We have a small dog that loves toys. She will pick one up and carry it around all day and she even has her favorites.
The problem is, when you give her a squeaky toy, she will whine and cry for a long time before she finally calms down and enjoys it. Why does my dog cry at squeaky toys? Is this a cause for concern?
Concerned Pet Parent
Dear Concerned Pet Parent
If your dog is crying at squeaky toys, she is certainly not alone.
Dogs often cry at squeaky toys because they are excited to have them. They consider their toys to be a prized possession and they might get so excited that they don’t know what to do with the toy. You don’t usually have to be concerned about this behavior unless they seem uncomfortable or irritated.
There may also be times when you have additional concerns about their behavior around toys. Below are some of the different reasons why you may need to seek additional help if your dog is not behaving as it should.
Read on to learn more about your dogs strange toy behavior…
Do Squeaky Toys Hurt Dog’s Ears?
Do you have a feeling that your dog may be uncomfortable when they are playing with a squeaky toy? You might not be very far from the truth.
There are certain types of toys that can cause physical discomfort to your dog. In other words, you may just be killing them with kindness.
Dogs have a very keen sense of hearing. What may seem perfectly acceptable to you and me might be painful to the dog. That is one of the reasons why dogs will often howl when they hear a fire truck or an ambulance.
If the squeaky toy is causing them discomfort, they will not likely continue to play with it. It might cause them to become irritated and it won’t be long before the toy just becomes something for you to trip over and will end up in the trashcan.
When your dog shows any type of irritation at a toy it is best to remove it and select another. Considering the wide range of toy options, it isn’t going to be difficult to choose something else that your dog will love.
Are Squeaky Toys Bad For Dogs
Another concern of many pet owners is that the toy they chose for their pet is not good for them. Aside from the possibility that the sound of the toy is causing discomfort, there may also be reasons to consider your dog’s safety when it comes to toy selection.
First of all, it is never a good idea to give your dog a toy and allow them to play with it without being there to supervise. Of course, that isn’t going to be very practical for most pet owners, but unless you trust the toy, you shouldn’t bet your dog’s welfare on it.
Some dogs tend to be very rough on toys and if you aren’t watching them carefully, they will quickly tear it to shreds. That is especially true of toys that are inexpensive and tend to be made for one-time use. Never allow your dog to sit and chew on one of these toys because it can quickly become a choking hazard.
You should also be cautious about cheap squeaky toys that may have a ‘squeaker’ that could become dislodged and choke the animal. This would be tragic, indeed.
Any toy could quickly bring out certain traits in your dog that are not typically seen. This includes a possessive nature and perhaps an instinctive drive to hunt, as these small toys could resemble small animals.
Be watchful of your dog’s behavior when they have a new toy and take action if needed to protect your pet.
Does Your Dog Whine With A Bone In His Mouth?
Your dog may also be whining about a squeaky toy for the same reason that they would whine about having a bone in their mouth. It seems like such kindness on our part to give them a bone to chew on but in the end, it might bring out behavior that is stressful for the dog and for everyone else in the home.
Sometimes, a dog will whine as soon as you give him a bone and it has to do with their stress level. It seems like it would be a simple thing for them to go chew on the bone and enjoy it but they might be so excited, they don’t know what to do about it.
Something very similar can happen when your dog is carrying around a new bone. Dog’s don’t handle stress well so when you put them in an unusual situation, however well-meaning it may be, you are opening up the possibility for them to show this type of behavior.
It doesn’t matter if it is a juicy bone or a squeaky toy, your dog might just love it so much they stress out over it. Given time, they will settle down and enjoy it but you can also introduce it to them gradually to help reduce their stress level.
Does Your Dog Think The Toy Is Their Baby?
One thing that many pet owners tend to do is to humanize their pets. They will often refer to the dog’s toys as their children, and it may just be that they aren’t far off from understanding their dog’s feelings.
Many dogs have strong maternal instincts and they will pass on those instincts to anything that is in their possession. This includes their toys, which they might just carry around and protect.
It can be adorable when your dog shows this type of behavior but it is also a concern for some pet owners. Some dogs will protect their toys to the point where they will snip at others when they come close. This is a type of behavior that is not acceptable, especially if there are small children in the home.
Interestingly, a dog may also start showing certain types of behavior with their toys when they are pregnant. One of the signs of pregnancy is that a dog will hold a soft toy and cry. It may also be a false pregnancy, which sometimes happens after a dog is in heat or if a dog has just been spayed.
Should You Limit How Many Toys Your Dog Owns?
There are some decisions that are best made by pet parents in the home, and this is one of them. It really has to do with the personality of the dog and what his human parents want.
Some dogs are so attached to one toy that they will ignore all other toys, regardless of how many you give them. On the other hand, some dogs have dozens of toys and they treat each one of them with love and respect.
As long as your dog handles the toys well and you aren’t stressing them out by giving them too many toys, then the sky is really the limit. Just make sure that you take care of the toys and check them regularly for damage.
The Last Word in Pet Toy Selection
As a loving pet owner, you do all you can to take care of your furry companion. This would include taking care of both their physical and emotional needs.
There is no doubt about it; dogs love to play and providing them with toys (provided they play with toys) is a kindness on your part. Make sure you are doing what you can to choose toys that are both of high quality and made specifically for the dog’s needs.
As long as your dog is not showing signs of stress or discomfort, crying at a toy may just be their way of showing that they treasure it as a prized possession. Of course, if you have any questions and the dog is not being hurt, you can always ask your vet the next time your pet is in for a visit.