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Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys? Vet Approved Facts & Safety Tips

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog with a pink plush dog toy

Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys? Vet Approved Facts & Safety Tips


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Whether it be chasing one or chewing it to within an inch of its life, many dogs love a squeaky toy. Of course, dogs have different preferences when it comes to toys, but squeaky toys are especially popular because they tantalize a dog’s primal instinct—the instinct to catch and kill prey. That’s the short answer, so read on for the full explanation of why dogs can’t get enough of squeaky toys. dogster face divider

Why Squeaky Toys?

Image Credit: tetiana_u, Shutterstock

Most dogs enjoy playing with some form of toy, but squeaky toys have that extra “something” because they make a noise that simulates the sound prey—like rodents and hares—makes out in the wild when captured by a predator. Though the domesticated, pampered pooches we know and love today don’t need to hunt for survival as their wild ancestors did, the instinct to hunt and the sense of gratification that comes from catching something are still deeply ingrained. The fact that squeaky toys are often made of soft, fuzzy material further adds to the simulated hunted experience because it makes them both look and feel like prey when your dog bites down.

Studies have shown that dogs prefer toys that make a noise or can be chewed.1 Biting and chewing causes the release of feel good chemicals like dopamine, encouraging the dog to want to keep playing with the squeaky toy. Our dogs are also likely to get more attention from us when they are playing with a squeaky toy, further reinforcing their enjoyment of the squeaky game.

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Squeaky Dog Toy Safety Tips

Chewing is another natural canine behavior, something they need to do for mental stimulation and dental health purposes. Be careful when it comes to letting your dog chew on squeaky toys because if they manage to extract the squeaker itself, it could become a choking hazard. That’s not the only risk, though. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe while they play:


It’s prudent to always supervise your dog when they’re playing with any toy—squeaky or not. Sometimes, things can happen when we least expect it.

Look for Damage

Regularly examine your dog’s favorite toys to check for signs of damage, like rips that leave the squeaker or stuffing inside exposed or sharp edges caused by chewing.

Bichon Frise bringing his toy to his owner
Image Credit: belefront, Shutterstock

Pick Toys Carefully

Not every toy will suit every dog. A toy that’s too small for your dog’s mouth, for example, could cause them to choke, so think about your dog’s size when you buy something. Another thing to think about is how prolific of a chewer your dog is. Even if you think something looks pretty solid, some dogs can make quick work of chewing through even the toughest-looking toys. Avoid offering stuffed toys designed for children as these aren’t safety-tested for dogs and are too easy to chew through. Instead, look for dog toys that have been safety tested and manufactured by reputable brands.

Final Thoughts

Though squeaky toys give dogs a rush of dopamine and a sense of gratification, they can also be useful in building a bond with your dog. Playing with your dog with a squeaky toy means you’re supervising them just in case, but you’re also creating positive associations by combining two things your dog loves! If your dog is toy-motivated, you can also consider using a squeaky toy as a motivator during training sessions.

Featured Image Credit: leks quintero, Unsplash

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