Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
Familiar with the dog-parent life? One moment we’re reveling in the sweet snuggles of our furry friends, and the next, we’re in a mild panic as we hear our dog crunching on something.
What if your dog ate wax paper?
Does it pose any danger?
In this post, we’ll discuss why dogs are drawn to them, the potential risks, and how to handle the situation like a seasoned pet owner.
- What is Wax Paper?
- Can Dogs Digest Wax Paper?
- Why Do Dogs Eat Wax Paper? 4 Common Reasons
- Is Wax Paper Harmful to Your Dog?
- What Will Happen if My Dog Ate Wax Paper?
- What to Do if Your Dog Eats Wax Paper?
- How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Wax Paper?
- What Are Some Signs of Obstruction in a Dog’s Gastrointestinal Tract?
- What to Give a Dog to Help Them Pass an Object?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- In Conclusion: Dog Ate Wax Paper
What is Wax Paper?
What exactly is wax paper?
Well, it’s a thin tissue-paper product coated with paraffin wax to make it solid and waterproof, which means it’s perfect for storing food like cheese or bread as it keeps them fresh and prevents moisture from getting in.
Don’t mistake it for parchment paper though, which is coated with silicone instead to have a non-stick effect. We address this in the FAQ section down below.
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Can Dogs Digest Wax Paper?
Well, it depends.
The paper and wax components are indigestible, which means that if your dog eats a large quantity or a larger piece, it could cause serious digestive issues.
If your dog only ingests a small amount of wax paper, it can typically pass it through its system without any major problems.
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Why Do Dogs Eat Wax Paper? 4 Common Reasons
Your dog’s curious nature drives them to explore its surroundings, and chances are, if you leave something on the table, even if it’s not edible, your pup might still want a piece of it.
It can be frustrating but understanding the reasons why can possibly help you prevent it in the future.
Let’s find out more.
Your dog loves to explore their surroundings.
They use their nose to sniff out things that interest them. Sometimes their curiosity puts them in danger, like consuming wax paper.
Wax paper has a shiny coating on the surface, which may fool your dog into thinking it’s food.
2. Mistaken it for food
Wax paper wraps foods like sandwiches, baked goods, and snacks. The wax coating can absorb the smells and flavors of what’s inside—like a sandwich.
Over time, it may taste or smell delicious enough for your dog to eat, thinking it is food.
3. Boredom and anxiety
If your dog is anxious or bored, they find something to do or chew on to relieve their stress. Wax papers are a tempting alternative to their usual toys or chews.
Dogs with anxiety are prone to chewing on unnecessary items. It is partly due to their increased need for stimulation as a coping response.
Pica is the persistent or repetitive eating of non-food items that provide no nutritional benefit to your pet.
It is a condition where your dog craves and eats non-food items, including wax papers.
Nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal issues, and behavioral problems can all contribute to your puppy’s eating disorder.
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Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: My dog ate a highlighter!
Is Wax Paper Harmful to Your Dog?
Although wax paper may appear harmless, it can significantly threaten your furry friend’s health if ingested.
It is because the paper and wax components are indigestible and can cause blockages in your dog’s digestive system.
If your dog ingests wax paper, it can give unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
The wax components of wax paper are not toxic to dogs, but they can still cause an allergic reaction in some pets.
Also, if your pup consumes a large amount of wax paper, it can result in health issues that require urgent vet care.
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What Will Happen if My Dog Ate Wax Paper?
If your dog has eaten wax paper, you may be thinking about the potential consequences.
It’s a valid concern, as ingesting foreign objects can be dangerous for your dog, and wax paper is no exception.
Below are potential risks associated with your dog eating wax paper.
Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or decreased appetite
If your dog eats wax paper, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or decreased appetite.
These symptoms can indicate that your dog’s digestive system is having difficulty processing the wax paper.
It is because the wax paper can irritate your dog’s stomach lining, leading to inflammation and discomfort.
Intestinal blockage caused by ingesting wax paper can lead to serious health issues for your dog.
Aside from vomiting and abdominal pain, intestinal blockage can cause dehydration and malnutrition.
When the wax paper obstructs the digestive tract, food and water cannot pass through usually, leading to dehydration.
Dehydration can be a severe condition affecting the organs and even sudden death.
May cause poisoning if coated
Some types of wax paper coats with unsafe chemicals or substances for your dog to consume.
For example, wax paper products coated with paraffin, a petroleum-based wax that can be harmful if ingested in large amounts.
Other types of wax paper coated with unknown chemicals improve the paper’s strength, durability, or texture. If your dog has ingested it, they may be at risk of allergies and poisoning.
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What to Do if Your Dog Eats Wax Paper?
When you realize your beloved pup has eaten something they shouldn’t have, it’s natural to feel panic and worry.
Quick thinking can make a difference for your beloved pup, and here are a few steps you should take.
Stay calm and assess the situation
When you find wax paper in your dog’s mouth, the first thing to do is to stay calm.
Although this isn’t good for them and can be harmful depending on the paper coat, don’t panic!
When you remain calm, assessing the situation and taking appropriate action is easier, and you won’t risk stressing your dog further.
Check if the wax paper was coated
Wax paper is typically covered with a thin layer of wax, which is generally considered non-toxic for your pet.
However, some types of wax paper may contain more unsafe substances to consume.
If you have the packaging, check the label to see if it contains harmful substances.
By checking the wax paper, you can determine if your dog is at risk of poisoning and take proper action to keep them safe.
Don’t induce vomiting
Inducing vomiting may seem a logical solution, but it’s not always the best course of action.
