Dogs love squeaky toys; They seem drawn to them like moths to a flame. But why do our fluffy friends love these squeakers?
Most pet parents supply their pups with a whole host of dog toys, but for many pups, the most coveted toy is the one with a squeaker. Dog owners are all too familiar with that squeaking sound as it pierces the air while their pooch plays with their favorite chew toy. But why do dogs and squeaky toys mesh together so well? There are a couple of different theories on why your pup loves that squeak, squeak, squeak.
Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?
1. It's Instinctual
Even though your pup is a domestic animal, Fido still has the hunting instincts of their wild ancestors. While it might not be a whole lot, dogs do have a tiny bit of prey drive in them, one that kicks into gear during playtime with their favorite toy.
Many dog breeds would chase and hunt small animals, and squeak toys trigger that same instinct. Pet toys that include squeakers oftentimes look very similar to a small animal, too.
Even small dogs like terriers and Chihuahuas get a kick out of squeaker toys -- Theirs are just usually wrapped in a plush toy outside with the coveted squeaky toy in the middle. Whereas their larger doggy siblings, like retrievers, may prefer a chew toy with a squeaker that is more of the indestructible dog toy variety, especially if they are aggressive chewers.
2. It Holds Their Attention
Squeaking toys have an interactive component to them. Interactive dog toys almost always hold your pup's attention. If your pooch pounces onto their toy and it squeaks, they are more likely to go back to make that sound happen again.
The squeak is the perfect way to hold your dog's attention during play. It almost becomes a game seeing it they can bite or pounce on the toy, just right to make it squeak again!
3. Rewarding Activity
One dead dinosaur! pic.twitter.com/WAnzJkFUBu
— Sammy (@ConsGramma) September 15, 2020
The AKC says that the high-pitched squeak can be incredibly rewarding for some dogs, while for other dog breeds, it can be very annoying. For the breeds who really enjoy the squeaking sound, hearing it while playing with their toy can be just as rewarding as getting dog treats.
4. Attempt To Play With You
Sometimes your dog's behavior can be an indicator of something else, like them wanting you to play with them. While that squeaky sound can be incredibly annoying, it also can be a sign that your pup is trying to get your attention.
According to the AKC, certain toys may need to be put into the category of only being used if you are playing with your pup. Squeakers can become lodged inside your pup's throat or can be swallowed as your dog chews them free. If this happens, they will need surgery to get the squeakers removed. Other toys you need to remove while you are not actively playing are tennis balls. Dogs can end up with pieces in their stomachs, just like the squeaker. Also, it is best not to keep these types of toys in the kennel with your pup. Removing the toy when you two are done playing can also increase the toy's longevity and stop you from having to get your pup a new toy every other week!
5. Some Toys Look like Prey
Many plush dog toys very closely resemble real prey, like squirrels, ducks, rabbits, and other small creatures. These toys can be used in addition to dog training if you are hoping to make your pup a hunting companion. However, if you are looking for the best dog toy for training, Amazon has plenty of excellent dog toy play options that simulate fowl and other small animals.
Will Playing With A Squeaky Toy Hurt Your Dog's Ears?
It’s not the size of the Jiggler that matters, it’s about the motion in the ocean! 🦑🦈🌊🐬🐋
Get your jiggle on with our ocean themed plush Jigglerz® collection.
A whole new way to squeak, made with ZippyPaws exclusive noisemakers that squeak when shaken!
— ZippyPaws Dog Toys (@ZippyPaws) July 13, 2021
Some dogs are afraid of squeaky toys. Some may associate the sound of the squeak with past abuse or trauma, while others may not have been introduced to toys that squeak when they were puppies, so they do not know what to do with them. But the squeaking sound does not hurt their highly sensitive ears.
If you are looking for a new toy for your best friend, give these options a shot.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
The Outward Hound Squeak toy is multi-functional for your pup. It has plenty of squeakers and is a puzzle toy. Therefore, it stimulates your pup's brain while rewarding them with that all too satisfying squeaky.
Kong Low Stuffing Squeaker Dog Toy
A dog owner's worse nightmare is all the stuffing that comes out of soft squeaky toys! The Kong toy has a low amount of stuff, so you do not have to spend hours cleaning up the great stuffed toy massacre when your pup is done freeing the squeaker.
Jalousie 5-Pk Bundle Dog Toys
This pack of doggie squeaking toys gives your pup plenty of options to play with, and you will have toys waiting in the wings when your pooch finally destroys them. The toys are more durable than regular doggie plush toys, but if your pup is anything like mine, they will inevitably tear them apart in quick succession!
Products featured on Wide Open Pets are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Is your pup obsessed with their squeaky toys? Tell us over on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!