My Dog Ate a Napkin Will He Get Sick?

By Julie •  Updated: 12/01/20 •  3 min read
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Does your dog seem to like eating the strangest things? Does he like to dig in the trash, in your closet for dirty clothes, and more? Then you’re not alone. Dogs have a tendency to enjoy riffling for treasures to eat. And their choices are very odd, such as eating a napkin.

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It’s a fact that napkins are usually harmless. However, they can pose a serious threat to your dog’s health.

Can My Dog Be Lactose Intolerant?
Can My Dog Be Lactose Intolerant?

How are Napkins Dangerous for Dogs?

Napkins can pose a serious health threat to dogs for a number of reasons. No one is quite sure why dogs even choose to eat napkins or other paper products. With a napkin, it could be that your dog is smelling the food that was wiped onto the surface. The smell alone is attractive enough to make your dog want a bite, too!

OK, but how are napkins, which are just thin layers of paper hurt a dog? Let’s take a look.

1). Upset stomach: in some cases, the paper towel may pass safely through your dog’s digestive tract. Even so, your dog may end up with an upset stomach. This may lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

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2). Choking hazard: the paper napkin could become stuck in your dog’s mouth or in his trachea. When this happens, you may notice your dog’s having a hard time breathing, is gagging, and more. This is a medical emergency, and you must call the vet immediately.

3). Intestinal blockage: in this situation, the paper napkin can become lodged in the stomach or somewhere in the dog’s intestines. This can create a blockage, where nothing can get passed. Your dog may show symptoms that include abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and bloating. If you notice these symptoms, this is a medical emergency, and you must call the vet immediately.

Treatment for Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

For an intestinal blockage, the vet will do a complete physical exam of your dog. They may also order lab work and run x-rays (to see where the napkin is stuck).

Depending on the location of the paper napkin, the vet may need to perform surgery to remove the blockage.

For dogs that receive prompt medical care, the prognosis is excellent.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

If your dog has habit of going after used paper napkins, then be sure to pick the napkins up off the floor as soon as possible. You may also want to consider buying a dog-proof waste basket for in the kitchen. These are excellent at keeping dogs (and other pets) out of the trash. Then you won’t have to worry about your dog developing a life-threatening medical problem from eating a paper napkin.

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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