Bulldogs are known to mouth things, including carpeting. But the question is this: will eating carpet hurt my dog? Basically, anything that’s inedible can potentially harm your canine. If eaten in small amounts, carpets won’t poison your dog. The problem will start if your Bulldog habitually snacks on your carpet or consumes one laced with chemicals.
In this post, I will discuss why some Bulldogs love eating carpets and what you can do about it.
Will eating carpet hurt my dog?
Technically, regular consumption of carpet material is dangerous for all animals. Here’s how carpet eating can harm your Bulldog:
- Intestinal blockage. There’s no way a dog can digest carpet material. Over time, the fabric will add up inside your Bulldog’s tummy and cause a serious blockage. Such a blockage can put your dog’s life at risk, especially if the carpet-eating obsession isn’t discovered right away.
- Poisoning. Carpet materials are often treated with artificial chemicals. These substances can trigger poisoning and severe intestinal irritation among Bulldogs.
- Vomiting. Since carpets aren’t edible items, your Bulldog’s body will try to eject it through vomiting. If you noticed your dog vomiting after swallowing carpet material, you should call the vet right away.
- Gastric torsion. As deep-chested canines, Bulldogs are at high risk of developing bloat or gastric torsion. This condition occurs when the canine’s tummy gets filled with food, gas, fluids, or a combination of both. Such a condition can also happen if your Bulldog consumes large chunks of carpeting enough to twist the stomach.
Why does my dog like eating the carpet?
Dogs develop weird behavior, including aggressively chewing and eating non-food items. If your Bulldog seems to be attracted to your carpeting, the following could explain why:
If your Bulldog is still a puppy, the most common cause behind its carpet eating is teething. This phase is very uncomfortable for canines, as much as teething is annoying for babies.
As the teeth sprout, your Bulldog will find ways to ease its aching gums. It will chew on everything –furniture, carpet, clothes, and even your ankles.
This is a normal reaction and should subside once your doggo reaches six months old. By that time, all your Bulldog’s puppy teeth have been replaced with adult biters.
Still, it doesn’t mean you should just let your pup chew and eat your carpet. Remember that carpets, especially new ones, have volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Some Bulldogs are just too bored to the point that they vent their energy toward the carpet. This happens to Bulldogs who aren’t mentally and physically stimulated. Even though Bulldogs aren’t the most energetic canine, they still need exercise and mental stimulation.
It’s important to come up with an exercise and playtime routine with your Bulldog. This will help keep the dog’s mind off chewing and eating your carpet.
Dogs are known to chew and eat grass, which is probably the same reason why your Bulldog eats your carpet. This is more evident for high-pile carpets and rugs with fur-like designs. It somewhat mimics the appearance of grass, which triggers a canine’s grazing habits.
Bulldogs that graze often have digestive needs that aren’t being met by their diets. The meal you’re serving the pooch may be low in fiber. To compensate, your doggo will look for alternatives like grass and leaves. But as indoor canines, Bulldogs may mistake carpets as a fiber source.
Take note that boredom can also trigger grazing. This is why you should always keep your Bulldog physically and mentally engaged.
4. Stress and fear
Bulldogs are known to have a high risk of developing separation anxiety. This will lead them to experience aggressive and destructive behavior. Also, the pooch will look for ways to cope. Unfortunately, such a coping mechanism may include eating your carpet bit by bit.
If we bite our fingernails under stressful situations, dogs chew things. Your carpet is the most accessible thing to chew since it’s all over the floor.
Thunderstorms, fireworks, and sudden changes at home can stress your Bulldog. Some Bulldogs are more sensitive than others, so you have to observe your pooch to know its triggers.
If you have multiple dogs at home and your Bulldog is being bullied, chewing on the carpet might be serving as a stress-reliever. Dogs tend to impose their dominance on each other, which can lead to hostile situations at home.
Bulldogs that are neglected and not fed properly will start to eat inedible items to fill their hunger. Whether it’s intentional or not, your doggo’s habit of eating the carpet will reveal a lot of things.
Take note that proper nutrition isn’t just about feeding your Bulldog a bowlful of kibble. It’s also important to check what’s on the food you’re serving.
As muscular canines, Bulldogs need the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You should also know your canine’s sensitivities as it can lead them to stop eating healthy food.
For example, if your Bulldog experiences harsh effects when eating beef, it will start to loathe mealtimes. This will lead to unintentional malnutrition. Soon enough, your doggo would be chewing and eating items around the house in an effort to meet its nutritional needs.
6. Aggressive chewing
Aggressive chewing can be due to a lot of things. It’s fairly common among mouthy canines like Bulldogs, so you have to watch out.
Poor training is the leading cause of aggressive chewing in dogs. If you don’t teach your dog what can and can’t be chewed, it will start to put its mouth anywhere it wants.
Boredom is also a factor here, especially if you leave your Bulldog alone for long hours. Aggressive chewing is also a sign of separation anxiety among dogs.
Pica might be the ultimate reason why Bulldogs chew and eat carpets. This is a health condition wherein canines feed on inedible items. It can be anything from carpeting, blankets, toys, paper, decorations, and so on. This condition is also observed in humans.
