Are Squeaky Toys Bad for Dogs?

November 14, 2021by DOGuide0

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?”


So, Are Squeaky Toys Bad for Dogs?

No, squeaky toys are not bad for dogs. However, they may have some negative side effects.


What’s Wrong with Squeaky Dog Toys?

A new toy with a squeaker inside is like Christmas morning for a child. The noise it makes when squeezed sets most dogs off into a tizzy. For some dogs, that’s a good thing, for others, not so much.


Sparks Dog’s Prey Drive

are squeaky toys bad for dogs

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 (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, stick 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’s 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 of 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


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.

Did you know that you can replace squeakers?

📖Read: Where to Buy Replacement Squeakers for Dog Toys.
are squeaking toys bad for dogs

The Benefits of Squeakers in Stuffed Toys

There are benefits to squeaking toys.

  • 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.


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.

📖 Read: Dog Toys That Make Funny Noises

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.

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