Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?
by Jessi Larson
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 dead,” they suddenly lose interest.
It’s hard to imagine your sweet baby angel as a killer, 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:
1. KONG Wild Knots Bear Dog Tug Toy
Soft and cuddly on the outside but durable and strong, the KONG Wild Knots Bears are loved by dogs. The internal knotted rope satisfies a dog’s natural instincts, and the reinforced plush body provides extra durability.
2. ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toy
Dogs will have hours of fun with these three adorable woodland creatures – a fox, raccoon and squirrel. Each toy includes three high-quality round squeakers to deliver more sound to keep your best friend entertained.
3. ZippyPaws – Loopy Hedgehog No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toy – For Small and Medium Dogs
Durable and entertaining, the Loopy Hedgehog features 6 high-quality round squeakers for maximum entertainment. As another benefit, the toy contains no stuffing ensuring it’ll last longer and provide a mess-free experience.
4. Invincibles Snake Stuffingless Durable Tough Plush Dog Squeaky Toy with Squeakers by Outward Hound
Free from all the extra fluff, these crazy-eyed characters come with the thing dogs love the most: SQUEAKERS! Without the extra stuffing, your dog can shake, tug and play harder with squeakers that were made smarter.
5. Petstages Just For Fun No Stuffing Plush Lil Squeak
The innovative design replaces typical stuffing found in plush toys with two squeakers that keep their form even if punctured. If you’re wondering why do dogs like squeaky toys, try this one out and see for yourself.
6. KONG Dodo Bird Dog Toy
Soft, cuddly and full of character, the KONG Dodo Bird Dog Toy includes an extra loud speaker and an extra layer of material for added toughness.
7. Loofa Dog Plush Dog Toy
This simple and straightforward squeaky toy keeps dogs entertained and engaged.
8. KONG Squiggles Dog Toy
Shake it, stretch it and squeak it – the KONG Squiggles Dog Toy provides plenty of action and excitement for a pup. Wondering why do dogs like squeaky toys? You’ll find out with this toy from KONG.
9. Gigglers Chicken Dog Toy
The Gigglers Chicken Dog Toy is fun for everyone. It’s slogan is, “Just give it a shake and a wiggle, and then listen to the chicken giggle!” That’s right, the squeaker makes a giggling sound.
10. Jalousie 5-Pack Dog Squeaky Toys
Dogs love to play with each other and play with their human beings. This super-value 5-pack is a fun gift for you and your dogs.
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.