It’s hard to determine the ultimate cause of Pica, but experts suggest that neurologic diseases are the main culprit. However, conditions like gastrointestinal disease, poor diet, liver disease, and metabolic problems can also be to blame.
Moreover, Pica can be a side effect of medications like prednisone. If your Bulldog exhibits signs of Pica after taking this medication, you should consult the veterinarian right away. The vet can explore alternative medications to solve the problem.
8. Other underlying illnesses
Aside from Pica, there are other potential health problems that might trigger your Bulldog’s carpet-eating habits. Your dog’s vet is always the best person to contact in this case. You can also bring your pooch to the vet’s clinic for proper examination and diagnosis.
How to stop Bulldogs from eating carpet
There are ways to stop your Bulldog’s affinity for eating the carpet. Here are some of the effective tips you can try:
Rule out potential health problems
The first thing you should when your Bulldog starts eating carpet is to rule out potential health problems. This way, you’ll know whether your dog has Pica or the carpet-eating habit is being triggered by other causes.
Bulldogs love mouthing things, especially if they are bored. By giving them alternatives things to chew, they will be less likely to target your carpet. For example, you can give them plush toys that resemble the texture of the carpet. Chew toys and interactive toys are also good picks to keep the dog’s mind off carpet chewing.
By doing this, you’ll teach your dog which can be chewed and which are not. This will save you from expensive carpet repairs and the frustration of going home to damaged flooring.
Provide ample exercise
Exercise is very important for Bulldogs. It will help fight obesity to which they are prone, and it will also prevent negative behavior.
For example, a walk around the neighborhood will drain your Bulldog’s extra energy. By the time you go home, your pooch is ready for a nap. This will stop him from chewing and eating the carpet.
If you can’t go outdoors, you can schedule playtime indoors. Tug toys are a big hit among Bulldogs, which will also keep them mentally stimulated.
Overall, Bulldogs don’t require too much exercise. However, you should also avoid subjecting them to rigorous routines because they are prone to overheating and breathing problems.
Make the carpet unpalatable
If the first two methods aren’t working for your Bulldog, you can try spraying your carpets with bitter apple. This formula is made specifically for pets to stop destructive chewing. Unfortunately, it has a bitter taste that your Bulldog will surely dislike.
But before you bombard your carpeting with a bitter apple spray, you should test it on a small, hidden patch first. Bitter apple sprays rarely stain, but you can’t take chances, especially on expensive carpets.
It’s also important to reduce stressors of your Bulldog that could trigger carpet eating. If your Bulldog is scared of loud sounds, you should keep them in a quiet room during thunderstorms and fireworks displays.
For dogs that get nervous around strangers, desensitization is the key. It’s important to keep your Bulldog socialized so it won’t easily succumb to negative behavior when stressed.
Train against separation anxiety
Another thing Bulldog owners should do is train against separation anxiety. This is a must for this breed that’s notorious for such a behavioral problem.
You have to teach your dog to have a level of independence while you’re at work. Paired with toys and a healthy exercise schedule, your Bulldog won’t suffer from separation anxiety.
Switch to a new dog food
Poor nutrition is one of the reasons why Bulldogs snack on the carpet fabric. In this case, a new dog food product may help. Invest in high-quality formulas that will meet your Bulldog’s nutritional needs, ensuring that it won’t trigger allergies.
When in doubt, you can always consult your dog’s vet or pet nutritionist. This way, you’ll get professional advice on the best food that suits your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can dogs die from eating fabric?
A: Dogs can die from eating fabric because they have no ability to digest it. The swallowed fabric can cause serious intestinal blockage that will put a Bulldog’s life at risk. This is why you should act right away once you notice that your pooch is nibbling and swallowing fabric items.
Q: Why is my older dog eating carpet?
A: Older Bulldogs are prone to stress and anxiety due to their declining cognitive abilities. As an effort to ease the discomfort, the pooch will chew things, including carpets. It can also be a case of Pica, where senior dogs start to lose their ability to identify which things are edible and not.
Q: Is there a pet-proof carpet?
A: There are custom carpets marketed to be pet-proof. Basically, it has more durable materials that can withstand the chewing habits of Bulldogs. It can also resist stains, making the carpet easy to maintain. Still, pet-proof carpets aren’t 100% indestructible. No fabric is invincible to the aggressive chewing of canines.
Q: What should I do if my dog ate carpet?
A: If your dog ate carpet, the first thing you should do is observe it for an hour or two. See if your Bulldog will start to vomit or become lethargic. If your pet’s condition worsens, you should bring it to the vet immediately. It’s possible that your Bulldog is suffering from intestinal blockage or poisoning from eating carpet.
Q: Can dogs be allergic to carpets?
A: Dogs, especially the Bulldog breed, can be allergic to carpets. This is because of their sensitive skin that may react adversely to normally harmless substances or items. Also, you have to check if your carpets are containing harmful chemicals like formaldehyde.
Will eating carpet hurt my dog? Since carpets are not edible, they shouldn’t be consumed by your Bulldog in any way. If your pooch happened to chew and swallow portions of your carpet, you should observe it in the succeeding hours. If any signs of irritation occur, you should bring the doggo to the vet’s clinic.