When you browse through the local pet store, you will find all types of toys for your four-legged pal. One of the most popular choices is the squeaky toy. Dogs go crazy for these toys. Here are a few reasons why they choose these squeakies over others in the toy bin.
Squeakies Equal Fun Times
There are a few reasons why your furry pal loves his squeaky toy. However, some of the top reasons are related to the canine's basic instincts of chewing and hunting. That squawking sound also plays a role as dogs enjoy hearing it squeak as they chew.
Let's take a deeper look at why your dog loves those squeaky toys.
Your little furry pal might be pampered, but those canine instincts are still present. Most squeaky toys are fuzzy and small. In some cases, they are shaped like things that the dog would hunt in the wild. Some squeaker toys even make the same sounds as a dog's natural prey. Those alarm sounds create excitement in your dog, and they want to keep hearing those noises.
This would explain why hunting breeds just adore squeaky toys more than their non-hunting counterparts. Some dogs even love to shred these toys. For example, terriers were bred to find rats, and when they get ahold of a squeaker toy, their instinct is to destroy it.
However, no matter the breed, any dog could love playing with a squeaky toy. Some dogs just play with them differently than others. A Jack Russell will only take a few minutes to destroy the squeaky, while that miniature Schnauzer will just enjoy listening to the high pitch sound.
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Speaking of sound, this is another reason why your dog will love a squeaky toy. A dog who chews on the squeaker will get some instant gratification from the sound. While the high-pitched noise might be annoying to you, dogs go crazy for the sound.
In some cases, that squeak can trigger the positive feedback loop. The squeak will trigger dopamine in the dog's brain to be released, leading to a happy experience for your canine pal. As your dog continues to squeak on the toy, they will continue to get that dopamine rush over and over.
Related: How to Train a Dog to Share Toys
Your dog might use that squeaker to get a little attention from you. When they screech those toys, many owners will shower their furry friends with plenty of praise and treats. Every time your dog squawks the toy and you join for some playtime, the dog will associate the toy with mom or dad playtime. You might think that the dog is training you to act on command. Who can say "no" to a cute furry face?
Finally, chewing is just fun for dogs. Most dogs love to chew on things, especially those squeaky toys. You will find that younger puppies enjoy squeaky toys since they are teething and next to exercise their jaws. However, not all dogs are the same. Some dogs love those soft rubber toys, while older dogs will get a sense of enjoyment from those plush squeaky toys.
If you have a powerful chewer, you might want to check out those "indestructible" toys. These toys can handle the powerful jaws of those hardy chewers. These toys are made with heavy plastics, vinyl, or rubber. In some cases, they will last longer than those soft plushies. You should keep in mind that these toys will need to be replaced eventually.
Remember that a dog's toy preference does change over the years. As a puppy, your dog might love those rubbery toys, but as they mature, they may have a preference for the softer varieties.
Playing With Squeaky Toys
You might think that you just throw the ball at your dog, and the pup's instincts will take over. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can make playtime more enjoyable for your dog. Many people will simply shake the squeaky in front of the dog's face, but many more dogs will respond to a toy that acts more like prey. Remember that a rabbit will not come up to your dog and put on a little dance. You might want to slowly move the toy along the floor to help stimulate the prey drive in your pooch.
Related: How to Wash Dog Toys
You might not think about it, but those fun dog toys could pose a danger. The stuffing, squeaker, and plastic pieces can pose a health hazard to your dog if they happen to digest them. With any toy, you always want to supervise your dog during playtime.
At least once a week, check for rips, tears, or broken-off parts. If you find anything, make sure to throw out the toy, especially if it is a plastic item. For those plush toys, if there are holes with stuffing protruding from them, you can either sew it up or toss it away. You should throw out any damaged rubber and plastic toys since those hard plastic edges can cut gums and break teeth. You want your dog to have fun, but you need to make sure they stay safe as well.
Squeaky toys can bring some fun into your dog’s life. These toys can stimulate your dog's natural instincts. Plus, they get to spend quality time playing with you. Just make sure all damaged toys are replaced with a fresh one to keep up the fun times for your dog.
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