If you have a pup who goes wild over toys that squeak when squeezed, you are not alone. Most pups find squeaky toy sounds to be alluring and pleasantly stimulating, and will go to great lengths to dominate the source of the squeak. There are a couple of theories that explain why dogs are so fascinated by the squeaky sensations emitted by these noisemakers.
Dogs are descendants of wolves, and both share a strikingly similar DNA construct. So, it is no surprise that they share similar behavioral qualities, as well. The squeaky toy noise is comparable to the sound of prey that’s frightened or injured, which may ignite their innate wolf-like drive to keep attacking. When the dog squeaky toy stops squeaking, this tells the dog that he has successfully killed his prey and he can cease the attack.
Another theory as to why dogs love the squeaky toy noise is that they can’t resist the immediate reward that comes from the sound. The constant auditory feedback characteristic of a squeaky toy lets them know their bite is effective enough to create a reaction. The squeaky toy sound is telling your dog, “Your bite is working! Keep biting!” As opposed to a silent toy, which gives no response when your dog is chewing on it.
Squeaky Toy Health Benefits
There are a ton of health benefits associated with squeaky toy playtime. “Like people, playing is a very healthy behavior for dogs,” says Evans. “Aside from the well-known benefits of exercise, stimulating your dog’s natural prey drive helps them just ‘be a dog.’ Making room for these healthy outlets where dogs can act naturally, they will be less likely to take out this behavior on other things, like your furniture and nicely landscaped yard.”
Squeaky toys also make effective training tools for getting your dog’s attention and rewarding good behavior. “Because squeaky toys often get dogs excited, they can be a good way to motivate your dog,” she says.
Choosing the Right Toy
Dog toys should be chosen for the dog’s age, size, activity level, and style of play, not based on the toy’s popularity or cuteness. Some dogs may enjoy wrestling on the floor with a squeaky toy or plush toy, while others may like to run after a Frisbee or stick. Choose toys based on your dog's personality as well as for its health benefit.
Every dog toy has a purpose and offers specific health benefits to puppies, adult dogs, and even mature dogs. For example, a teething puppy’s need to chew can be satisfied by a small puppy Kong. The exclusive Kong teething rubber formula can give relief to a puppy’s sore gums and jaws. An adult dog who may be left alone while the owner is a work might be keeping content with a food delivery toy, like the Hide and Treat Bone, or a chew toy
We all want to keep our pets safe and happy. Make sure when you buy dog toys for your pet you choose items that are big enough to chew, and not too small to be swallowed. If you see damage to any dog toy, quickly remove it and dispose of it to prevent a choking hazard. Toys that are too big or too small for your dog will not benefit your dog and may pose a possible risk.
Remember, for your pet's health and safety, please read the packaging carefully and choose toys made of non-toxic materials.