Dogs love to play, and if there are dog toys to play with, they’ll have some serious fun. The kind of toys dogs like to play with may vary across breeds or within the same species. Some canines fancy the harder toys they could chew on; certain other pooches prefer Frisbees or balls; and there are other dogs that like soft, squeaky toys.
Dogs like squeaky toys because they remind them of their prey. Ripping apart the plush toy and/or hearing the squeaky noises can be extremely satisfying to certain canines. Some dogs, however, may not feel as ravenous and could instead find the squeakiness alluring and stimulating in a pleasant way.
Keep reading to learn more about why dogs like squeaky toys, the benefits for them in playing with such toys, and also our top squeaky toy recommendations.
The Hunting Instinct in Dogs Come to the Fore
Canines belong to the same family as wolves. In fact, both mammals have similar DNAs. This means their behavioral qualities are quite similar too. As mentioned above, the squeakiness of soft toys reminds dogs of the sound their prey makes when injured or frightened. When the toy stops squeaking, the dog believes its victim has been killed successfully and that it could stop with its onslaught.
Though common across different dog breeds, the hunting instinct or stimulation is usually typical of terriers, herding, and sporting breeds. In fact, when humans initially started to breed dogs, this prey drive was a lot more apparent and intense in particular breeds compared to certain other types of dogs.
Instant Gratification is Another Reason
Another likely theory why your pooch fancies the squeaky noise is it cannot resist the instant reward or pleasure it derives from hearing the sound. The continual auditory response characteristic of squeaky toys intimates the dog that its bite has been effective at creating a reaction. This feeling is the exact opposite of how your dog feels when it chews on a silent, unresponsive toy.
Squeaky Toys’ Health Benefits for Dogs
Squeaky toys typically feature a couple of super-tough fabric layers and a unique squeaker that makes the characteristic sound. If your dog likes to play with squeaky toys, you could expect it to have fun with it for a relatively long period.
Besides the fun part, there are some other benefits in letting your dog goof around with squeaky toys.
Lets Your Dog Be Itself
For humans, an ideal pet is one that takes instructions, safeguards the family, and showers love and affection. For dogs, on the other hand, an ideal life would be freaking out and having unhindered fun. A squeaky toy helps a dog do just that, albeit in a safe and protected environment. The physical activity involved in playing with the dog benefits your dog’s bones, muscles, and tendons too.
Helps Discipline Your Pet
Playtime with squeaky toys also works as a healthy outlet for your dog. In other words, your dog is able to release its pent-up energy on squeaky toys. This means it is unlikely to unleash its natural self on things that it shouldn’t be messing around with, which includes your beautifully landscaped garden and furniture.
Squeaky toys could also work as training tools, or to attract your dog’s attention when needed and promote/reward good behavior. For instance, if your dog is messing around with your shoe, you may offer it a squeaky toy as an alternative.
Top 7 Squeaky Toys
If you are convinced squeaky toys are the definition of fun for homebred dogs, here are the top seven squeaky toys you should be looking at when shopping:
P.S. The recommendations below are not ranked or in any particular order. Moreover, the prices are subject to change.
|VANFINE Squeaky Toy
|4.2/5 (5,700+ ratings)
|Multipet Lambchop Plush Dog Toy
|4.5/5 (9,900+ ratings)
|ZippyPaws NomNomz Plush Squeaker
|4.6/5 (1,800+ ratings)
|Barkbox Dog Squeak Toys
|4.5/5 (6,600+ ratings)
|Legend Sandy Squeaky Toy Pack
|4.6/5 (1,100+ ratings)
|Chiwava 2.4” Squeak Latex Puppy Toy
|4.5/5 (1,800+ ratings)
|Outward Hound Hedgehogz Toy
|4.4/5 (6,000+ ratings)
VANFINE Squeaky Toy
Made of durable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly rubber, this squeaky toy by VANFINE is an elastic and soft toy with an integrated squeaker that makes fun sounds every time your dog chews on it. The rubber material is not just safe for dogs but is also quite durable. It has been designed to withstand even the most aggressive of chewers. For scent and flavor, the beef flavor has been incorporated to cater to your canine’s natural chewing instincts.
According to the maker, the toy has been tested for use by German Shepherds, Siberian huskies, Mastiffs, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, etc. The toy, however, may not stand up to a Pitbull’s aggressiveness.
