Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Thomas. Thomas Wonders, “Why do dogs eat homework?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Thomas!

You have a big, important homework assignment due tomorrow, but you're not stressed. You made good use of your study time at school and completed over half of it. When you got home, you avoided distractions, like television and video games, and worked hard until it was finished.

Then your worst nightmare happened! While you were in the kitchen making a healthy snack, your dog got hungry, too. Instead of eating his dog food, though, he made a sandwich out of your homework! Oh no! What will you do?

You know that “my dog ate my homework" is the oldest excuse in the book. Your teacher will never buy that! Or will she?

As it turns out, dogs really do eat paper from time to time. If you explain this to your teacher — and show her what scraps remain, if any — you just might get an extension to re-do that assignment. Better yet, make use of modern technology and do your homework on the computer, so you can save it and print out a copy whenever you need it!

Remember: honesty is the best policy. If you simply forget to do your homework, don't lie and blame it on your dog!

Dogs are known to be indiscriminate eaters with healthy appetites. This means that some dogs will eat just about anything if given the chance.

Why? Some scientists believe eating paper and other non-food items may just result from boredom. Most dogs are energetic animals that need plenty of exercise and distractions to keep from becoming bored.

When bored, many dogs will give in to their natural curiosity and explore new things. This exploration can often take the form of scratching, biting, and eating. If you were eating a sandwich while you were doing your homework, stray crumbs or bits of food might even make your homework tempting to a dog that's bored!

To dogs, paper is just another “thing." It's something to chew on. If it happens to be your homework, that's particularly bad for you. However, it's probably no different to your dog than chewing on newspaper or a book. To prevent your homework from becoming lunch, be sure to store it in a safe place when you're finished with it!

It might also help to make sure your dog is well-fed. Stick to food and treats recommended by your veterinarian, though. It can be dangerous to feed your dog human food in the form of table scraps.

Over the years, veterinarians have learned that there are certain foods that can harm dogs. Here are some foods that can be particularly dangerous to dogs:

  • Avocado: Skip the guacamole! Avocados contain persin, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts.
  • Caffeine: In large quantities, caffeine can be fatal for dogs. So stick to water and skip the coffee, tea, and sodas for your dog. Also avoid chocolate, which contains caffeine and another substance toxic to dogs: theobromine.
  • Onions and Garlic: Dogs who eat onions or garlic regularly or in large quantities can develop a condition called anemia, which results from the destruction of red blood cells.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Veterinarians don't really know why, but it's clear that grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Macadamia Nuts: As few as six macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Larger doses can be fatal.

Wonder What's Next?

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