The Harm of Your Dog Eating Toilet Paper & Garbage?

Is your dog having trouble going to the bathroom? Like humans, dogs can get constipated too! Sometimes constipation can be caused by what you feed your dog, but sometimes it can be caused by what they are feeding themselves. Dogs can get into foods when you’re not watching. Whether it be waste from the garbage or inedible household items, dogs can be causing harm to themselves and not even know it.

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Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to the garbage. Your garbage barrels should always be covered or kept somewhere your dog can’t get into them. Many people aren’t even aware that their dog is getting into the garbage. Our sneaky little pups go rummaging when we are away at work or sleeping at night. We throw away so many food scraps that we have no use for but they still smell yummy to dogs. Here are just a few hazardous foods that end up in the garbage: chicken bones, cobs from corn, peach pits, and steak bones. We all know our dog would be happy to get their paws on a good chicken bone or corn on the cob. Unfortunately, if a dog ingests these item he can suffer from severe constipation, an intestinal blockage, or even a puncture to their digestive system.

Dogs don’t always go looking for food to eat in the kitchen. Sometimes they go looking for things to eat in other rooms of your home that you don’t always expect. They may go after your shoes in your closet, toys in your child’s room, or toilet paper in the bathroom. Chewing on these objects can cause some serious damage, but if your dog starts chewing and swallowing these items then you may face a real problem. Ingesting small toys and pieces of shoes can cause your dog to choke. If these objects make their way through your dog’s digestive tract and into the colon, they can cause bleeding and block bowel movements. Materials like toilet paper and tissues can cause major blockages in your dog’s digestive system. Your dog may find them easy swallow so it doesn’t seem like a major issue. While toilet paper may not cause any bleeding or punctures, they are the most likely to cause extreme constipation. The tissues and toilet paper will bind up with your dog’s bowels, which will prevent their bowels from properly moving through their intestines.

What should you do if your dog is constipated? The best option is to consult your vet. They may instruct you to give your dog a little bit of Miralax in their food. While Miralax is not a “dog laxative”, it is a type of laxative that can be ingested by dogs. It works best for dogs who are constipated because of a type of food they ate, like corn. Miralax is not a good idea to give to a dog if they ingested an object like a toy or rigid item. Forcing this object to move further through your dog’s digestive system could cause more damage. Your best bet is to bring your dog into the vet for them to surgically remove the object. If your dog ingested a lot of toilet paper then your vet may tell you to bring your dog in for an enema. During an enema, your vet will flush your dog’s rectum with liquid. The liquid helps expel the contents inside your dog’s intestines and colon. Before performing an enema, your vet will most likely take an X-ray of your dog’s digestive system to locate the blockage. Once the enema is performed and the blockage is released, your vet will be able to inspect your dog’s bowels to see what caused the blockage. Like most procedures performed at the vet, dog enemas can be expensive. Vets local to our area charge around $280 for an enema. Contact your vet to get an idea of your potential expenses. Although medical procedures can be costly, never avoid bringing your dog to the vet just so you can avoid an expensive bill. Your dog’s life depends on it!

Kimberly Alves
Published October 6th, 2015

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