Every pet owner knows how difficult it is to train our dogs not to eat everything. Dogs can be attracted to a whole lot of things, and most of the time, they can be playing with a foreign object and ingest it. Whenever dogs ingest something aside from food, these objects can pose a threat to their gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and other complications.
Eating foreign objects is not normal. If your dog eats paper, cardboard, wood, or any other object, then take note of this behavior and inform your veterinarian as soon as possible. Some of the reasons why dogs eat foreign materials are: nutritional deficiencies, hunger, endocrine disorders, diabetes, or a low-calorie diet.
If your dog has nothing better to do, then he might find ways to alleviate his boredom. He might destroy your furniture or chew on things to relieve himself of his excess energy. To prevent this from happening, make sure to give your dog morning walks, routine exercise and regular playtime schedules. Since dogs require both mental and physical stimulation, regular interaction with your dog will improve their hunting and obedience training skills.
Your dog may have a nutritional deficiency.
If your dog is missing the crucial minerals in their diet, he may crave to eat paper. He could suffer from anemia, or the lack of iron in the blood. If your dog is not consuming the right caloric content in his food for his size, he will try to ingest non-food items more often to satisfy his appetite.
Your dog may have Polyphagia or Diabetes.
Polyphagia is a learned toxic behavior in dogs, where they have excessive hunger or increased appetite, and could be one of the signs of diabetes. Diabetes in dogs is a sign that its body cannot produce insulin, which would result in too much sugar in its body. Too much sugar means your dog will overeat and consume too much water.
Your dog may be anxious.
Anxiety and stress can be a reason for your dog to calm himself by chewing on found objects. The texture of the paper is also not too hard to chew on; thus, your dog might rip it to shreds to relieve his stress.
Your dog can have endocrine problems.
Hyperthyroidism happens when your pet overproduces the thyroid hormone, which increases his metabolism. This condition will potentially result in your dog's weight loss, anxiety, and diarrhea. In an attempt to compensate for this, your dog may most likely eat more.
Whatever the reason your dog eats paper, the best and safest way to deal with the situation is to go to your veterinarian and get a proper diagnosis. Your vet will determine the root cause of this behavior and prevent further complications that may arise. Make sure to take note of your dog's history and behavioral patterns too. Notice if your dog is really ingesting paper or he just plays with it, or if he exhibits other peculiar behavior or physical symptoms. Once your vet has come up with a proper diagnosis, you'll need to observe your dog for a few weeks and see if the condition improves. If your dog still chew on things, then it's time to seek a a behavioral therapist to break the habit.
The most practical and effective way to prevent your dog from chewing on paper is to keep paper out of his reach. This includes other objects that he might nibble on such as wood, towels, carboard etc. Another option is to buy your dog some chew toys so he can divert his attention and play with these instead. If the behavior still persists, consult your veterinarian and he might recommend some objects that is safe to chew on.