"Dogs become very excited whenever wrapping paper is around, such as at Christmas and on birthdays"
Many dogs become excited at the sound of wrapping paper being torn or scrunched up. But what is the attraction? And why, after spoiling your pet with a selection of brand new toys for Christmas, is wrapping paper ‘top dog’ for entertainment?
‘It’s largely to do with sound and excitement’ says PDSA, Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury. ‘Dog’s ears are especially sensitive to sound, and can detect much higher frequencies than humans. Humans can hear sounds up to 20,000 cycles per second, but dogs can hear sounds up to 40,000 cycles per second.
‘Wrapping paper has the edge over other similar items such as magazines and newspapers because, when torn or screwed up, it has many more frequencies!’
Lots of dogs will become very excited whenever wrapping paper is around, such as at Christmas and on birthdays. They may display quite varied behaviour, called ‘states of high arousal’.
But it’s not just wrapping paper that can cause this state of high state of arousal. Other common stimuli that owners should be aware of include things like high-pitched noises from the telephone or doorbell which can often evoke an excited response.
PDSA’s advice is to try to maintain overall calm in the house over Christmas. Avoid too much noise and try to act as normal as possible.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s behaviour or want advice on how to keep your pet calm this Christmas, consult your vet.