If your dog who loves playing with toys, squeaking is a noise that's probably far too familiar. The high-pitched sound that comes from squeaky toys can be pretty annoying to us humans (especially when it's repetitive), but our canine companions love them. Why do they appeal so much to your dog? We detail that here, along with some benefits and risks of these squeakers:
Why Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys?
There are a couple reasons why researchers and behaviorists believe dogs love squeaky toys. Here are the main ones:
One reason dogs are drawn to squeaky toys is that they bring out their animalistic instincts. It goes back to your dog's wolf ancestry as a hunter of small animals. To your dog, squeaky toys can resemble the sound these small animals made. The noise activates a dog's hunting instinct, which is often why they try to break the squeaking mechanism or "kill" it.
Stimulation and reward
Another reason dogs love squeaky toys is that they can take playing to another level because of the sound they make. For starters, it gives your dog instant and continued stimulation and enrichment. Every squeak is almost as though the toy is playing back with your dog, which makes your dog want to squeeze it again. Once he or she does, the toy's squeak gives your dog more stimulation, causing the cycle to continue. In addition, dogs who like the squeaking see it as a positive thing, which means the noise provides instant gratification and reward to them.
Benefits Of Squeaky Toys
Squeaky toys provide several benefits to our canine companions. Here are the major ones:
1. Allowing your dog to act on its instincts
Squeaky toys bring out your dog's natural prey drive, which allows them to "be a dog." This provides a healthy outlet for their instincts and reduces the risk that they'll take those out through other more destructive or aggressive behaviors.
2. Improve Dental Health
Dogs love to chew and squeaky toys bring out their natural urge to do so. More importantly, chewing on toys can help improve your dog's dental health. It scrapes your dog's teeth and massages his or her gums, which can reduce plaque buildup. In addition, chewing on toys can help puppies when they're teething.
Squeaky toys are a form of playing, which has its own benefits for your dog. In general, playtime is important because it provides mental stimulation and physical exercise. Toys can help your dog release pent-up energy and reduce the chances he or she engages in destructive behaviors out of boredom or attention-seeking.
If your dog loves squeaky toys, they can also be an effective training tool. This is because your dog gets excited around the toy, which can help motivate him or her to do a command. Not only will the squeaking be a good way to get your dog's attention, it can also be used as a reward for positive reinforcement. For instance, if your dog obeys a command or properly carries out a task, you can give him or her the toy as a reward.
Risks of Squeaky Toys
While squeaky toys are fun for your dog and provide many benefits, they also come with some risks that other toys don't. This is because squeaky toys each have a small squeaking mechanism that, if removed and swallowed, can be a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage. Even if your dog doesn't tend to destroy toys, these ones can trigger his or her hunting instinct, making them more likely to want to find the squeaker and remove it.
To avoid any dangers, supervise your dog any time he or she is playing with a squeaky toy. In addition, inspect the toys regularly so you can remove any that are damaged or potentially dangerous. Following these simple guidelines will help keep your pup happy and safe around squeaky toys.