Why Do Dogs Like The Sound Of Squeaky Toys?

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Why do dogs like the sound of squeaky toys? For a variety of reasons, including natural hunting instinct, the pleasure they get from making the squeaking noise, and the fact that it is just so much fun! While the constant sound coming from our dog's toys may not be our favorite sound, dogs seem to love the "squeak! squeak! squeak!" coming from their toys (link) (link) (link). 

 

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5 Reasons Dogs Love Squeaky Toys So Much

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1. Pleasure

When a dog bites down on a squeaky toy and a sound comes out of it, the pleasure area of their brain lights up. It is fun for them! 
To keep that feeling up, or to feel that feeling again, they continue to squeak it.
When your dog plays with a toy that does not squeak, they get no response from it, whereas the squeaky toy is giving them feedback, encouraging them to keep playing with it. 

 

2. Attention

Some dogs may use a squeaky toy to get your attention. 
If they have gotten a reaction from you when interacting with a squeaky toy before (say you are getting on the floor and playing with them when they have the squeaky toy out), they may associate the toy's squeaking with your attention. So they may play with the squeaky toy with the hopes of getting your attention or getting you to play with them, which are things that they also love.

 

3. Excitement

To your dog, the sound of squeaky toys is so exciting! The squeaking sound may make some dogs get excited, which motivates them to keep playing. This is good for their health because dogs have a natural "play drive." When dogs are encouraged to play, they get out built-up energy, get exercise, and are allowed time to be a dog.

 

4. Instinct

Believe it or not, squeaky toys simulate hunting and is like chasing and capturing prey for them. 
Dogs are descendants of wolves. The sound that squeaky toys make is similar to the sound that animals make when they are frightened. When playing with a squeaky toy, dogs take that instinct that they got from their wolf ancestors. A squeaky toy is a great way to satisfy your dog's inner wolf safely.
This also explains why some dogs may chew and destroy a squeaky toy until it is in pieces and not able to squeak any more- it is like they "killed" their "prey." Then that toy is no longer fun, and they want to find something else to "hunt" for. 

 

5. Dental Health

Dogs have a natural urge to chew on things like a squeaky toy because it helps with their dental health. A squeaky toy will satisfy their need to chew and massages their mouths as they are playing, which makes their mouths feel good.

 

Different Types of Squeaky Dog Toys

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When looking for a squeaky toy for your dog, there are many options, so you can find the perfect toy that your dog will love!

Balls 

A squeaky ball toy is the best of both worlds for your dog! Balls are some of the dogs' favorite toys because they can easily carry them in their mouth, but it is also fun to chase it! Dogs love that they are just as fast as the ball and when they catch it, they feel accomplished that they did their "job." 
A ball with a squeaker is even more fun because it contains the joy of a ball with a squeaker's excitement. Plus, it is excellent for their instinct to hunt because they have to chase the squeaky ball.

 

Soft Toys

Soft toys, like stuffed animals, can provide dogs with comfort. Some dogs will even carry their favorite plush toy around! 
Other dogs love to rip and chew up stuffed toys. Even more so, when there is a squeaker in it, soft toys are not as durable as other toys, and being able to rip the toy apart is seen as even more fun. If they tear the toy apart to get to the squeaker, this goes back to hunting; they are given an outlet to "hunt" on their toy.

 

Rubber Toys

Rubber toys that have a squeaker are fun for your dog because of the immediate gratification that the dog gets from the squeaking, and they get positive chewing from the toy. 
Chewing keeps the dog's jaws healthy and their teeth clean, and it can also help with anxiety or boredom. 

 

Tug Toys

Like ropes, some tug toys will have a squeaker in the center or edges, usually as a combination between a soft toy and a tug toy. 
Dogs enjoy playing tug of war because it helps build trust with another dog or their human companions. It also goes back to their instincts because when wolves hunt, they sometimes have to "tug" their prey from their burrows.
Keep in mind that not all dogs love squeaky toys. Like people, dogs each have their personalities and likes and dislikes. Some dogs are more playful than others, and some dogs show no interest in toys in general. There are many different types of toys out there, and some dogs just like a stuffed animal to cuddle with or a chew toy to teeth on but may not be interested in squeaky toys. 

 

Pros And Cons Of Squeaky Toys

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Pros:

  • Natural Instincts
By playing with a toy that squeaks, your dog is allowed to use their hunting skills healthily and harmlessly. 
  • Releases Energy
Dogs are very active animals and naturally have a lot of energy. By having a squeaky toy, they have an outlet to let some of that energy go.

 

Cons:

  • Aggression
Since the sound mimics a frightened animal, it triggers a dog's ability to hunt. The squeaking can sometimes cause aggression, hyperactivity, or destructive behavior.
  • Ingesting The Toy
Your dog may try to remove the squeaker in these types of toys. If that happens, remove the toy right away because the squeaker (and any other small piece of a toy that can come off the toy) poses a choking threat. Additionally, the materials on dog toys were not meant to be eaten, so the stuffing, squeaker plastic, and any other materials could pose health problems for your dog if ingested.
With all toys, when your dog is playing with squeaky toys, you should supervise them. If the toy becomes damaged or any pieces come off the toy, remove the toy from play. A damaged toy leads to concerns about choking or ingesting the toy.
A toy left inside your dog's digestive tract or intestines can lead to potentially dangerous infections like peritonitis or sepsis. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has eaten part of their toy. Your veterinarian may try to induce vomiting or retrieve the toy from their stomach.

 

Alternatives To Squeaky Toys

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  • Balls
  • Rope toys
  • Stuffed toys
  • Puzzle toys
  • Treat-dispensing toys
  • Interactive toys
  • Homemade toys
  • Chew toys
There are tons of different types of toys that you can find at your local pet store. If your dog does not seem interested in squeaky toys or is getting too aggressive with them, then you may want to try some alternatives.

 

FAQs

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Why does my dog cry when he plays with squeaky toys?
Your dog may cry if they form an attachment to their squeaky toy and feel a form of ownership over it. If the toy is new, your dog may be crying because they are unsure about this new toy. Additionally, your dog may cry while playing with a squeaky toy to get you to play with them and their toy. 

 

Are squeaky toys bad for dogs?
For the most part, squeaky toys are not bad for your dog. If you feel like your dog is getting too rough and aggressive with their squeaky toys or trying to eat parts of the toy, it may be time to remove that toy. 

 

Do squeaky toys make dogs aggressive?
In some dogs, squeaky toys can trigger aggression or destructive behavior, which may even encourage them to attack small animals or small children. But if your dog is playing with their squeaky toy normally, then there is nothing for you to worry about.

 

Why does my dog howl at squeaky toys?
Howling can either be a response to the high squeak that the toy makes, their instincts kicking in, or feeling suspicious of the sound that the toy makes. 

 

Do dogs like squeaky sounds?
Most dogs love squeaky sounds, while some dogs may be wary of squeaky sounds at first.

 

What animal makes a noise like a squeaky toy?
The squeaking that these toys make is similar to the sound that of a small, frightened animal that their ancestors (wolves) would have hunted like mice, squirrels, voles, and rabbits.

 

Why do dogs howl when they hear high pitched noises?
Dogs sometimes are stimulated to howl when they hear other high sounds. Howling acknowledges that they have heard the sound and are ready to join in.

 

 

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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.

 

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