Some dogs eat just about anything. And if they frequent your kitchen, they might munch on wax paper. If you discover your dog eating wax paper, should you be worried? Is wax paper safe for dogs? What should you do?
Let’s look at why your dog eats wax paper and if they can digest it. We’ll also break down the dangers of consuming wax paper and list ways of preventing your dog from doing so.
Why Does My Dog Eat Wax Paper?
Dogs are curious creatures and are often willing to eat almost anything. If your dog munches on wax paper, it may be because it appears strange to them. Wax paper has a top layer of coated wax and other ingredients, which might smell like a treat. They will likely believe it is edible.
Your dog may eat wax paper because of a medical condition. Pica is a disease whereby dogs eat inedible items. Aside from wax paper, you may find your dog eating socks, pantyhose, rocks, children’s toys, towels, or underwear.
Pica in dogs is associated with mental and psychological complications. Other factors that may cause this disease include a poor diet, medications, and hormonal imbalances.
Besides eating weird things, dogs with Pica might display the following symptoms.
- Separation anxiety
- Attention seeking
Can Dogs Digest Wax Paper?
Dogs’ digestive tracts can’t break down paper and wax, the main components of wax paper. If your dog ingests wax paper, it will simply pass through its digestive system. The paper will soak up bodily fluids and ease itself out of the digestive tract. However, if your dog eats a lot of wax paper, they may suffer from digestive blockage.
A blockage is more prevalent in small dogs with tiny digestive tracts and stomachs. Your puppy or small dog won’t be able to digest wax paper as well as larger dogs.
What Happens if My Dog Ate Wax Paper?
Although wax paper components aren’t toxic to dogs, ingesting them in high amounts may cause severe health complications.
Some of the complications include:
Gagging or Choking
Your dog may choke or suffocate if they swallow a large piece of wax paper. The paper gets wet from the dog’s saliva and thus easily sticks in the throat. This may cause your dog to gag and choke when trying to cough out the wax paper.
Choking can be tragic. Contact the vet immediately if your dog appears disoriented, has excessive drooling, and is pawing at its mouth, as they may be struggling to breathe. Removing the wax paper from the dog’s mouth can prevent asphyxiation or death.
Intestinal blockage may occur if your dog eats wax paper in a rush. Dogs will swallow large chunks of wax paper, leading to blockage.
Small dog breeds and pups are also susceptible to intestinal tract blocking when they eat wax paper. Such dogs have narrow digestive tracts, which may get blocked easily.
Signs of intestinal blockage in dogs include lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, poor appetite, and nausea. This condition can quickly escalate to a critical stage.
If the wax paper hasn’t moved down the throat into the stomach, your dog may be able to expel them by vomiting. You should monitor the vomited foreign material to confirm if it’s the same amount as the dog consumed.
What Should I Do if My Dog Eats Wax Paper?
The first step to take if your dog eats paper wax is to monitor them. Some cases are mild, and the dog will be able to pass the paper down its digestive tract smoothly. If your dog shows signs of gagging and choking, it may need professional veterinarian care.
The next step is to try to help your dog. Open the dog’s mouth and try to pull the wax papers out. This will give the dog some relief for some time. You should also identify or determine the amount of wax paper your dog consumed, to help with the diagnosis.
It’s advisable to contact the vet within thirty minutes after consumption. Aside from describing the dog’s condition to the vet, inform them of the breed, age, and size for a better diagnosis. The vet may instruct you on what to do or ask you to take the dog in for further examination.
If the vet administers induced vomiting, giving your pup plain food is advisable to ease the process. Then, monitor your dog closely for improvements.
How To Prevent My Dog From Eating Wax Paper?
The best way to prevent a dog from eating wax paper is to store the wax paper securely. Put the paper in a high cabinet where dogs can’t reach it. If your dog eats wax paper simply because they are curious, you could keep their minds involved by preoccupying them with puzzle games and toys.
You could also install locks on bins and cabinets if your dog is cheeky. Additionally, if you live in a large household, advise other family members to avoid leaving wax papers unattended.
Also be sure to properly dispose of used wax paper such as butter wrappers in a secure trash can which the dog cannot access. Used wax paper is often even more enticing to a dog because of the smells and flavors from the food residue left on it.
Ensure your dog gets enough mental and psychological stimulation if they suffer from Pica. It’s advisable to monitor their behavior and provide them with healthy, balanced diets to reduce their urge to eat wax papers.
Frequently Asked Questions
People who ask, “What should I do if my dog ate wax paper?” may also wonder about the following questions:
How long will it take a dog to pass wax paper?
It takes a dog forty-eight to seventy-two hours to pass the wax paper. However, you shouldn’t wait for your dog to expel the paper. Contact the vet almost immediately.
If my dog ate a butter wrapper (or a stick of butter with wrapper), it is the same as eating wax paper?
Butter wrappers are commonly wax paper (though aluminum foil is also used), so the same concerns apply when a dog eats a wax butter wrapper. Also, the butter the dog ingests with it may lubricate their digestive tract and make it easier for the wrapper to glide through the digestive system.
Be aware, however, that if your dog eats a stick of butter, they are likely to have diarrhea in addition to any issues caused by the wax wrapper.
What happens if a dog eats wax?
A dog might suffer from intestinal blockage if they eat large wax blocks. However, small amounts of wax soften when ingested and pass through the dog’s system smoothly.
What happens if my dog eats plastic wrap?
Plastic wrap isn’t toxic to dogs. However, your dog may suffer from intestinal obstruction if they ingest a lot of it.
What should I do if a dog eats a candle?
Candles can easily choke your canine and depending on the size, can cause an intestinal obstruction. Contact the vet immediately if your dog eats a candle.