Dog Ate a Paper Towel – What to Do Next

While the risk isn’t high, dogs can get sick from eating paper towels. How dangerous paper towels are to dogs will depend on a number of factors such as the amount the dog ate and whether the paper towel is clean or used.

What to do if your dog ate a paper towel

The good news is that paper towel is soft and flexible so it wouldn’t have much issue passing through the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. That, however, doesn’t mean you can carry on with life as usual.

Once you have found out your dog ate some paper towel, note down a few observations such as how many paper towels you think your dog ate, the paper towel brand, and whether the paper towel is clean or used. These notes can come in handy for the vet if there is a need to take your dog to the clinic.

A visit to the vet is usually not needed if the dog only swallowed a small amount or if the paper towels were first chewed up into tiny pieces before getting swallowed. A call to the vet, however, might be necessary if the paper towel had any residue that’s toxic to dog.

This could, for example, be cleaning products (e.g. bleach) or any food and beverages that are known to be unsafe for dogs. Some food residues, like bacon grease, might not be toxic, but may trigger reactions like vomiting and diarrhea due to their high fat and sodium content. Scented paper towels may also increase the risk of sickness.

It’s important you watch over your dog for the next few days in case he shows any adverse reactions from eating a paper towel. Some dogs, for example, might have diarrhea or an upset stomach. Other common symptoms may include lethargy and lack of appetite.

How long for paper towel to pass

As a general rule of thumb, you could expect it to take anywhere from four to twelve hours for paper towels to pass through a dog’s body. You might see your dog straining a bit more than usual when it’s time to poop out the paper towel content. The dog isn’t out of the woods just yet once the paper towel is out of the dog’s system.

Some further observation is recommended as some pet owners have reported seeing their dog in pain a few days after the paper towel incident. A vet is strongly recommended in such cases for a proper diagnosis.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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