Many owners often have the question: “Why do dogs like squeaky toys?” If your dog loves squeaky toys, he’s certainly not alone. Go to any pet store – you will find many squeaky toys made of different materials. Pet owners notice that it is with them the pet is much more willing to play, trying to tear them and get to the middle. What is so special about these toys that are so attractive to dogs?
Main reasons why do dogs like squeaky toys
The main theory behind why do dogs like squeaky toys so much has to do with their hunting instinct. It is believed that the squeak of a toy is similar to the piercing cry of stalked or captured prey. When a small animal is caught in a dog’s paws, it makes a loud, shrill sound to warn its other fellows of danger. Even the smallest dogs have hunting instincts, however underdeveloped. Long ago, dogs’ ancestors had to hunt for food, so this instinct was passed on to modern dogs.
Buying your pet such squeaky fun, the owner brings him sincere joy. The dog satisfies its natural need, still feeling like a predator. Brain activity also develops, developing a quick reaction time. Such entertainment will also be useful for chewing function, especially for puppies.
Yes, toys with squeakers quite often for dogs imitate the scenario of chasing and capturing prey, but other experts interpret such a reaction as a desire for “immediate gratification”. This means that as soon as the toy squeaks even slightly, dogs become obsessed with getting the source of the sound. The animal simply cannot leave the toy alone. There is only one way for her to get to the part making that annoying sound, and that is to tear the toy apart.
The squeaky sound probably sends some kind of positive signal to the dog that has to do with gratification. It’s similar to training: when the animal follows a command correctly, it receives a reward, a treat, for example, as satisfaction. The dog gets a signal that it has done everything right. Similarly, when your pet bites a squeaker, he receives a reward in the form of a sound that signals that the dog has done the task or command correctly.
Is it safe to play with squeak toys for dogs?
Cynologists believe that these toys are essential for our four-legged friends. They promote physical activity, strengthen bonds between animals and owners, and allow dogs to act on their own instincts. And considering that most other canine instincts (growling, howling, biting, digging, chasing prey) are forbidden in housekeeping, let your dog let his instincts run wild at least with a chew toy. This is very good for the animal. These toys help them get a feel for the behavior of their ancestors, who hunted for food. But for some dogs, squeaky toys can be a trigger – they can awaken the dormant hunting instincts in the pet so much that it will redirect them to other animals. So be careful if you have very small dogs in your home.
In general, there is nothing wrong with playing with squeaky toys. But you need to follow some rules to avoid undesirable consequences:
Don’t let your dog chew squeaky toys
As fun as they are, they can cause injury. Many squeaky toys contain a small plastic part. It can be very dangerous, especially if swallowed whole since it can cause intestinal obstruction requiring surgery or suffocation. Therefore, be sure to supervise your dog while playing with such a toy.
Offer your pet different toys
Don’t limit yourself to squeakers. Let your dog realize his desire to chew something with special toys designed specifically for chewing. And in general: The more variety in his choice of toys, the less bored he will be.
When shopping for play balls or balls, take note of their size relative to your dog’s size. Smaller balls are slippery enough that they can easily slide down your dog’s throat and cause strangulation.
If your dog likes to tear and chew, soft squeaky toys can be just as dangerous. The eyes, noses, and other small parts of these toys can be chewed off and swallowed by your pet.
Control your dog’s playtime
If your dog is behaving destructively with squeaky toys, don’t let him play unsupervised, and remove the toy immediately if it is damaged. Of course, the dog understands that the toy is not his living prey, but because it awakens his hunting instinct, the dog probably won’t leave the toy alone until the squeaky toy stops making those noises. That’s why they tear apart the toy and the sound element. In theory, this means that the dog has caught his prey and will now stop attacking the toy.
Squeaky toys are not harmful by themselves to any dog. The important thing is to use them correctly and keep your dog safe. This applies to any object your dog interacts with, though.
Choosing squeak toys for dogs
In choosing such a toy, you need to pay attention to the quality of workmanship. The outer part should be sturdy, and rigid. This is necessary so that the dog will not be able to chew it. And he will try to do it! Even if she succeeds, you need to make sure that no small pieces or parts are available to her. A bad moment and the dog may get a foreign body in the airways.
Nowadays the choice of such toys is very wide: these are various balls, sticks, and balls with spikes. Separately, toys in the form of animals can be distinguished – a reminder of living victims. If the owner wants to give his dog pleasure, to encourage him, then a toy with sound will be a good choice.
Parameters for choosing a toy for the pet
- Toys should be made of safe and non-toxic materials;
- The product should not emit an unpleasant chemical odor;
- The toy must have a perfect shape, even joints;
- If the set has additional parts (eg, squeaker), make sure that it is well fixed;
- Fabric toys should have sturdy seams.
When choosing a pet toy, it is also advisable to consider your dog’s personality and preferences. For example, if your dog likes to chew on slippers and other things in the house, get him a sturdy rubber toy that he can chew. Active outdoor toys are great for energetic dogs. If the puppy is new to the house and the owner has not yet determined the preferences and temperament of the new friend, you can buy a few toys that can diversify the dog’s leisure time. In the future, this will help to understand what toys she is most interested in.
Interaction with squeaky toys activates the brain, trains memory, and keeps the dog alert. Keep in mind that it is not right to simply offer a puppy or adult dog a toy and walk away, leaving him alone. You need to teach your pet to play so that he gets interested and understands what he needs to do. Toys are a wonderful help, they allow not only for fun and development for our pup but also for us to have an exhilarating experience ourselves. We shouldn’t forget that when you take home a puppy, you are taking responsibility for a living, dependent creature.