Dog Ate a Paper Napkin: They Usually Pass Without a Problem

Issue Dog ate a paper napkin
Quick Info Eating a paper napkin may not be harmful to dogs, but it can cause digestive issues or an obstruction if consumed in large quantities. Additionally, the napkin may contain harmful chemicals or dyes that can be toxic to dogs
What to Do Monitor the dog’s behavior and health, watch for signs of vomiting or diarrhea, and consult with a veterinarian if they’ve eaten a large quantity of napkins or they seem lethargic

Why Dogs Eat Paper Napkins

dog chewed a paper napkin usually not a big deal

If you are a dog owner, you may have noticed that your canine pal has a tendency to eat non-food items, such as paper napkins.

While it may seem strange, there are a few reasons why dogs do this. Here are some possible explanations (other than you wrapped a steak in it):

Boredom and Anxiety

Dogs are social creatures and require mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

When left alone for long periods of time, dogs may become bored or anxious, leading them to turn to destructive behaviors like chewing on household items, including paper napkins.

Eating the napkin may also serve as a way for them to self-soothe when they are feeling anxious or stressed.


Dogs are naturally curious creatures and may eat a paper napkin simply because they want to investigate it.

The texture and smell of the napkin may be intriguing to them, especially if it has been used to wipe up food.


Pica is a medical condition that causes dogs to eat non-food items. This condition can be caused by a nutritional deficiency or an underlying medical issue, such as gastrointestinal problems or thyroid issues.

If your dog has a habit of eating non-food items, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Behavioral Issues

In some cases, dogs may eat paper napkins as a result of behavioral issues. This can include separation anxiety, attention-seeking behavior, or a lack of mental stimulation.

If your dog is exhibiting destructive behaviors, it’s important to address the root cause of the behavior and provide them with appropriate outlets for their energy and mental stimulation.

Recognizing the Symptoms and Risks

If your dog ate a paper napkin, you may be wondering what symptoms to look out for and what risks are involved. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Symptoms to Look Out For

  • Vomiting: If your dog starts vomiting after eating a paper napkin, it could be a sign that the napkin is causing digestive issues.
  • Diarrhea: Similarly, if your dog has diarrhea after eating a paper napkin, it could be a sign of digestive problems.
  • Lethargy: If your dog seems unusually tired or inactive after eating a paper napkin, it could be a sign of discomfort or pain.
  • Lack of appetite: If your dog doesn’t seem interested in eating after eating a paper napkin, it could be a sign of digestive distress.

Risks Involved

  • Digestive issues: Paper napkins are not meant to be eaten, and they can cause digestive problems if ingested.
  • Intestinal blockage: If your dog eats a large amount of paper napkins, it could lead to an intestinal blockage, which can be a serious health issue.
  • Choking hazard: If your dog tries to swallow a large piece of paper napkin, it could get stuck in their throat and become a choking hazard.
  • Dehydration: If your dog has diarrhea or vomiting after eating a paper napkin, it could lead to dehydration if they don’t drink enough water.
  • Discomfort: Even if your dog doesn’t experience any serious health issues after eating a paper napkin, they may still feel uncomfortable or in pain.

If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect that your dog has eaten a paper napkin, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away.

They can help you determine the best course of action and ensure that your dog stays healthy and safe.

Keep a Close Eye On Your Dog (What to Do)

Not all dogs fear the rain

If your dog ate a paper napkin, it is important to respond appropriately to ensure your pet’s safety. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Monitor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog for the next 24-48 hours. Look out for any signs of discomfort or distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
  2. Determine the amount eaten: Try to estimate how much of the paper napkin your dog ate. If your dog ate a small amount, it is likely to pass through their digestive system without any problems.
  3. Contact your veterinarian: If your dog ate a large amount of the paper napkin, or if they are showing any signs of discomfort, contact your veterinarian immediately. They may recommend an examination, x-rays, or surgery to remove any blockages.
  4. Follow your veterinarian’s advice: Your veterinarian may recommend giving your dog hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting or other treatments to help your dog pass the paper napkin. Follow their advice carefully and do not attempt to treat your dog on your own.
  5. Prevent future incidents: To prevent your dog from eating paper napkins or other foreign objects, keep them away from areas where they can access them. Provide your dog with plenty of chew toys and supervise them when they are playing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dog pass a paper napkin?

Yes, a dog can pass a paper napkin. However, it is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and bowel movements to ensure that the napkin has passed through the digestive system without causing any blockages or discomfort.

How long does it take for a dog to pass paper?

It can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for a dog to pass paper through their digestive system. However, this can vary depending on the size of the dog and the amount of paper consumed.

Can dogs pass paper towels?

Yes, dogs can pass paper towels. However, it is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and bowel movements to ensure that the paper towel has passed through the digestive system without causing any blockages or discomfort.

Will stomach acid break down paper towel?

Stomach acid can break down paper towel to some extent, but it may not completely dissolve the paper towel. This can increase the risk of blockages in the digestive system if the paper towel is not passed through the system.

Is it safe for dogs to chew on paper towel rolls?

No, it is not safe for dogs to chew on paper towel rolls. The cardboard tube can pose a choking hazard, and the paper towel itself can cause blockages in the digestive system if ingested.

Why do dogs eat napkins?

Dogs may eat napkins due to boredom, anxiety, or simply because they enjoy the taste and texture. It is important to provide your dog with appropriate chew toys and to monitor their behavior to prevent them from ingesting non-food items.