Are Squeaky Toys Bad For Dogs?

If you have a pet, you know that toys are an essential part of everyday life. For dogs, they’re a source of comfort and joy. They also provide health benefits, including dental care and physical exercise. As far as enrichment activities go, squeaky toys are often at the top of the list for dogs. But should they be? Perhaps you’re now wondering to yourself, ‘are squeaky toys good or bad for dogs?’

Are squeaky toys bad for dogs? It depends. Dogs with a high prey drive can be obsessed and driven to ‘kill’ the squeaker inside a toy. This can trigger hyperactivity and aggression in some canines. Some dogs can also ingest the squeaker and end up at the vet’s.

Now that you know when squeaky toys are ‘bad’ for dogs, we’ll take a closer look at this in this article. We’ll discuss why dogs ‘go crazy’ for squeaky toys and what squeaky toys are used for (besides play). What to do should the unthinkable happen, and your dog swallows one. We’ll even include an example of a ‘good’ squeaky toy that’s safe for dogs. If you’re ready to learn more about squeaky toys in relation to dogs and their behavior, then let’s begin!

Why Do Dogs Go Crazy for Squeaky Toys?

Dogs ‘go crazy’ for squeaky toys because it triggers their natural instinct to catch and kill! They’ll go after the squeaker in the toy so intently that they’ll sometimes wreck it. Once the squeak is gone, they’ll often lose interest. It’s similar to an animal in the wild that ends up walking away from a kill.

My dog Vinnie is one of these squeaker killers. He loves to tear out the insides of stuffed toys with squeakers. This results in a trail of white stuffing and chewed squeakers throughout the house.

Are squeaky toys bad for dogs ears?
My dog Vinnie the squeaky toy killer

Why Does My Dog Hate Squeaky Toys?

While some dogs love playing with squeaky toys, others hate it! Dogs that hate it find the noise of the squeaker off-putting or annoying. In fact, the sound can be so irritating that it even causes anxiety or stress for some dogs.

It’s essential to recognize the signs that indicate a negative response to a squeaky toy. This includes whining, howling, or running away and hiding.

Are Squeaky Toys Bad For Dogs?

Do squeaky toys make dogs aggressive?

Squeaky toys can trigger aggression in some dogs.

The sound mimics that of a scared or injured animal, prompting most canines to attack. This desire to catch and kill is instinctive to canines in the wild, such as wolves, hyenas, and jackals.

This squeaking sound can cause aggression, hyperactivity and destructive behavior in some dogs.

What do I do if my dog has swallowed a squeaky toy?

There is a risk of your dog ingesting part (or all) of a squeaky toy.

Toys that are too small can be swallowed by large dogs or get lodged in their throat, causing them to choke. You must supervise your pet whenever he/she is playing with a squeaky toy. The stuffing, squeaker plastic, and other material used to make it can be toxic if eaten.

Call your veterinarian right away if your pet swallows a squeaky toy. Take your dog to the vet’s as soon as possible.

The doctor will either induce vomiting to expel the toy or may try to retrieve the toy from your pet’s stomach.

A toy left inside your dog could damage the digestive tract and the small and large intestines. This could result in peritonitis (abdominal infection), sepsis (blood infection), and possible death!

Why do dogs howl at squeaky toys?
Squeaker toys destroyed by my dog Vinnie

Do Dogs Need Squeaky Toys?

While toys are a part of a happy, healthy lifestyle for most pets, dogs don’t necessarily ‘need’ squeaky toys.

Squeaky toys appeal to a canine’s inherent ‘catch and kill’ nature. This is common in predatory animals. Some negative behavioral traits can be triggered with squeaky toys. These include hyperactivity, aggression, and destructive tendencies.

Allowing your dog to play with squeaky toys and act on his/her natural instincts is, for the most part, healthy.

By ‘hunting’ these toys, canines release pent-up energy as well as explore their ‘wild side’.

In other words, let your dog be a dog!

If your dog doesn’t display signs of aggression or stress when playing with a squeaky toy, let him/her have fun with it!

What Is The Best Squeaky Toy For Dogs?

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a squeaky toy for your pet is safety. One of the top-rated brands is the Nerf Dog Squeaker Football Toy.

This squeaker football is lightweight, durable, water-resistant, non-toxic, BPA-free, and comes in assorted colors. It’s best suited for medium to large dogs. This toy will provide your pet with hours of enjoyment and fun!

Related Questions

Are squeaky toys bad for a dog’s ears?

Squeaky toys aren’t ‘bad’ for a dog’s ears. They’re often used to test for hearing or deafness in dogs. Most canines respond immediately to the higher frequencies generated by the squeaking sound.

Squeaky toys are considered safe by most veterinarians, as long as they’re made specifically for dogs.

Why does my dog cry when he plays with squeaky toys?

If a dog cries upon hearing this squeaky sound, it could simply be that he/she is wary of the toy. Or, it could be that he/she is forming an attachment to it.

A ‘possessive response to ownership’ of the toy could also be why he/she whines when it squeaks. As well, it could be that your pet is trying to get your attention to start playtime with both you and the toy.

Why do dogs howl at squeaky toys?

If a dog howls when it hears this squeaky sound, it could be that he/she is suspicious of the toy. As well, it could be just a natural response to hearing a loud or high-pitched sound. As you well know, dogs will often howl when they hear sirens blaring or music playing. Or, it could merely be the result of their natural, wild animal instincts or prey drive kicking in.

How to silence a squeaky toy?

If you have a loud squeaky toy that your dog loves but drives you nuts, you can silence it by placing a piece of tape over the spot where it squeaks. Scotch tape should work unless the sound is coming from a larger area, in which case, you’ll need to use packing tape instead. Or, you could simply wait it out as your dog will likely destroy the squeaker on his/her own in time.


While squeaky toys aren’t ‘bad’ for dogs, they can trigger hyperactivity and aggression. These toys can sometimes lead to destructive, even dangerous behavior. This can then lead to attacks on smaller animals and even children.

Every dog is unique and will react differently to squeaky toys. This depends on his/her personality and genetic disposition. Squeaky toys explicitly manufactured for dogs are usually considered safe by most veterinarians. The key is to monitor your pet’s behavior while playing and watch for any signs of aggression and/or stress.

Cheers to happy, healthy pets!

We’re Crazy About Dogs and Toys

Author - Jane

Jane owns 2 high-energy dogs - Kuzy the Welsh Terrier and Vinnie the Wire Fox Terrier. Jane's favorite thing to do is take her dog on long walks in the woods. They also love hiking, kayaking, and boating together. Jane walks her dogs several times a day whether it's raining, snowing or just plain cold. She is interested in teaching Kuzy how to Barn Hunt. Jane walks rescue dogs on the weekend so that they can enjoy a little fresh air and exercise.

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