You’re in your office, and you notice your dog is being unusually quiet. You know- that kind of quiet that means she’s being sneaky. You stroll into your living room and see your dog giving you the ‘I didn’t do it’ eyes. And, next to her, there’s what was once a full cardboard box that is now shredded into little pieces across the living room.
Many dog lovers have noticed their dog has a special love for cardboard boxes or paper towel rolls. But, that’s kind of an odd fascination, isn’t it? And, is it a reason to worry?
Cardboard Isn’t Even Tasty
Our first reaction to our dog eating cardboard is usually… what?! Cardboard doesn’t even taste good. Why would our dogs love it so much? Especially when they have their delicious doggy food.
Well, first of all, dogs love to chew. So, your dog might just find the cardboard to be a fun and exciting chew toy. Shredding a cardboard box to pieces is a lot of fun. Pieces go flying. And your dog has made a huge accomplishment. He fought a cardboard box… and he won.
But… if eating items other than their food becomes compulsive your dog could have pica. Pica is a condition where our dogs (or humans) eat foreign items. When a human has pica, it’s a major cause for concern. But, in dogs, don’t worry too much. It’s fairly common. But- you should still visit your veterinarian to make sure your dog doesn’t have any underlying medical conditions.
Instincts or Boredom?
The cardboard, or paper, could also be an instinct thing. Hear me out. When paper or cardboard is shredded, could you imagine it feeling like feathers in their mouth?
Or, let’s look at another scenario. Our dog could just be plain out bored. And, when dogs are bored, they will find themselves something to do. Right? As the saying goes, a tired dog is a happy dog.
To Worry or Not to Worry
Luckily, cardboard isn’t toxic to our dogs. But, it’s also not digestible for obvious reasons. The main worry we have with a dog eating cardboard is that it could obstruct their intestines. If your dog has eaten cardboard recently, you want to keep your eye out for:
- Constipation (because they’re not able to go potty if they have something in the way)
- Pooping, but straining while pooping
If you do notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian. The treatment might range from stool softeners to surgery, but you want them to make the decision.
Stop Chewing the Toilet Paper Rolls
There are a couple of behavioral issues that could be causing your dog to eat cardboard. Before diving into the behavioral side of things, you should first talk to your veterinarian. Better safe than sorry in all of these situations.
The first step on the behavior side of the spectrum… find out if your dog is just plain out bored. Take him for an extra walk. And, play with her a little longer than usual. You can even try a mental stimulation toy for dogs- like a puzzle.
Yes, there are puzzles just for dogs. And, we’ll include a few links for you below.
Brain Puzzles for Dogs
Brain puzzles for dogs give your dog a job. They give your dog a sense of purpose. And, they’re fun.
These games are great for dogs because they do feed on their natural instincts. They’re fun. And, they keep our dog’s mental stimulation high.
Stop Your Dog’s Cardboard Obsession Today
Dogs who are really determined to continue their obsession might be harder to break. But, keeping them busy is important. Try out a new game. Take consistent, daily walks. If it’s just boredom, the cardboard chewing should stop.