Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys So Much?
They may annoy us (especially if you stand on one in the middle of the night) but our furry friends seem to love squeaky toys. Dogs go crazy for anything that squeals and love to throw them up in the air or chase them. But why do dogs like squeaky toys so much? Surely it can’t be to get our attention all day long?
Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?
Squeaky toys come in all shapes and sizes, everything from glow-in-the-dark tennis balls to mice that look (and sound) too lifelike. But why do most dogs love squeaker toys over everything else?
They Make Good Prey
Even Polly, your cute little Labradoodle, has wolf ancestors. It may not look like it, but she’ll also have a bit of a prey instinct.
Some breeds, such as Greyhounds and Terriers have high prey drives, meaning it’s not usually suitable for them to be in homes with smaller pets around. But many dogs like toys that simulate prey because it’s in their genetics. And that includes toys squealing when being chewed.
This natural prey drive is also why pups love playing with toys they can rip apart or puzzle toys that smell like food (such as frozen watermelon, avocado, or cucumber). Even if they don’t normally chase the cat around the house, stuffed squeaky toys satisfy their wild wolf instincts.
A Squeaky Toy Is More Fun Than Any Other!
Plain and simple. Interactive toys that provide instant gratification are just a bit more fun. When dogs chew on plush toys, they know they’re not really chewing on prey but the squeaker helps them to imagine they are.
The squeak indicates that they’re chewing correctly and that they still possess the skills to hunt, catch, and kill prey. Just don’t tell them it’s a squeaky zebra toy instead!
They Like to Chew
If your dog is anything like ours, then they’ll love a chew toy as well as a squeaky dog toy. And what could be better than a chewy squeaky toy? Many dogs, especially teething puppies, love chewing squeaky toys because it feels good on their teeth.
For older dogs, it can also help with tooth and gum health. So even if that’s not a true reason why dogs love squeaky toys, it’s definitely a benefit!
Why Do Some Dogs Remove The Squeaker From a Toy?
It’s an expensive habit that many squeak toy-loving pups have. But why?
For lots of dogs, a simple squeak isn’t enough. Their prey drives are too high and they, well, want to end the squeaking. Removing the squeaker from the toy is the perfect way for them to know that they have captured and killed the poor stuffed toy. Whilst it’s still squeaking, it’s still alive.
Much to the dismay of us pet parents, when your dog chomps down on his new squeaky toy, the game is often over within minutes.
Is Playing With A Squeaky Toy Safe?
Dogs love toys, but as a dog owner, you want to make sure they’re safe when they’re playing with them. It’s important that your dog’s toys are as durable as possible (such as the cute ones on this list) and that you buy good-quality ones.
Even when doing that, dog owners should always supervise their dogs when they play with squeaky toys. As already mentioned, dogs love to rip apart stuffed squeaky toys, and, in all the excitement, they may swallow stuffing, material, or even parts of the plastic squeaker.
If your dog is well-known for eating everything, it’s best to get them a robust dog toy that they can’t pull apart and that doesn’t have potential choking hazards. There are also plastic toys that make a squeaking sound when air escapes them rather than with a separate squeaker, which may be a safer bet for chewers.
Lots of Dogs Love Squeaky Toys – But Some Are Afraid of Them. Why?
Whilst squeaky toys provide hours of entertainment for some pups, many of them run in the opposite direction the minute you pull one out of the bag.
That’s because some dogs just have a lower prey drive and aren’t drawn to something that sounds like a living animal! They may be afraid of the squeak toy or even think that it’s real.
You can try slowly introducing them so they can work out it’s just a toy. But the bottom line is that squeaky toys aren’t for all dogs.
Is your pup a fan of squeaky toys? Which is their favorite?