Wrap N' Roll: Deep dive into gift wrap and dogs

Wrap N' Roll: Deep dive into gift wrap and dogs

Wrapping paper season is upon us and we wanted to share a few facts about wrapping paper that you might now know!

Gift wrap has been around for decades and studies have actually shown that the recipient of a gift will be happier with the gift if it’s wrapped, vs if it’s not [1]. Pretty hard to argue with making someone happy, right? Not so fast – gift wrap does not come without its own controversies. First and foremost, giftwrap deserves a lot of flack for its lack of recyclability. The shiny metallics and sparkles found on so many forms of wrapping paper hinder its ability to be recycled after it’s been torn and tossed away. Many recycling companies will not accept giftwrap and will ask for it to be put in the garbage to prevent spoiling regular paper recyclables. And did you know? Green Peace says, Canadians generate 540,000 tonnes of waste from gift wrapping and shopping bags every year — that's the equivalent of 100,000 elephants! [2]

I got gift wrap from other people, what do I do?

It is inevitable that everyone reading this blog will likely receive something in gift wrap this holiday season. No fear, we can still make use of it. Since we know that a lot of gift wrap cannot be recycled, it is crucial that we give gift wrap as many lives as possible. Our go to favourite ways to give our wrapping paper a second life is by making this into the most epic snuffle game possible. 

  1. Take a piece of used wrapping paper, pour a few kibbles or treats into the middle and wrap it up. Repeat this until all kibble/treats has been used. 
  2. Once you have all your wrapped food, put this into a used box for your dogs start going bobbing for.  
  3. Let your dog go to town on their gift wrap snuffle. 
  4. Enjoy your mentally stimulated, tired dog! 

A few things to keep in mind - if your dog starts eating the wrapping paper. It is time to abort mission. Eating gift wrap can cause GI upset and its not worth the fun on the other end. Bonus: gift wrap snuffles are not exclusive for just the holidays. Keep on to that used gift wrap and that can be fun heading into January.

What’s an alternative to wrapping paper?

There are a few options to reduce your use of non-recyclable wrapping paper that will make any holiday just as exciting.

  • Reusable wrapping paper – these are usually made out of cloth or cotton and you can tie these up to cover gifts. These can be used again and again for years.
  • Craft paper – Craft paper as long as its not lined is easy to recycle and doesn’t usually have heavy metals due to the lack of dyes in the paper. Making this a fun recyclable alternative to you and your pet.
  • Edible gift wrap – yes, this is a thing. There are gift wraps that are made of potato starch that dogs can eat and are safe. However, potato isn’t the most nutritious so eating a lot of this is a lot starch with few benefits.


[1] Howard, D. (1992). Gift-Wrapping Effects on Product Attitudes: A Mood-Biasing Explanation. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 1 (3), 197-223 DOI: 10.1207/s15327663jcp0103_01 [PDF]

[2] Greenpeace Canada. (n.d.). Never buy gift paper again: The ultimate guide to zero-waste wrapping. Greenpeace Canada. https://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/story/27868/never-buy-gift-paper-again-the-ultimate-guide-to-zero-waste-wrapping/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20most%20sustainable%20item%20is%20the%20one%20that%20already%20exists.%E2%80%9D&text=Canadians%20generate%20540%2C000%20tonnes%20of,so%20goes%20straight%20to%20landfill.

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