Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?Last updated: by Jessi Larson Affiliate Disclosure: We hope you love the products we've recommended! As an Amazon Associate we earn a small share from qualifying purchases.
Have you ever looked at your pup and thought, “Why do dogs like squeaky toys so much?”
Dogs seem to go absolutely crazy for these noisy novelties. And on the plus side, squeaky toys keep your dog engaged and occupied for quite some time, which is great especially when your pet has boundless energy.
On the flip side, however, the noise can quickly turn from adorable to annoying. For humans, anyway. Dogs just can’t get enough of the sound.
And why is that? Why do dogs like squeaky toys so much?
For those wondering why do dogs like squeaky toys, here are three theories that shed light on this burning question.
Why do dogs like squeaky toys? 3 theories
1. Hunter instincts
According to experts, squeaky toys recreate the predatory instincts. After all, the domestic dogs of today descended from wild wolves that hunted for food, and the squeaky nose coming from the toy sounds a lot like a small frightened animal.
This theory makes even more sense when you consider that dogs often try to remove the squeaker, and once that’s done and the “animal is silenced,” they suddenly lose interest.
It’s hard to imagine your sweet baby angel as a hunter, I know. Fortunately, however, the only thing your dog is killing here is an inanimate object made up of stuffing or plastic.
2. Auditory feedback
Another theory is that dogs simply like the auditory feedback. When they chomp down, they get a sound. It’s as easy as that.
Going one step deeper, the sound a toy makes triggers the reward center of the dog’s brain. This then releases pleasant feelings in their brain that make them want to chew even more.
Ultimately, for dogs, squeaky toys are a fun experience that provide an instant reward. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. Mental enrichment
Whether dogs realize it or not, squeaky toys provide mental enrichment. Chomping on such a toy provides the mental stimulation that dogs need and crave.
This has many health benefits for your dog on top of the mental stimulation. For example, playing with a squeaky toy provides exercise and helps with their physical health as well. It also keeps them preoccupied which can lessen feelings of anxiety.
So whether dogs realize it or not, they may be drawn to squeaky toys because it makes them feel better physically and mentally.
Top squeaky toys
Since we’re on the topic of why do dogs like squeaky toys so much, let’s talk about the top pet squeaky toys available for your pup.
According to Amazon, these are the best-selling squeaky toys on the market:
Another Option: BarkBox Subscription
Can’t decide on one toy? Get BarkBox and you’ll get new toys (some squeaky) every month!
You’ve probably heard of BarkBox before. If not, here’s the lowdown: It’s a subscription service where every month a box full of cool dog treats and toys is delivered to your doorstep. The box includes 4-6 items curated from their current collection.
When you get started, you can pick your dog’s size so all the treats and toys fit your pup just right.
What we love about this is that it’s a fun surprise for dogs and pup parents alike. Getting a delivery every month is exciting! And it’s also a convenient way to try out new treats and toys that you probably never would have heard of.
A word of caution
When it comes to the question of why do dogs like squeaky toys, it’s clear that dogs love these toys for a number of reasons. Sometimes, though, dogs get a little too enthusiastic and try to rip out the plastic squeaking device.
If you see that your dog is getting close to tearing out the squeaker, make sure you stop them right away. One gulp and your dog could swallow it whole, leading to serious health concerns.
As a rule of thumb, keep one eye on your dog whenever they play with a squeaky toy. And keep your ears open. If you no longer hear noise, it could be a sign that the squeaker was removed!
Also, we recommend checking your dog’s squeaker toy after they’re done playing to see what kind of shape it’s in. If it’s starting to fray or fall apart, proceed with caution.
Why do dogs like squeaky toys? Whether it’s predatory instincts or instant gratification, or a little bit of both, the answer is clear: most dogs love squeaky toys!
Fortunately, the toy is good for your dog’s mental, physical and emotional health – something that’s good for both your dog AND you.