients. The same goes for pups too. Their body may take the paper as an ultimate source to meet their nutrients and energy.

So, eating paper by your dog is either a habit, or it can indicate other things. Here is the list of all the possible reasons that made your dog eat paper all of a sudden:

Anxiety and stress

Dogs tend to develop some destructive habits in anxiety to divert your attention to the matter. It can also be due to boredom when the dog finds no healthy activity to dissipate extra energy. Therefore, the dogs manifest lack of mental wellness in the form of tearing and eating the paper. The whole process may have a calming effect and soothes them instantly, so they start repeating it repeatedly.

The paper smells like you

Your dog can show an unusual way of getting close to you even more. This behaviour is discoverable when he likes eating old newspapers, paper from your books or the stuff you commonly use. In this situation, your dog entirely skips new items and paper towels.

You must have heard about the incredibly sharp sense of smell of dogs. So, if they smell of you, out of slightest, from any object, they tend to devour it. It is only to feel more close to you. Therefore, if you see something like this, it is a compliment that you have been the best owner.

Deficiencies in nutrition

Nutritional deficiencies in pups usually lead to their eating non-edible stuff such as paper towels and paper. More specifically, the depletion of iron develops intense cravings for paper and paper-like substances. Anaemic dogs most commonly show such behaviour. Get your dog examined as soon as you discover something unusual in them.

They Are Satiating Their Canine Instincts:

Dogs are direct descendants of wolves, and hunting comes in their genes. So, they may think of paper eating as a kind of hunting. Moreover, dogs have the natural instinct of taking energy from different sources of food. Therefore, eating paper is one of their ways, though not healthy, to look for the variety.

They are just hungry

Hunger is the most probable reason when the dog all of a sudden starts eating paper. The case is strengthened when your dog is increasing its size, and you are not increasing the portion size to the same extent. Your dog may not satiate its hunger from the same portion of the meal and look for other things to meet their increasing body demands. The calorie demand, in its sense, is well met by eating newspapers and paper towels he finds around the house.

They find it fun!

Dogs may also eat and shred paper just for fun. They may find it a new fun thing to shred and chew this highly malleable material. Moreover, it tends to soothe their mouth when they chew, so they love to repeat it a lot.

They Are Suffering From A Disease:

The increased hunger, causing the dogs to eat paper, can also be a symptom of some medical conditions such as diabetes. In diabetes, high blood sugar levels make your dog eat more than usual. Dogs tend to chew out more and drink a lot more water in this condition.

Moreover, it can also be an indicate anaemia in your pup. Puppies start craving for more non-edible sources to replenish iron in them.

So, eating paper all of sudden by your dog is not a normal thing and should never be overlooked. Contact your vet as soon as possible and get your pet a complete medical examination even if you have had the test recently.

dog with paper on head

How do I stop my dog from eating paper towels?

If your dog eats paper for a few times and forgets about it, you can then simply ignore it and consider it as a fun activity by your pup. However, if your dog is getting obsessed with paper, then it is a thing you should never overlook. Consider the following solutions to stop your pet from eating papers:

1.       Get your puppy examined for underlying deficiencies, e.g., iron. You can then improve the portion according to needs.

2.       Increase the portion size as your puppy gets older. The portion size should be enough to satiate its hunger. Moreover, it is always recommended that you should use small yet more frequent bowels of the meal. It is to ensure that your puppy does not feel hungry anymore.

3.       Make sure to keep all of the paper stuff out of the reach of your dog. You can control it in lockers or too high for your dog to approach.

4.       Dogs during teething love to chew things, or it is their general habit to chew things randomly. Therefore, you can try giving it a good quality chew toy, so he can avoid the stuff that can be potentially harmful.

5.       Whenever they are chewing paper, redirect their attention to other things, e.g., a fancy treat, a toy or other items your dog likes.


Eating paper towel or newspaper is not among everyday habits of the dog. Doing so can not only cause blockage but also absorb body fluids. The absorption can be to the extent that it may cause severe dehydration. Other issues can be sore stomach and constipation. Therefore, now you know how harmful it is for your pet to eat newspaper and what can be the possible reasons for such behaviours. You can try tips as mentioned earlier to stop your pup from eating newspaper. Remember, try to understand your pup’s problem and never rebuke them for any of this behaviour. Otherwise, it can lead to more severe issues along with puppy’s revolt against you.