Because it can make the situation worse. It is particularly true when it comes to wax paper.
Wax paper is not easily broken down in the stomach, which means that inducing vomiting may not be effective in removing it from your dog’s system.
Instead, it can cause the paper to become more lodged in your dog’s throat or digestive tract.
Monitor your dog’s behavior
After your dog has eaten wax paper, you should monitor their behavior.
A wax paper ingestion may not cause immediate symptoms but can make your dog sick later.
Here’s what to look for:
- Watch for signs of pain and discomfort.
- Pay attention to their appetite and energy level.
- Keep track of their bowel movements.
- Take note of any other symptoms.
Keep your dog hydrated
Adequate water intake can help move the wax paper through their digestive system and prevent blockages.
Here’s how to keep your pet hydrated:
- Offer fresh water frequently.
- Make water easily accessible.
- Provide water-rich foods.
- Consider adding water to their food.
- Monitor their water intake.
- Avoid dehydration triggers
- Consider electrolyte supplements.
Don’t offer food for a few hours
Giving your dog’s digestive system a break after ingesting wax paper can help reduce the risk of further complications.
It is especially true if your dog has consumed large amounts of wax paper, as they can cause blockages in the digestive tract.
Here’s what you should do:
- Avoid offering food immediately: It’s essential to avoid giving your dog any food after they’ve ingested wax paper. Because their digestive system needs time to process the wax paper, and any other food could cause further complications.
- Wait a few hours: Waiting a few hours before offering food can help give your dog’s digestive system a chance to process the wax paper. It can lessen the risk of blockages in the digestive tract.
- Offer small meals: Once a few hours have passed, you can offer your dog small, easily digestible meals. It can help prevent any further irritation to their digestive system.
- Reduce stress: Stress can negatively impact your dog’s digestive system, so keep them calm and relaxed while recovering. Avoid loud noises, sudden movements, and other stressors.
- Give them time to rest: Rest is necessary for your dog’s recovery, so provide a comfortable place to sleep and rest while recovering. Avoid strenuous exercise or activities that could further irritate their digestive system.
- Follow your veterinarian’s advice: Your vet may suggest specific dietary changes or medications to help your dog recover from ingesting wax paper. Follow their advice carefully.
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How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Wax Paper?
Your pet’s curiosity and love of adventure can sometimes get them into trouble. For your pup to stay safe and healthy, take some simple precautions.
Here are some ways you can keep your dog from eating wax paper:
Store in secure containers
Store wax paper and other food wrappers in secure containers out of your dog’s reach. It can help prevent them from getting into it and potentially ingesting it.
Dispose of wax paper properly
Dispose of used wax paper properly in a covered trash can, and avoid leaving it on the counter or table where your dog can reach it.
Keep trash bins closed
Keep your trash bin closed and secure to prevent your dog from getting into it. Consider using a bin with a locking lid or keeping it in a closet or pantry.
Train your dog to “Leave it” or “Drop it”
Teach your dog basic commands like “Leave it” or “Drop it.” It helps prevent them from eating things they shouldn’t. Consistent training and positive reinforcement can work wonders.
Provide appropriate chew toys
Provide your dog with proper chew toys to satisfy their urge to chew. It can help prevent them from seeking other things to chew on, like wax paper.
Consider crate training
Consider crate training if your dog tends to get into things they shouldn’t. You can keep them safe when you are not around.
Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Dog ate an ink pen?
What Are Some Signs of Obstruction in a Dog’s Gastrointestinal Tract?
Obstruction in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract can occur when your dog has ingested a foreign object, like wax paper.
The foreign object can become lodged in the digestive system and cause a blockage that prevents food and water.
Below are some signs of GI obstructions:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Difficulty pooping
- Hunching or whining
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What to Give a Dog to Help Them Pass an Object?
If your pup has swallowed wax paper, act quickly and seek your vet’s advice if things worsen.
In the meantime, there are home remedies to help your furry pet friend vomit or pass the object through their digestive system.
Important Note: You should only attempt these tips if your vet instructs you.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
Administering 1-3 teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide can help induce vomiting.
Since hydrogen peroxide irritates the dog’s intestinal tract, it will typically work within 10-15 minutes and recover about 50 percent of what your pet has recently eaten.
Canned pumpkins can help move things through the digestive system.
You can give your dog a tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin, adding bulk to their stool and making it easier to pass.
- Olive Oil or Fish Oil
Olive oil or fish oil can help stool pass more quickly. Mix some olive or fish oil with warm water and syringe it into your dog’s mouth.
Alternatively, rub it on your dog’s coat to help soothe their stomach.
Remember, these home remedies are not a replacement for vet care. If your dog is uncomfortable or distressed, please call your vet immediately!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What would happen if a dog ate butter wrappers?
Butter wrappers are not toxic. The biggest concern is that the butter wrapper could block your dog’s digestive tract, leading to gastrointestinal obstruction.
What to do if your dog likes wax papers?
Keep wax papers and other non-food items out of your dog’s reach. If your dog likes eating wax papers, try replacing them with dog-safe chew toys or treats.
How long will it take a dog to pass wax paper?
Wax paper will pass through a dog’s system within 2-3 days. The exact time depends on the size of your pet and how much wax paper they ate.
What if my dog ate parchment paper?
Parchment paper is not toxic but can cause digestive problems if your dog consumes a lot.
In Conclusion: Dog Ate Wax Paper
Remember, dogs and wax paper can be a tricky combination, but with vigilance and understanding, you can navigate this challenge like a pro.
Keep an eye on your furry friend, and always keep dangerous things inaccessible for your dog at all times!
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