You may have noticed at one point that your dog is more attracted to their squeaky toy than other toys. This happens with many dogs; the squeak seems to fascinate them somehow. Is it just the sound, or is there more to it?
Dogs like squeaky toys because they appeal to their primal wolfish instincts and satisfy their urge to chew. In addition, squeaking gives them a direct reward and can also attract the attention of their humans. Finally, many dogs simply enjoy the sound.
There are several reasons why dogs prefer squeaky toys over other toys.
The dog breed may also be involved in this behavior, but usually, it’s more for other instinct-driven reasons. As the dog owner, you also contribute to your dog’s preference for this type of toy.
This article explains in detail why dogs love squeaky toys so much.
We also review the pros and cons of squeaky dog toys and discuss whether dogs should use this type of toy.
How Do Squeaky Toys for Dogs Work?
In most cases, a small part inside the squeaky toy produces the sound.
It is usually connected to a mechanism that manipulates the air flowing in and out of the toy.
This creates the squeaking sounds that often freak dogs out.
Why Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys?
Squeaky toys are different than other toys. They make exciting noises but often don’t last as long because dogs like to chew on them.
Some manufacturers have been trying for a while to add squeak to more durable chew toys so they last a little longer.
For many dog owners, this is good news because these toys last longer while satisfying your dog’s need for something that squeaks.
However, the reasons why dogs love squeaky toys so much aren’t just based on the fact that they find the sound so interesting.
There are a few reasons why dogs are so fascinated by this type of toy.
It Appeals to Their Inner Wolf
One of the main reasons why dogs love squeaky toys is that they appeal to their inner wolf.
Even though these former wild wolves are now civilized and sedentary, dogs still have an inner urge to hunt for prey.
In the wild, a wolf must track down and catch its prey to enjoy a meal. In doing so, his prey would probably also make squeaking noises out of fear.
A squeaking toy mimics the act of chasing and catching prey. The squeak resembles the squeak of frightened or injured prey, which awakens your dog’s wild side.
Your dog may chew on the toy repeatedly to reinforce the loud squeak and eventually stop chewing when he has caught his prey.
This is also why your dog often brings you his favorite toy: to show off his successful prey.
Although you may not think your lovable, loyal friend is simulating a hunt, this is normal behavior in dogs.
It Gets Human Attention
As with many other dog behaviors, attention may be why dogs love their squeaky toy so much.
His humans are the center of a dog’s world, which leads him to try to get their attention any way he can.
A loud-squeaking toy can make his humans look in his direction and even join in on his fun games.
For example, when a dog owner gives his dog a new squeaker toy, he often squeaks with it in his direction and plays together with the dog.
The dog doesn’t forget this and tries to get his human to look in his direction and play along using the same tactics.
Your dog may also squeak his toy in your direction to show off his impressive hunting skills.
It Provides a Quick Reward
Dogs love to play with squeaky toys because it offers an instant reward. As mentioned earlier, the squeak sounds tell the dog that he has done an excellent job in his hunt.
The immediate auditory feedback from the squeaking toy lets the dog know it is biting well, providing reassurance.
Even though dogs enjoy playing with a regular chew toy, it doesn’t give them the immediate sound reward.
This could make your dog more likely to reach for toys that make noise when he’s in the mood to play.
It Satisfies the Urge to Chew
Every time your dog chews on his squeaky toy, he makes a sound that encourages him to keep chewing. This is an entirely normal reaction in dogs.
The realization that he has successfully killed his prey spurs him on. It encourages him to continue the game.
This is especially true for puppies learning about the world through their mouths. Puppies have an irresistible need to chew.
A puppy-sized squeaky toy can entertain them and satisfy their need to chew.
When dogs are distracted by a mentally stimulating squeaky toy, they are less likely to engage in destructive behavior.
As squeaky toys offer an instant reward, they can keep dogs happy for a more extended period and reduce the likelihood that they will chew up objects in the home.
The Noise is Fun
Although a dog’s preference for his squeaky toy may have a deeper purpose, it may simply be for fun.
Some dogs suddenly lose interest in a toy when the squeaker stops working.
This proves that dogs enjoy the sound and that the squeaker makes the game even more fun and exciting.
Whether your dog enjoys the thrill of the chase or the attention squeaking brings, it adds to the fun.
