How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Paper

Posted by: | Posted on: July 1, 2017

You have the cutest dog, fluffy, playful, perhaps with a big lolling tongue. You love your dog and they are an integral part of your family. Unfortunately, your dog has appointed him or herself the official paper shredder. You come home after dinner out to find a trail of half chewed napkins and newspaper through the house. Paper chewing is a pretty common behavioral issue, but you don’t have to live like this. Here are a few options to deal with your paper shredder:

1. Spice it up. Use hot sauce or bitter apple spray to teach your dog not to eat paper. I would go with hot sauce over bitter apple because it’s more unpleasant. Sprinkle some on the paper you have around the house. Perhaps once they get a taste of that your dog won’t be interested in eating paper.

2. Bait them to catch them in the act. Your dog has a short memory. When they’re in trouble, they r dog in it know they obviously did something wrong and will cast their eyes down and slink off to bed. The problem is, they have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about and they really think you’re a bit nuts. Leave some paper out and hide around the corner. When they go after the paper, step out and say “no” in a firm, no-nonsense voice. Use the same firm no-nonsense voice your mother or father used when you knew you were in big trouble. Don’t yell. Your dog will believe you have lost control. Don’t give your dog extra attention. After you tell your dog “no” in your firm, authoritative voice, ignore him or her as you clean up. Your dog loves attention, even if they are getting in trouble. If you give your dog extra attention when they misbehave the only thing you will teach them is that they are going to get attention if they eat the paper. After a few times, your dog should get the hint.

3. Kennel them. Get a dog crate or kennel. Put your dog in it while you’re away. It’s a safe place for them to be while you’re away. You’re dog can’t get into trouble if they can’t get to the paper. Just remember, especially during the summer, if you don’t have air conditioning your home does get hot. Make sure your dog has access to water.

4. Put it away. It may be a little more inconvenient for you, but it’s much better for your dog if you just keep the paper put away. Once your dog has been away from the paper for a while, you can slowly reintroduce it. You just have to remember paper eating is a behavioral issue. When your dog hasn’t had access to paper to commit the crime, he or she will move on to something else.

5. Redirection. Dogs are very much like little kids. If they are getting into something they shouldn’t, tell them “no”, take away what they aren’t supposed to have, replacing it with an appropriate toy. Don’t give them attention beyond that or you’re rewarding the behavior. Come back in about two minutes to see if your dog is exhibiting proper behavior. That means come back in two minutes to love on them and play with them if your dog isn’t eating paper.

Every dog has their own personality. What works for one dog won’t necessarily work for another dog. Try the various methods and see which one works for you. If all else fails, use the shredded paper as compost.

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