The makers are so confident of the durability and longevity of their product, they back it up with a lifetime replacement warranty.
Multipet Lambchop Plush Dog Toy
The Multipet lambchop dog toy is a 10-inch tall puppet from Shari Lewis’ TV shows. If you remember watching her shows as a kid, you would be able to recognize this plush dog toy almost instantly. This squeaking toy has five squeakers in it and runs on three batteries. It isn’t the most difficult toy to tear apart, but you can sew it back and make it ready for the next dog attack.
ZippyPaws NomNomz Plush Squeaker
NomNomz plush squeaker by ZippyPaws is an adorable taco-like plushie. It packs in a couple of high-quality squeakers that packs in some truly great sound. The toy is cuddly, soft, and stuffing-filled, making it ideal for your pet’s sensitive teeth and gums. Also, it’s lightweight and the perfect size for small and medium-size dogs.
Barkbox Dog Squeak Toys
This Barkbox offering is a two-in-one shaped in the form of a cactus. The toy is generously packed with fluffy components and interactive elements, making the toy ideal for trashing, shredding, and squeaking. The toy has a mini squeaker within. The non-toxic plush material used ensures your dog’s safety.
The toy is perfect for various dog games, such as tug of war and fetching. It suits medium and large-sized dogs and might help you create a bond or strengthen your existing relationship with your pet.
Legend Sandy Squeaky Toy Pack
This squeaky toy pack from Legend Sandy consists of 14 cute squeaky toys, which shall be good enough to keep your dog occupied for at least a month. Made using soft cotton fabric and non-toxic plush, the toy’s high-quality stitching ensures increased durability and longer life.
Moreover, besides the squeaking noises, some of the plush toys also have crinkly parts, making them ideal for small canines that prefer to squeak their toys instead of chewing on them.
Chiwava Squeak Latex Puppy Toy
This four-piece, 2.4-inch squeaky toy set is ideal for small dog play. The four pieces come in different colors and are made of non-toxic latex rubber. The toys are squeaky, bouncy, and have zero stuffing. They are designed to resemble a pig, frog, bear, and a chicken. If you have a small dog that weighs less than 24 pounds (11 kg), this toy set would be ideal.
Outward Hound Hedgehogz Toy
This squeaky dog toy by Outward Hound is a plush toy your pooch would love to cuddle with. Made using soft faux fur and sporting minimal seams, this durable toy’s irresistible noises encourage play and hunt behavior in your dog. The toy’s rounded shape makes it easy for your dog to carry it around, snuggle up to in bed, or roll with. The toy comes in four sizes to cater to both big and small dogs. The larger variants come with additional noisemakers.
If you’re not sure what toys would suit your dog the best, it’s advised you consider your dog’s size and level of activity. If you have a beagle, Boston Terrier, Affenpinscher, or some other small dog breed, look for plush, stuffed animals equipped with squeakers.
If, however, you own a larger breed such as the Alaskan malamute, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, etc., look at rubber toys, squeaky balls, or any toy that squeaks and can also withstand the rough handling of your dog.
Do Not Leave Your Dog and Its Soft, Squeaky Toys Alone
If your pet dog likes to annihilate its soft toys, never allow your pet to spend alone time with its puppets.
When not supervised, your dog could end up ingesting the soft, squeaky toy assuming it to be actual prey. The ingestion could cause some major health complications and could need surgery to take out the swallowed toy. Such ingestion is usually the case when the toy is extremely soft, plush, and/or has real fur.
By not offering your dog access to its soft, squeaky toys in your absence or being around when your dog plays with the toy, you are not just avoiding accidents but also ensuring the toy remains in good, usable condition for long.
Also, if your dog is of the overstimulated type, limit its playtime with its squeaky toys. Also, make sure your dog earns its time with the toys. It should exhibit good behavior before you throw the soft toy in its direction. And if the toy gets damaged, replace it as the ripped apart toy would only pose greater health risks to your dog.
Like humans, dogs love to play too. As the caretaker of the dog, it’s your responsibility to learn what your dog’s version of fun is and cater to those instincts. Squeaky toys invariably appeal to all dogs. Therefore, you are not getting it wrong if you’re buying a few for your pet. Just make sure you buy the right size and kind so that your dog could have some real fun.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.