Are Squeaky Toys Bad for Dogs?

November 14, 2022by DOGuide0

Over the last 20+ years of being a dog family, we have purchased hundreds of squeaky dog toys. We’re not alone, either. The most purchased dog toys are squeaky toys. Why? Dogs absolutely love them or hate them so much that they can’t get enough of them. The question isn’t why they are the most popular dog toy, though. The question is, “Are squeaky toys bad for dogs?”

Squeaky Dog Toys: The Bad and Good

Squeaky dog toys are bad for some dogs, and good for other dogs. The high pitch sound doesn’t hurt dogs’ ears, but the noise can lead to undesirable behaviors such as aggression, anxiety, and destruction. Despite that, most veterinarians recommend squeaky dog toys because the benefits outweigh the possible risks.

are squeaky toys bad for dogs

The Aggressive Side of Squeaky Dog Toys

Many people ask the question: do squeaky toys make dogs aggressive? The answer is that squeaky toys do make some dogs aggressive. Below are the reasons dogs become aggressive when they play with squeaky dog toys.

Prey Drive Toy

Plush toys usually look like small animals (real prey) to a dog and when it makes a squeaky noise, the dog believes (even if it’s just for a split second) that it’s alive. This initiates the prey drive within. It’s the reason many of them will mutilate that pet toy in 1.2 seconds.

Is that a good or bad thing? It depends. If that drive doesn’t harm anything except for the heart of the dog owners who just spent money on it, it’s perfectly fine. If it leads to destructive behavior beyond the killing of the small animal stuffed toy, that’s a problem.

Dog owners should pay close attention to what happens after their dog has finished playing with (killing) the stuffed toy. If the dog starts exhibiting aggressive behavior towards small animals (cats or smaller dogs) in the home, dog trainers usually recommend staying away from these types of toys (for example, sticking with tennis balls).

Predatory Behavior

Since dogs seem to believe for a short time the high-pitched squeak from squeaker toys is a real animal sound, the dog’s prey drive could lead to predatory behavior leading to problems with the dog’s behavior outside of just threatening smaller dogs and cats in the home.

No pet owner wants to have an emergency situation on their hands because their dog believes another pup is real prey.

Destructive Behavior

Predatory behavior has no place inside a home. It can lead to chewing on furniture, edges of tables, and stairs. This destructive behavior can cause a lot of problems in the love affair between dog and dog owner, which doesn’t fall in line with Dog Ownership Guide’s mission:

Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners

Warning: Possible Choking Hazard

Squeaking toys can be a choking hazard. Many dogs, especially younger dogs, will chew on the squeaker once they have conquered removing it from the toy. Those small pieces of plastic can get lodged in a younger dog’s throat causing a medical emergency. Dog owners should watch younger dogs and take the toy away from the noisemaker that has been removed.
are squeaking toys bad for dogs

Why Squeaky Toys Are Good for Dogs

People may be quick to say that squeaky toys or bad for dogs after reading about what can happen because of them, but it’s not all bad. Veterinarians recommend squeaky toys because they benefit dogs in the following ways:

  • They spark a dog’s attention when needed.
  • They can entertain a dog for hours.
  • Most squeaking toys are great for a dog’s teeth. Chewing on stuffed toys or rubber ones is good for dental health because it rubs the dog’s teeth, which cleans them. This is especially true for toys specially designed for dental health.
  • Mental stimulation is highly beneficial to dogs of all ages, and loud toys like the ones with squeakers provide it.
  • Visually-impaired dogs can’t play with many toys, but they can play with soft toys that make a sound since they can identify where they are by the sound.

FAQ About Squeaky Dog Toys

Should You Buy Squeaking Toys for Your Dog?

Whether or not you should purchase squeaking toys for your dog depends on how your dog reacts to them. If the predatory instincts in your dog are not controllable, then it’s not a good idea to use them. There are many other soft toys that your dog will love, and some of them even make other sounds that may not spark that prey drive.

Learn More: Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys

If you’re a new dog owner, go ahead and see how squeaky toys work for your new pup, and then decide. It will surely grab your dog’s attention for a good chunk of time, and as long as your pooch is calm and happy after playing, squeaky dogs aren’t bad for your dog.

Replace the Squeaker in Dog Toys

Did you know that you can replace the squeaker after it no longer makes a noise? When a dog pierces the squeaker through the toy, it won’t make the sound anymore, which could turn your pup away from the toy. Instead of throwing away your hard-earned money, you can buy replacement squeakers for dog toys.

by DOGuide

Dog Ownership Guide – D.O.G. – launched in 2021 to meet the needs of dog owners and their dogs worldwide. Our website is a place to not only learn, shop, and entertain, but share as well. Leave a comment, contact us, or learn more about the founder.

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