If your dog only wants to play with squeaky toys, he probably prefers the added stimulation and entertainment that squeaking provides.
Sounds usually elicit a response from dogs. Be it after the toy squeaks or a siren that encourages the dog to howl.
What Are the Advantages of Squeaky Toys for Dogs?
Squeaky toys can bring joy to a dog in many ways. It can quickly become your dog’s favorite toy.
However, it not only brings joy to the dog but also has several other benefits for dogs:
- Linking to the primal, instinctive characteristics of the dog is highly healthy.
- The simulation of hunting their prey is mentally stimulating for dogs.
- It can provide hours of entertainment.
- The feeling of the dog successfully killing its prey can boost self-confidence.
- It is very stimulating and prevents destructive behavior.
- A squeaky toy is a fantastic tool when training with positive reinforcement.
- It can get your dog’s attention, as most dogs respond readily to squeaking.
- Some squeak toys are durable and can survive being chewed for long.
- While chewing can be destructive, it promotes gum health.
What Are the Dangers of Squeaky Toys to Dogs?
Even if your dog loves his squeaky toy, there are some potential dangers you should be aware of.
Squeaky toys can be dangerous if you don’t keep an eye on your dog while using them. In some cases, the dangers can lead to serious medical complications.
Potential Choking Hazard
The squeakers in squeaky toys are often circular and small, making them the perfect size to get lodged in a dog’s throat.
If your dog becomes distressed or begins coughing while playing with a squeaker toy, it’s essential to check his mouth for airway obstruction.
In case of emergency, you should immediately consult a veterinarian.
If a dog accidentally tears a squeaker toy and swallows the squeaker, the foreign object can easily cause gastrointestinal problems.
The squeaker and other parts of the toy are not easily digested in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. They can even cause a life-threatening blockage if not eliminated.
If you notice signs of abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or other symptoms, it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately.
You may not catch your dog swallowing a squeaker or destroying a toy when it happens. Therefore, it is crucial to inspect the toy regularly for damage.
If you notice that a squeaker is no longer in the toy where it should be, you should ask your veterinarian for advice.
If your dog has a history of destroying toys, a squeaker toy may not be the best choice.
Opt for something more durable, and try to make the toy more interesting with treats.
Should Dogs Play With Squeaky Toys?
After learning the potential dangers of squeaky toys on dogs, you may wonder whether you should allow your dog to play with them.
While some risks are involved, you can avoid them all by watching your dog while he plays with the toy.
If your dog is known for destroying toys or getting extremely hyper while playing with his squeaky toy, keeping it safe whenever you leave the house is best.
Regularly checking the toy for damage and removing damaged toys is also essential.
Damaged toys make it easier for your dog to swallow the squeaker, which can lead to severe problems down the road.
Although removing the toy may upset your dog at first, it’s better than a life-threatening medical complication.
As long as you can keep an eye on your dog while he plays with his squeaky toy, it’s perfectly safe.
Squeaky toys can significantly benefit a dog’s behavioral development and provide hours of fun.
Following the above safety precautions, squeaky toys can be an excellent addition to your dog’s play routine.
Why Do Some Dogs Hate Squeaky Toys?
While most dogs do love squeaky toys, not all dogs love toys that make noise.
Many dogs find the extra noise annoying and distracting and ignore it completely.
This is usually a learned behavior and occurs when your dog may have had a negative experience with the noise.
However, some dogs are simply fearful and do not like loud noises.
Do Dogs Think Squeaky Toys Are Alive?
Dogs don’t think the same way humans do. Their behavior is more instinctive.
When they hear a sound, it usually triggers a reaction due to their prey drive, which makes them bite.
Unfortunately, we cannot ask dogs if they think it is alive or inanimate. Therefore, we can only see what dog psychology offers on this question.
Some dogs have a toy drive instead of a prey drive, leading behaviorists to believe that dogs can tell the difference between living and inanimate objects.
Conclusion: Why Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys?
Squeaky toys are an excellent way to give your dog extra fun while appealing to their primal instincts.
There are many reasons why dogs are utterly obsessed with squeaky toys. However, they usually have to do with the dog’s instincts.
If you want your dog to get a squeaky toy, ensure it is sturdy and durable. Since dogs love to chew on them, such toys can break quickly.