Depending on how much you adore your little fluff ball, the constant sound of squeaking from their favorite toy can either be annoying or adorable. We all know the toy that I’m talking about; that beat up and worn out fluffy squirrel shaped toy that your dog brutally plays with all day long like it is the most interesting thing in the world.
These squeaky toys can come in many different shapes and sizes, and it appears like there is no criteria for making your dog enjoy it. If it squeaks, your dog will likely love it. Although the rate at which your dog will play their way through these squeaky toys may have you wondering if it is worth it. Why do dogs like these things anyway?
What about the squeaky toy is so appealing to our canine friends? Well, truth-be-told, there is no concrete evidence to support any theory proposed. Experts in canine behavior have plenty of ideas, but mostly it all comes down to speculation. However, there are some compelling proposed ideas. Let’s explore a few, shall we?
It’s Purely Instinct
All dogs, big or small, come from a common ancestor: Wolves. Wolves today are slightly different than the ones of 10,000 years ago, but the idea remains the same. Dogs became the best friends that we know and love through thousands of years of selective breeding. But no amount of selective breeding can get rid of genetic instinct.
That means that even Mrs. Wimbley’s Yorkie from next-door still, deep down, has a bit of killer in it. Dogs are by their very nature hunters, and it is this knowledge that leads experts to attribute the fascination with squeaky toys to instinct. Simply put, when the toy squeaks, it triggers a primal instinct response that simulates emotions of ‘killing’ prey. Of course, this is purely speculation. However, it is speculation that is based on logical research and is widely accepted as the most popular theory of why dogs love squeaky toys.
It’s For Attention
Dogs are pack animals, that much we know for certain. They are incredibly social, and like humans, they often seek the approval for those that they view as an ‘alpha’ or respected member of their ‘pack.’ Often, YOU are the alpha that they are trying to please. Because of this, any form of behavior that results in attention that we give them is likely to encourage them to continue that behavior.
When a dog squeaks their favorite toy, in many cases, especially when they are young, we are likely to give them attention because of it. The theory posed is that this attention triggers a happy ‘reward’ response within them that makes them want to squeak more!
When they get that attention, it, in turn, makes them enjoy the toy more.
Toys, by their very nature, are designed for entertainment and stimulation. As kids, we all loved toys that gave us an auditory or visual response whenever we interacted with them. Even as adults, we are likely to engage with devices that engage back.
Why should it be any different with dogs? The theory here is that the answer is far more simple than we have made it out to be. That all of this talk of evolutionary instinct and seeking approval is simply over-analyzing the question.
In short, many experts believe that dogs love squeaky toys for no other reason than they are just fun! I mean, come on, how many times have you seen a bell at the counter and wanted to ring it just for fun?
The Best Squeaky Dog Toys
We’re going to give you some options here. But this first one is the only toy on Amazon we found that has about a perfect a review rating as you can get at five stars average.
Bzonsmart Squeaky Ball Dog Toys, Durable Chew Toy, Interactive Dog Toy for 15-80Lb
It’s a little football that squeaks just right and is durable. You don’t have to take our word for it. While many toys hit above four stars, this one has almost perfect Five from Amazon reviewers. We like that it can be used for smallish to large dogs.
Our Next Favorite Best Squeaky Dog Toys
Here are a few of our other favorites:
ZippyPaws – Loopy Hedgehog No Stuffing Squeaky Dog Toy
Fun, durable, unique, and inexpensive; the ZippyPaws toy will quickly become beloved by your puppy.
Chiwava 3 Pack 9″ Squeaky Latex Dog Toys
The Chiwava toys have very good reviews as well on Amazon and come at a great price, considering you get three toys.
What Squeaky Toys Are The Best for my Dog?
No matter what the actual reasoning behind it is, the fact remains that most dogs love squeaky toys. And despite the incessant noise, you and your dog should have one. Having a toy that encourages your dog to play with it, rather than chewing on your shoes or other possessions, is safer for your pup and your property.
However, not all squeaky toys are created equal. You may notice that some toys don’t interest your dog at all. Some fall apart within days of play. You want to ensure that the toy you buy your dog is going to not only entertain them but last a long time and stay safe to use.
There are a few factors that you should consider whenever buying a top-quality squeaky toy:
- Durability. How often have you purchased a toy, only to find your pup completely obliterated it within hours or days? Of course, these toys are made to be chewed on and played with. However, it can be a bit frustrating financially and mentally to have to purchase a new toy multiple times a month.
Make sure to thoroughly research the toy you are buying, ensuring that it is designed with durability in mind. You never want a toy that will fall or tear apart within weeks. This can also lead to health hazards for your pet, which leads us to the next point of interest.
- Safety. Unfortunately, in the day and age of mass-produced low-quality products flooding the market, sometimes the toys we see on the market are not exactly safe. The materials used have no harsh chemicals or small pieces that would easily come off and harm your pet.
You never want to run the risk of your dog ingesting something accidentally that may harm their well-being. Unfortunately, reports of little pups chewing the ‘squeaker’ out of their toy and swallowing it are terribly common. This means that you want to make sure the toy you buy is built to be chewed on by the powerful teeth and jaws of a dog for a long time.
Also, it should be made of safe and non-toxic materials that will not irritate the skin, stomach, or overall wellbeing of your dog. Here are a couple of ideas for great, durable, and safe squeaky dog toys that will give you some ideas!
Summary: Final Thoughts
Making sure that your pup is happy, stimulated, and engaged is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle for your dog. You want to make sure that they have plenty of toys that bring them joy and fill their days with activity.
Even though no one really knows exactly why dogs love squeaky toys for certain, the fact remains that the vast majority of dogs do love them. When you buy your dog’s next toy, remember to make sure it is both safe and durable. Your wallet and your dog’s health will thank you later. Then you can enjoy months of endless squeaking in the background while you try to catch up on your favorite NetFlix series. Ahh, the joys of pet ownership.