With dogs often trying to eat anything that is left unguarded, especially if it smells like food, it is easy to see why we get so many people reaching out for advice every month due to their dog having eaten a paper plate.
We often see people worrying about the potential health implications of their dog eating paper plates and rightly so as although it is rare, paper plates can cause problems in some dogs.
As we see so many people reaching out and asking what to do if their dog ate a paper plate, especially in the summer months when people tend to have barbecues and eat fatty foods directly from paper plates, we wanted to publish our own article on the topic.
Thankfully, most dogs don’t actually eat the full paper plate, they will often just eat a small part of it and then rip the plate up before getting bored and going off to do something else.
The less paper the dog eats, the higher the chances are that it will be totally fine and not have any problems but keep in mind that smaller dogs will require less paper in their system to potentially cause a blockage.
If you do notice symptoms such as vomiting, constipation, bloating or diarrhea in your dog, we would recommend that you book a video call with a veterinarian to get them to offer their professional opinion on what to do to help your dog.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate A Paper Plate?
The majority of dogs who eat paper plates tend to be fine but you should watch your dog closely over the next three to four days for signs of vomiting, constipation, bloating and diarrhea.
You can also check your dog’s stools for signs of it passing the paper plate too as this can indicate that there is no blockage and that your dog will be fine.
You will know your dog and its bowl movements better than anyone but most dogs will poop at least once per day.
If you have noticed that your dog has not pooped in a day or two after eating a paper plate, we would highly recommend that you book a video call with a vet to get some professional advice as quickly as possible as this can be a sign of a blockage in your dog’s digestive tract.
Vomiting can be normal in dogs who eat something that they shouldn’t so there is generally no need to worry about your dog having any serious issues if it does vomit a few times within the first few hours of eating the paper plate.
If the dog is still vomiting the next day then this could also be a sign that there is a potential blockage or issue with your dog so getting advice from a vet as soon as possible is highly recommended.
Why Do Dogs Eat Paper Plates?
Dogs love to eat what their owners are eating and most paper plates are used for foods that are either covered in sauce or contain large amounts of fat.
This can make a paper plate smell and taste like food and cause your dog to try and eat a paper plate due to your dog thinking that it is food.
As we touched on earlier in the article, the majority of dogs will not actually eat the full paper plate and will often just rip the plate up and eat a small amount of it.
Some dogs may only lick the paper plate and then rip it up and not actually eat any of it but due to the plate being ripped it can be difficult to work out if your dog actually ate any of it or not.
Sometimes, your dog may even just drop the paper plate on the flood and realize that it is not food if you leave your dog alone to work this out for itself.
Trying to chase your dog to get the paper plate from it can be a bad move to make though as this can seem like a game to your dog and cause it to run off with the paper plate and may increase the chances of your dog eating it.
How Long Does It Take A Dog To Digest Paper Plates?
Regular paper can often be digested and move through a dog’s digestive system in as little as 24 hours. Paper plates are often coated in lacquer to make them stronger and prevent them from becoming soft if they get wet and this can cause the paper plates to take longer to be digested by your dog.
As paper plates are designed to be used with food for humans, the lacquer used on them is not toxic and should not cause any problems with your dog.
It can be common for a dog to just poop out chunks of any paper plates that it has ate recently due to the lacquer preventing the dog from being able to digest the plate.
This is very common and does not mean that there is a problem with your dog. The product that the plate is coated in to prevent it from having issues when food is applied to it have simply protected it from your dog’s digestive system too.
This will depend on the paper plates that you get though as more and more people are simply using reinforced, recycled card these days due to it being environmentally friendly and this tends to be much easier to digest if consumed.
That brings our article going over what to do if your dog ate a paper plate to an end. There usually is no need to worry as the majority of dogs tend not to eat much of the paper plates they manage to get their jaws on. As we mentioned back at the start of the article, the less of the paper plate that your dog eats, the less likely it is to have any problems with the plate being in its system too but most dogs will often be totally fine if they do eat a paper plate anyway.