Bubble Wrap Pop: Simple Pleasures For Dogs

Dogs are drawn to the unique popping sounds and sensations of bubble wrap. The crinkling noise triggers their natural curiosity, while the popping tactile feedback is exciting and rewarding. Bubble wrap offers a fun sensory experience that most dogs simply can’t resist.

In this article, we’ll explore why dogs love bubble wrap so much, from the science behind the joyful popping to creative games you can play. We’ll cover safety tips, ways bubble wrap can aid development and provide comfort, and how to include other pets. Whether your dog is a puppy or senior, they’re sure to have a blast with this simple pleasure.

The Science Behind the Joy

Dogs can hear frequencies up to 45 kHz, while humans can only hear up to 20 kHz. This allows dogs to hear high frequency sounds that easily grab their attention, like the popping noise of bubble wrap (Source). The crinkling and popping sounds activate a dog’s auditory senses and creates interest and excitement for them.

According to research, dog brains are hardwired to be highly receptive to unique and sudden sounds like bubble wrap popping. The noises trigger certain reward centers in their brains, releasing dopamine which makes the experience enjoyable and stimulating (Source). It provides dogs with mental enrichment and sensory activation.

Additionally, dogs have a strong scavenging instinct, so the crinkly texture and hidden air pockets in bubble wrap are intriguing to them. The crackling noises resemble the sound of their prey so it naturally piques their curiosity and prey drive.

Safety First

When giving your dog bubble wrap to play with, it’s important to closely supervise them. Bubble wrap can pose a choking hazard if swallowed. According to My Dog Ate Bubble Wrap What Should I Do?, the plastic can get lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines if ingested, potentially causing an obstruction.

Make sure to only give your dog bubble wrap under your watch. Take it away and throw it out once it starts to tear apart into small pieces. The AWP Pet Care Blog notes that while balled up bubble wrap is fun for puppies and kittens, it’s not safe for them to play with unsupervised or to swallow.

By keeping a close eye on your dog as they play with bubble wrap and removing damaged pieces, you can allow them to enjoy popping the bubbles safely.

Great Games to Play

Dogs love to play games, especially when bubble wrap is involved! Here are some great games you can play with your dog using bubble wrap:

Flattening sheets of bubble wrap for your dog to walk on and pop is a fun sensory experience for them. The popping sounds are satisfying, and the texture feels interesting under their paws. Lay a sheet flat on the ground or tape it to the floor for your dog to step on and pop.Outward Hound makes bubble wrap dog toys designed just for popping.

flattening sheets of bubble wrap for your dog to walk on and pop is a fun sensory experience for them.

Look for bubble wrap tug toys, which add resistance for playing fetch and tug-of-war. The bubble wrap gives them something extra satisfying to bite down on. These toys often have多个squeakers inside too!

Hide treats inside partly flattened bubble wrap, fold it over, and let your dog sniff out the treats and pop the bubbles open to get to their reward. This provides mental stimulation and satisfies their natural foraging instincts.

Creative Uses

Dogs love bubble wrap for more than just the popping sensation. With a little creativity, bubble wrap can provide hours of fun and enrichment for your pup.

Fill a box or kiddie pool with bubble wrap to create a sea of pops for your dog to jump and play in. The cracking and crinkling noise will excite them as they walk, dig, and roll around. Be sure to supervise playtime and remove any popped wrap to prevent choking hazards.

You can also make a DIY digging pit using bubble wrap. Simply fill a box or bin with crumpled up bubble wrap and watch your dog happily dig away. This satisfies their natural instinct to dig while keeping your garden intact.

For agility training, line the A-frame, teeter, and other equipment with bubble wrap. The cracking sound rewards your dog each time they conquer an obstacle. It also provides cushioning and traction on slippery surfaces like plastic and metal. Just make sure to secure the bubble wrap properly for safety. As one creative idea, this video shows an agility course with a bubble wrap floor.

