Silence is precious – and perhaps no one recognizes this fact better than pet parents who work from home. When the pandemic hit and many folks moved their office to the house, we know that dogs across the globe were thrilled to get additional time with their owners. What we didn’t realize, though, is how much distracting noise our dog’s toys create throughout the day.
If you’re searching for the best noiseless dog toys, just remember that the squeaking sound made by your dog’s most annoying toys actually has a purpose for your pet. But there’s good news: dog toys that are noiseless or quiet for us can actually still provide that satisfying sound for our dog.
Here’s our guide for what to look for in a noiseless dog toy and our top seven picks for the best kind of quiet dog toy.
Why Your Dog Likes Squeaky Toys
It might be tempting to simply trade out all of your dog’s noisy toys for silent plush toys, but that’s not necessarily a good idea. Squeaky toys can be satisfying and even healthy for your dog because:
- They provide instant gratification
- They satisfy your pet’s hunting instincts
- They stimulate independent play
Squeaky Toys Are Immediately Gratifying for Dogs
Squeaky toys weren’t designed just to annoy you while you try to enjoy movie night – in fact, the traditional squeaker noise provides a very important sense of gratification for your dog.
The sound indicates to your dog that their bite is “working.” This encourages your dog to keep biting and chewing, which makes the toy actually engaging for them. A truly silent toy, like a plushy, doesn’t provide this same stimulation.
A Noisy Toy Triggers Your Pet’s Primal Hunting Instinct
Biting and chewing are instinctual for your dog because these behaviors provide natural dental care and they also used to be an important part of your dog’s survival in the wild. The squeaking sound tells your dog not only that his bite is working, but also that he isn’t finished with his task.
A dog’s instinct is to bite their prey until the “animal” is no longer making any sound. This is why squeaky toys can amuse your dog for hours – in the primal part of their brain, the task of killing their prey is not finished until the sound is silenced.
Toys with Sound Encourage Your Dog to Play Alone
Sound is a crucial part of the interactivity of a toy. Many of the best interactive toys for dogs have sounds that inspire your dog to keep playing, even if you’re busy. Especially if you’re looking to get some peace, the sound of a dog toy can keep your dog engaged on their own, rather than requiring you to keep them entertained.
Truly Noiseless Dog Toys: Ultrasonic Squeak Toys
You have a few different options when it comes to noiseless dog toys. One of the most popular options is an ultrasonic squeak toy. Let’s examine how these toys work and take a look at a few of our favorites.
An Ultrasonic Squeaker That Only Dogs Can Hear
The magic of ultrasonic squeakers is that your dog can hear them, but you can’t. Dogs have especially sensitive hearing, and that works to a dog owner’s advantage when you’re looking for a noiseless dog toy. Humans can’t hear 20,000 hertz, but dogs can – so ultrasonic squeakers give them all the satisfaction of a regular squeaky toy while you relax in silence.
Hear Doggy! Flat Ultrasonic Squeaker Toy
This ultrasonic squeaker toy made by Hear Doggy is highly rated on Amazon, and for good reason. It's truly a noiseless dog toy because of the ultrasonic squeaker. And the flat design with very little stuffing prevents even the most aggressive chewers from making a huge mess when they get through the toy’s outer layer. The fun animal shapes – pig, alligator, chicken, and more – don’t hurt either.
TrustyPup Ultrasonic Penguin Noiseless Dog Toy
Another popular choice in the ultrasonic squeaker toy category is this Penguin toy by TrustyPup. It’s made with Chew Guard Technology to accommodate even the strongest-jawed of pooches. Unlike the Hear Doggy toy, it has plenty of fluffy plush inside of it. Some dogs will appreciate that they can snuggle and cuddle their new favorite toy, but if they are a committed chewer, you might have a mess to clean up when they’re finished with their penguin.
Quiet Dog Toys: Crinkle and Crunch
If you’re simply looking for a quieter dog toy that doesn’t generate such a sharp squeaky noise, there are a variety of affordable options that crinkle, crackle, and even grunt!
Crinkle Toys Make a Great Squeak Alternative
For many pet parents, the sound of gently crinkling paper will be a welcome relief after listening to harsh squeaking toys for too long. It’s hard to make a crinkle toy super tough, though, so these toys are best suited for smaller dogs and less harsh chewers.
Be wary when shopping for crinkle toys as a noiseless alternative, because many crinkle dog toys also come with squeakers. This crinkly toaster pastry toy is listed as great for small and medium breeds, especially those who love to carry and cuddle plush toys.
Crackle Fun with the Kong SqueezzⓇ Line
Kong, the maker of one of our favorite interactive dog toys, also makes a line of crackling dog toys that provide a much quieter alternative to traditional squeaker toys. Available in three sizes and made of Kong’s signature heavy-duty material, these crackling toys come in a ball shape, a dumbbell shape, a bone, and a stick – all with a satisfying crackle when twisted or bent.
Grunting Toys Give Your Dog Unique Satisfaction
A little quieter than the traditional squeak, grunting toys are becoming more popular because they emulate prey so well. This grunting fetch ball is a heavy duty toy that comes in a variety of fun colors and shapes. One reviewer even commented, “...the noise is so much less annoying than the squeaky balls they have.”
Noise When You Want It, Noiseless When You Don’t
A third option when it comes to finding quiet dog toys is having the option to mute or remove the squeaking mechanism. Here are our two favorite toys that give you some flexibility for when you want quiet play or noisy play.
Soft Toys That Double as Plastic Water Bottle Holders
With a toy that holds a plastic water bottle, you can let your pooch enjoy a stuffing-free (and therefore mess-free) dog toy when you want silent play. Then, when you want your dog to have some added fun, you can insert an empty plastic water bottle into the toy. This creates a fun crunching, crackling noise that will keep your pet entertained. The unpredictability of it will also provide mental stimulation and surprise for your canine companion!
This three-pack of water bottle noiseless dog toys features a bear, wolf, and fox. Plus, for every package purchased, the company donates to a dog rescue organization.
Push to Mute Noiseless Dog Toy
Some dog toys have a button you can push to start or stop the squeaking sound within. This means you never have to take away your dog’s toys, which might seem like punishment. Simply borrow it, press the mute button, and let them get back to playing. The unpredictability of the squeak might also make your dog even more curious about their new toy.
The Spot Ethical Pets Push to Mute Dog Toy comes in a variety of shapes attached to a nylon strap, making it perfect for tug-of-war. The mute button is conveniently tucked away beneath the strap so you have choices about the noise level in your house.
Noisy and Noiseless Dog Toys Are Part of Your Pet’s Quality of Life
Your dog needs variety in their day, and that includes in their toy selection. You’re also entitled to peace and quiet within your own home, so it’s important to get toys that keep it fun, productive, and stimulating for both you and your pets. Whatever noiseless dog toys you choose to give to your dog, be sure your pet is getting plenty of mental and physical stimulation during daily play.