My Dog Ate a Napkin – What should I do?

Our pets can sometimes do strange things that we might not understand, mostly because of their strong instinct to discover things around them. For this reason, you might have noticed that your dog tries to chew different kinds of objects several times. So if you ever found your dog with a napkin in his mouth or even suspected that he swallowed it keep reading to learn more about this issue. 

Pets tend to try to eat many strange objects that they find, drink from dirty puddles, or even reach a point where your dog drinks the toilet water. Firstly you should know that this behavior can be normal at times and problematic at others. Frequent causes of dogs trying to chew, drink or eat some objects are malnutrition, boredom, or stress. 

So the first inquiry that might come to your mind is the effect of the napkin on your dog’s health. In such cases, dog owners may panic, and might not know exactly how they should act. For this reason, we will discuss the risks and hazards of this behavior, and we will help you recognize and solve the issue.  

Can Dogs Eating Napkins Cause Any Harm?

Technically, napkins or soft tissues are foreign objects entering your dog’s body, meaning that they are unwelcome inside your dog’s digestive tract. Whether it was a rough kitchen napkin, toilet paper, or even normal tissues, these types of material can cause unfavorable damage. Depending on the amount, type, and period of napkin eating, the outcome of this behavior can vary.

Luckily, napkins are a soft material that does not contain any sharp or bulbous parts. They cannot cause scratches or wounds along the alimentary tract. Suppose a small amount of soft tissue is ingested. In that case, your dog’s digestive system may be able to successfully pass it without any complications. On the other hand, if your dog swallowed a huge rough napkin, this may lead to further problems and issues.

The ingestion of many napkins may lead to a horrendous gastrointestinal hazard where your dog will face intestinal obstruction. The blockage of the intestinal passages will also definitely lead to the accumulation of food. It will cause a horrifying enlargement in the intestines. This phenomenon may eventually prevent blood supply from reaching this area, causing its death, or it may even cause a rupture in the intestines.  

My Dog Ate a Napkin What Should I Do?

The first step you would want to take in these kinds of situations is to take out the napkin if it’s still visible in your dog’s mouth. Be careful not to pull it out too fast, and try to drag it out slowly and carefully. Secondly, get your dog to immediate specialized veterinary care and deliver him to the nearest vet clinic. 

Suppose you are not able to reach a veterinary doctor at the moment. In that case, you might want to watch your dog’s behavior and figure out the severity of his case. You can try to observe his reactions, behavior, and attitude to understand if the napkin will be successfully excreted out of his body. If you notice some abnormal and unfavorable symptoms in your dog, then you will be able to recognize that this napkin will pose a risk to your dog’s life.

If your dog was able to pass the napkin, you might want to restore his gastrointestinal tract’s health. You can do so by using some vitamins, minerals, or some recommended dog probiotics to protect your dog from further complications that might occur. Additionally, be sure to keep your dog away from any objects that might harm his health, including plastic toys, bottle caps, and foam balls.  

My Dog Ate a Napkin and Is Throwing Up

Throwing up is one of the alarming signs that might occur after your dog swallows a napkin. If your dog starts throwing up after he ingested a napkin, this means that this napkin reached his stomach and is causing irritation to the gastric mucosa. This means that your dog’s gastrointestinal tract could not handle this foreign object and wasn’t able to properly digest it.

As the napkin is an unknown material that has entered your dog’s body, your dog’s gastrointestinal tract would want to eliminate it as soon as possible. And this probably means that the stomach will try to expel it the moment it reaches the gastric area, which means that it will try to push it out by vomiting. Sometimes, this mechanism that the body uses is successful and will allow the removal of the napkin. 

In other cases, this mechanism won’t be able to excrete this unfamiliar object; thus, the napkin will cause further irritation and discomfort to your dog. At this moment, you might want to get medical help immediately, as the damage after this point will be irreversible, and your dog might die. 

My Dog Ate a Napkin and Has Diarrhea

Diarrhea signals the disruption of the normal functions of the intestines so that it cannot balance the water excretion from the body, leading to excess fluid accumulation in the feces. If your dog has reached the point where it starts to get diarrhea, the napkin has reached the intestines and probably has been there for a while. When you witness possible signs of your dog developing diarrhea, know that this issue could be dangerous and might only get resolved through surgery. 

When the napkin reaches the intestines, it leads to congestion in the intestinal tubes. This means that food nor water can flow through the intestines, which will cause a more serious obstruction. This obstruction will eventually prevent the blood flow in that area, causing the slow death of intestinal cells at a certain area of the tract. Additionally, there might be a forced absorption of toxic substances into the blood from the napkin or from the intestinal content itself.

After this point, your dog’s issue will only be resolved by a professional surgical intervention, where the veterinarian will remove the napkin from the intestines. And if the intestinal obstruction is partial, your veterinarian might suggest the usage of some laxatives that will facilitate the passage of the napkin through the rest of the alimentary tract. Later on, you can try to soothe your dog’s upset tummy by using several recommended supplements.  


Dogs are curious creatures that want to interact with all kinds of objects around them, and they do so by trying to chew and eat them. Whether you give continuous attention to your dog or not, you might not be able to prevent your dog from swallowing a napkin or other foreign objects. Therefore, just be sure to try to remove any dangerous objects away from your dog’s sight and try to improve your dog’s general gut health by using beneficial supplements, and ensure your dog’s adequate nutrition by supplying him with a rich and loaded diet! These kinds of hazards that occur with our pets are sometimes unpreventable, and we just have to understand how to deal with them.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!