Calming Qualities

Popping bubble wrap can provide stress relief and help calm anxious dogs. The popping sounds serve as a distraction during stressful events like thunderstorms or fireworks. According to a post on Reddit, bubble wrap can help dogs who are afraid of fireworks by gradually desensitizing them to loud popping noises (“My dog is scared of bubble wrap: r/PetAdvice” https://www.reddit.com/r/PetAdvice/comments/k1ueu5/my_dog_is_scared_of_bubble_wrap). The Ontario SPCA also recommends using calming pheromones and maintaining routines to reduce anxiety in dogs during stressful events like moving (“Tips to take the stress out of moving day for your dog.” Ontario SPCA. https://ontariospca.ca/blog/tips-to-take-the-stress-out-of-moving-day-for-your-dog).

Puppy Development

Bubble wrap can be a great tool for encouraging curiosity and exploration in young puppies. The crinkling sound and unique texture help expose puppies to new experiences during this critical developmental stage. According to early puppy development expert advice from the AKC, introducing puppies to novel surfaces like bubble wrap helps them gain confidence with unfamiliar situations as they mature (https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeding/early-puppy-development/). The bubbles create an unstable surface that challenges puppies’ coordination and motor skills. Allowing puppies to pop bubble wrap teaches them about different textures and sounds in a safe, controlled way.

Puppies learn through play, so creating games with bubble wrap provides mental stimulation. Scatter sheets of bubble wrap around a pen or confined area and let puppies freely explore and pop the bubbles. Supervise closely to ensure they don’t try to eat the plastic. Rotate through different textures like towels, cardboard, grass, and carpeting so puppies experience variety. Introducing bubble wrap and other surfaces prepares puppies for the sights, sounds and sensations they will encounter as they grow.

Senior Dogs

As dogs become seniors, their exercise needs often change. Popping bubble wrap can provide gentle physical activity for aging dogs. The Fun and Stimulating Activities for Senior (Older) Dogs explains that bubble wrap popping “gives their joints a little movement without a lot of wear and tear.” The popping sounds and tactile experience create mental stimulation as well. According to Senior Dog Anxiety at Night? 9 Solutions for Better Sleep, anxiety wraps can help relax senior dogs, so bubble wrap may supply a similar calming effect.

Cognitive function also decreases with age, so activities to engage the mind are important. As recommended in How to Entertain an Old Dog: 6 Ideas for Bored Senior Dogs, hiding treats in popped bubble wrap provides an entertaining way to stimulate mental activity for senior pups.

Other Pets

Cats can also have fun with bubble wrap, as long as they are properly supervised. The crinkling sound and texture is intriguing to cats, and they may bat at, pounce on, and playfully bite the bubbles. However, cats’ sharp teeth and claws can easily puncture the plastic, so it’s important to watch them while playing. Allow short supervised sessions so they don’t ingest any plastic. Some owners let their cat play with bubble wrap laying on the floor, while others hold it up and crinkle it to engage their cat’s prey drive.

Small pets like hamsters can also enjoy popping bubble wrap, again with supervision. Place just a small amount in their cage at a time, and promptly remove any shredded pieces so they don’t try eating it. The noise can be alarming at first, so introduce it gradually.

According to one cat owner: “It’s fine as long as you’re around to supervise your cat. Any toy can be dangerous.” (Source)


In conclusion, dogs love bubble wrap for many reasons. The popping sensation is enjoyable and stimulates their senses. As we’ve discussed, bubble wrap can be used for fun games and creative purposes to enrich a dog’s life. Popular bubble wrap activities include stepping on the bubbles, biting and popping the bubbles, and hunting for treats hidden under bubble wrap. These games provide mental stimulation and satisfy innate needs to dig and forage. The crinkly and crackly sounds bubble wrap makes are also calming, which is why it can help puppies and senior dogs relax. Bubble wrap is a simple and affordable way to bring joy and entertainment into a dog’s life.

Some of the favorite bubble wrap games and uses covered in this article include hiding treats under the bubbles for dogs to discover, using bubble wrap for noise-making tug toys, and letting dogs step and roll on bubble wrap “blankets” to hear satisfying pops. There are so many creative ways to integrate bubble wrap into a dog’s playtime routine or winding down ritual. The versatile uses and undeniable appeal of bubble wrap make it a treasured item for dogs and their owners.

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