Have you ever wondered why do dogs like squeaky toys? Whilst this type of toy may be a little irritating for humans, our four-legged friends seem to love them. They are often given as gifts to both pups and older dogs and often end up being their favorite toy. Read on to discover why dogs like squeaky toys so much.
Why Do Dog Toys Squeak?
The bottom line is that dog toys squeak because dogs like it! When it comes to tony play, an object with a high pitched squeak is often favored over other toy options such as sticks and tennis balls. There are plenty of health benefits associated with squeaky toys as your puppy gets mental stimulation and exercise as they chase it around. If you are willing to join in the game, it can help to strengthen your relationship with your dog. Sometimes, even your cat may like to join in!
One of the leading reasons why dogs love to play with toys that squeak is related to their killer instincts to hunt in nature. It is useful to remember that dogs are evolved from the wolf and even though they lived with humans for hundreds if not thousands of years, their instinct is still very strong. The characteristic sound of the toy is very similar in style and pitch to the noise made by injured prey. As soon as this sound enters a dog’s ears their prey instinct is triggered and they simply cannot leave the toy alone. A similar phenomenon is triggered in a cat by a fast moving toy. Both are attracted by a toy with some stuffing because it makes it feel more like a real small mammal. If you have a breed of dog that has a particularly strong prey drive, such as a terrier, a gun dog or a herding dog, this drive will be especially intense.
Squeaker toys offer immediate gratification for your dog and according to vet experts, this is very important to canines. It may sound like an annoying squeak to you, but to your dog this sound is auditory feedback – it tells them that biting these toys is having an effect and they think that they are killing their prey.
Your dog will not be aware of this but, playing with toys with squeakers is very good for them. They are able to express their natural behavior and drives. You just have to make sure that they do not become obsessed with the toy and take a few breaks. It’s a good idea to use it with some obedience training. Make your pooch sit and wait before you will toss them their favorite toy.
Are Squeaky Toys Bad for Dogs?
Whilst squeaky toys can be a lot of fun for a dog or pup, there are also some dangers associated with them. Often, the danger arises from the squeaker coming out of the toy and being swallowed. Dogs have choked to death on squeakers and, if the squeaker is swallowed, it can cause a lot of damage and potential blockages in the intestines. Dogs with powerful teeth and known chewers that like to bite everything they come across are at particular danger. If your dog has swallowed the squeaker from a dog squeaky toy, you should take them to the vet immediately.
There is a lot that you can do to reduce the risks that dog squeaky toys pose. Firstly, you will need to inspect the toy on a regular basis. Check that the exterior of the toy is intact and that no stuffing has started to come out. If there is any sign that the squeaker can come out, throw the toy away immediately.
Try to buy the most robust squeaky toy that you can find. Check it over before you give it to your pooch. If your dog is a breed that has a very powerful bite, you may not be able to find one that will last more than a day or two!
Why Does My Dog Howl at Squeaky Toy?
Dogs and squeaky toys are not always a great combination! Some dogs cry and howl at the noise of a squeaky toy and this behavior can be very distressing for the humans in the house. Once you understand why they are doing this, you will be in a better position to stop it.
There are a few theories on why dogs howl at squeaky toys. As many dogs have a strong prey drive and hunting instinct, they interpret the squeaky toy as one of the small mammals that they were bred to hunt. They become vocal because they are trying to tell you that a meal has arrived and that they know how to get it! Wolves would have a similar reaction when they are hunting in the wild and need to attract the attention of the rest of the pack.
There could also be an element of frustration. The toy sounds like prey and in the case of plush toys, it may also look like something that they can eat but when they bite it, they soon discover that it is not that tasty. They don’t get the gratification that they were expecting and show their displeasure by howling.
Howling can also be a way of your dog indicating possession of the squeaky toy. At the same time as howling, dogs can run around carrying the toy in their mouth and may hide them in their bed. Possessive behavior is something that needs to be monitored. In extreme cases, it can lead to problems, especially if you have young children who would also like to play with the toy.
Finally, it may simply be a way of your pooch telling you that they have a wonderful toy and they want your attention and for you to play with them.
So, Why Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys?
The bottom line is that dogs love to play with squeaky toys because they are pretending that they are hunting prey in the wild. The squeak is telling your dog that they are being a highly successful hunter which is exactly what they want to hear. These toys are a lot of fun, you just have to make sure that your dog does not get overstimulated by these toys. Also, check that the toy is intact every time you give it to your dog, and several times during the play session. Don’t forget, it will be a lot more fun for your pooch if you join in too!