There’s no denying the fact that when a dog hears a squeaky toy, they light up. Their ears perk up, their tail begins to wag, and they start to get rowdy and ready for a good time.
After it’s been thrown to them or wrestled away from their owner, they’ll go nuts, chomping it until the squeaker sounds like it’s starting to lose shape. No doubt about it: dogs love squeaky toys.
When you watch the way your dog goes after a squeaky toy, you may wonder to yourself why they’re so infatuated with it. Well, we’ve done a lot of research and looked into it to answer that very question!
Today, we’re learning all about why dogs love squeaky toys.
There’s More Than One Reason
When it comes to your four-legged friend’s undying love of their squeaky toy, there are a few reasons as to why they love it as much as they do. With some breeds, a single reason may explain the affinity your pup has for squeakers. It also could come down to your pup’s relationship with you!
Check out some of these reasons that your pup may love a squeaky toy:
One of the reasons that your four-legged friend may love their squeaky toys boils down to their animalistic instincts. Dogs trace their roots back to wolves, canines that are highly predatory, and spend most of their lives hunting. This hunting instinct lends itself to many of your dog’s behaviors, including their need to make a squeaky toy squeak.
You may notice that when your pup gets their mouth on a squeaky toy, they bite down constantly, making the toy squeak over and over again. Somewhere in their ancestral memory, they know that this sound mimics that of what their prey in the wild would be making. As long as it continues to squeak, they’ll continue to chomp down, waiting for their “prey” to be completely taken care of.
Watch your dog with other toys, too. A lot of the actions that they take while playing are the same actions that a wolf would take in the wild while hunting. Wrestling toys away from their owner or another dog resembles wrestling food away from another member of the pack. Shaking a toy back and forth resembles yet another way of dispatching prey that they’ve finally caught. Our dogs are far more wolf-like than we realize, sometimes.
Even if it isn’t linked to the ancestral reason that we listed prior, the action of taking a toy and squeaking between their teeth can be a very pleasurable stimulator to your pup. Think about the way that people like to tap their fingers or click a pen.
These actions just feel good sometimes, and your pup biting down and making that toy make noise is just as satisfying for them, even though we may not like it much.
Again, you may not like the sound that your pup’s squeaky toy makes all the time, but it sure does get your attention. Guess what? Your dog knows it gets your attention, too! If you’re apart from your pup and you hear the squealing of their favorite squeaky toy from another part of the house, or even from just across the room, there’s a good chance that they’re trying to get your attention.
Chewing Urges For Dental Needs
Some dogs tend to have the urge to chew more than others do. This may actually be caused by discomfort in their mouths from plaque buildup or even something stuck between their teeth. When their mouths start to feel this way, they’ll often grab the toy they like to chew on the most and go to town.
Oftentimes, their favorite toy to chew on is the one that makes noise. The act of chewing on the toy alleviates the unpleasant feeling that they may be experiencing by massaging their gums or gently removing the plaque from their teeth over time.
Does Your Dog Love Squeaky Toys?
Chances are your pup loves their squeaky toys; it’s only natural, after all. That being said, just as with any toy, there are some things to be on the lookout for:
A Choking Hazard
Because of the nature of the squeaky toy, and the way that your dog likes to chew on them, it should be kept in mind that these toys can be choking hazards. When selecting a squeaky toy, make sure that when compressed that it can’t enter your pup’s mouth and throat completely. Accidentally swallowing a squeaky toy is comical in cartoons but dangerous in real life.
Squeaky toys can be made from durable materials, yes. However, the wear and tear on squeaky toys can cause them to fall apart after a potentially brief period of time. As they break into smaller pieces, the chances of choking increases. Also, when your dog rips the toy open, swallowing the stuffing and squeaker should be an immediate concern.
Keep an Eye on Squeaky Toys
Again, because of the wear and tear on these toys, it’s important to keep an eye on them and inspect them regularly. Doing so can help prevent any possible issues. If you notice that your pup’s squeaky toy is starting to look haggard, it is probably a good idea to have the toy replaced. While your pup may not be thrilled, it’s safer for them overall.
Supervision May Be Required
Because of the tendency dogs have to go nuts for squeaky toys, it’s best to keep an eye on your four-legged friend when they play with their squeaky toy. You may want to consider making it a toy that you only allow them to play with when it’s interactive between the two of you, like a rope and tug toy.
My Dog Doesn’t Like Squeaky Toys; Is That Normal?
Yes! That’s entirely normal. Not all dogs like squeaky toys, and that’s okay. They still probably experience predatory instincts and probably love other toys just as much as other dogs love their squeaky toys.
If your pup doesn’t like squeaky toys, consider some of the following toys for them:
- Fetch Toys - Fetch toys give your pup the thrill of the hunt when you throw them. They get to sprint after their prey and bring it back to you, the leader of the pack!
- Rope and Tug Toys - Rope and tug toys allow your dog to wrestle around like they would a prey animal. It is also a good way for them to simulate wrestling with another member of the pack for food! Getting the toy feels earned that way and can be very satisfying.
- Chew Toys - So your dog doesn’t like squeaky toys. That doesn’t mean they don’t like chewing! A nice, natural rubber chew toy lets them get that chewing instinct out and can help alleviate any of the sore gums that we talked about prior.
Playtime for Pup
One of the most important parts about a squeaky toy is its prey simulation for your pup. It allows them to take on their ancestral predatory instincts and get some good bonding time with you! If they don’t like squeaky toys, that’s okay. There’s plenty of other toys for them to choose from!
Why Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys? The Mystery Explained | The Dog People
Dog Dental Health: Brushing Teeth, Dental Treats, and More | Fetch by WebMD
5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog's Teeth Clean | American Kennel Club