Things to Look for in a Squeaky Dog Toy
It’s important to look for the following to help you choose the best squeaky dog toy for your precious pup:
Choosing a toy made from high-quality materials ensures it’s safer and likely to last longer.
The type of material the toy is made from will be a big factor in how durable it is. If your dog is a small breed and not a rough player, a slightly less durable squeaker toy may be suitable, such as a plush toy. If your dog is a medium or large breed and loves rough play, you’ll need a toy that is durable and sturdy to ensure it can withstand your active play sessions, like a rubber toy.
Squeaky dog toys come in a wide variety of types, for example plush toys, rubber balls, puzzle toys, and treat dispensers. Consider what type of play your dog will find most stimulating and which will suit their play style.
Correct Size for Your Dog
It’s crucial to choose a toy that’s the right size for your dog. Ideally, it should be small and light enough that they can pick it up, carry it, and play with it comfortably. Yet it shouldn’t be so small that it would pose a choking risk or be easily destroyed.
Correct Chew Strength for Your Dog
Check the description to ensure the toy you choose will stand up to your dog’s chew strength. Descriptions will typically state whether toys stand up to light, moderate, or power chewing. Picking a toy with the right chew strength ensures the toy will be long-lasting and safe for your dog.
Physical and Mental Stimulation
Playtime should be physically and mentally stimulating for your dog. Think about what type of play they enjoy and choose a toy that will get them moving and engage their mind.
Why Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys?
Aside from being just plain fun, there are a few reasons why dogs adore squeaky toys. Firstly, the squeak of toys mimics the sounds of prey your dog’s ancestors would have hunted, so it’s innately programmed into your dog to get excited by the squeak. Some dogs enjoy the squeak of a toy because it attracts their owner’s attention and they know when they squeak the toy, it will likely end up in a fun game.
Research shows that when dogs squeak a toy it releases feel good chemicals in their brain, making them want to repeat that action to get the same pleasure. Dr. McCarthy, founder of the Juniper Valley Animal Hospital in Middle Village, explains: “Several studies have shown that certain sounds like those a squeaky toy makes trigger reward centers in the brain to release the feel-good chemical dopamine—much like a runner’s high”.
Benefits of Play for Your Dog
As well as making your dog feel good, playtime has plenty of benefits for your pup including:
- Improving and maintaining their physical health: Play keeps your dog physically active which keeps their joints, heart, and body healthy. It helps your dog to maintain a healthy weight and contributes to their overall exercise requirements. Play reduces the risk of health conditions later in life and even improves their balance and coordination.
- Enhancing mental health: Play keeps your dog mentally stimulated which improves their focus, memory, and general cognition. It also improves their mental health, ensuring they’re happy and fulfilled. It helps to prevent boredom and even reduces the risk of behavioral issues.
- Bonding: Play strengthens the bond between you and your dog and builds trust. Play can even help your dog build bonds with other dogs and people.
- Training: Playtime offers a fun way to learn new commands, as well as providing an opportunity to improve listening and responding skills.
Playing with your dog is even proven to be great for your own mental health, reducing stress and promoting happiness: so, it’s a win-win!
Squeaky Dog Toy Safety Advice
Always choose a toy of the right chew strength and size for your dog to ensure they’re comfortable and safe during play. Supervised play is best to prevent any potential choking or blockage hazards. Always end playtime and take the toy away from your dog if it breaks.
Squeaky Dog Toy FAQ
Are squeaky toys safe for dogs?
Yes, when you choose a toy of the appropriate size and strength for your dog and supervise play, squeaky toys are perfectly safe for your dog.
Playtime with your best friend is beneficial for you both, not to mention tons of fun! The right squeaky toy can enhance playtime and keep your dog coming back for more.
Lisa Marie Conklin, (2021), “Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?” Reader’s Digest.