Seeking to re-squeak dog's favorite toys
September 13, 2013 8:09 AM   Subscribe

My small dog loves squeaky tennis balls and will chase them incessantly, morning and night. However, he is also quite adept at de-squeaking these toys, sometimes within minutes. While he does continue to play with the balls after they have lost their sound, these are far less alluring. As neither my budget nor my house has room for the infinite supply of fresh squeaky balls he desires, I seek to re-squeak these balls with fresh squeakers and some super glue.

I have searched all the combinations I can imagine and only find these balloon-style squeakers, meant for sewing into plush toys. Could anyone point me to a source of these plug-style squeakers, common in rubber squeaky toys? (Very) glad to buy in some quantity, if necessary, so long as the cost is not prohibitive (seeking a $20-30 solution, not a $100-1000+ solution).

Here are a couple of photos: squeaker with scale and de-squeaked balls with formerly intact squeakers. Thanks!
posted by zachxman to Pets & Animals (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This looks like them. Also, I would use rubber cement or hot glue instead of super glue -- super glue is brittle and designed for rigid things, so it's likely to detach quickly from a squishy, flexing ball.
posted by Behemoth at 8:17 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

The little plug squeaker is what comes in the end of the balloon squeaker. The balloon is just there to create an air seal behind it so it actually squeaks. In a sealed rubber toy you don't need the balloon.

I don't know what the squeaker bits themselves are called, so I don't know what to tell you to source just those specifically. But you can always buy the balloon style squeakers and just remove the squeaker bit for a transplant.

If you'd rather not do it yourself, my dog would be happy to offer his plastic balloon eating services free of charge. (He pulls apart his stuffies just to get a the squeaker, but leaves the squeaker plug bit itself perfectly intact. I actually have three plug squeakers sitting on my coffee table that sometimes I blow into to make a squeaky noise while I chase him around the house.)
posted by phunniemee at 8:18 AM on September 13, 2013 [6 favorites]

Wow, thanks for the quick responses! You're right that super glue may not be the best fit for this purpose (especially considering his skills at removing them)--I'll experiment with the adhesives.

Thanks also, phunniemee, for suggesting the balloon squeaker dissection--good alternative if the first don't work out.
posted by zachxman at 8:23 AM on September 13, 2013

Not that you necessarily want to put your dog's toys in your mouth, but have you checked whether those squeakers still squeak when air goes through them? The most common squeaky-toy failure I've seen is that the air seal is broken and squeezing the [ball, frog, balloonthing, bone, etc] stops forcing air over the reed, but the actual mechanism is still functional. Maybe all you need to do is find a good glue to reinstall the squeakers you've got? (Or maybe your dog chewed them to bits.)
posted by aimedwander at 8:35 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just a thought - have you tried balls that don't squeak? I know half the fun is disemboweling the squeaky ball, but if you want the fetch-balls to last longer, you might try a durable one that doesn't squeak.
posted by barnone at 8:50 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Squeaker refills may be an option. The squeaker is shaped differently, but maybe this can work to your advantage. I would be concerned the small pieces shown in your photo would be a choke hazard.They are on sale $10.99 for forty.

Honestly, I've never seen a animal toy squeaker shaped like the one in your photos. My dog went though plenty of squeaker toys and they all looked like these, flat and disc like.

Another idea is to check the discount store for party horns. Just remove the horn part.
posted by JujuB at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2013

My dog is just like yours. He used to kinda like tennis balls, but now that he knows that they come with squeakers, he cares not for any that don't squeak. I'd be interested to learn how you do it if you are successful!
posted by katers890 at 9:47 AM on September 13, 2013

Thanks for all the suggestions. I've ordered the squeaks that Behemoth found and will try them out and post an update. Durable toys, like the ones barnone suggested, are attractive to me, but unfortunately they don't have that special felt-fuzz-squeak canine allure.
posted by zachxman at 9:54 AM on September 13, 2013

As a compromise there are durable toys that squeak. I like the Mega toys
posted by radioamy at 10:02 AM on September 13, 2013

My solution is the style of dog toy that incorporates multiple squeakers. My most dedicated squeak destroying canines have never quite gotten to the last of them. And any squeakiness keeps them enthralled with the toy.
posted by bearwife at 10:12 AM on September 13, 2013

And another suggestion, my dog is really (really really obsessively) into this kind of ball which has a bell in the middle of it. She seems to like the noise as much as the squeaky ones but she can't destroy them as easily. She's a really tenacious little terrier, so eventually she tears them apart, but they're as hard wearing as any I've seen.
posted by Ned G at 4:15 PM on September 13, 2013

Folks, today, I received the replacement squeakers Behemoth linked, and they work like a charm. We've gone from having 12 de-squeaked tennis balls to a choir of squeaks in just a few minutes. Pro-tip: place the squeaker in the ball halfway, and then ring it with a bit of hot glue-gun glue before pressing it all the way in... Hopefully, this will have the added benefit of prolonging the squeakiness, but time will tell. Thanks all for your suggestions! Now to find a more economical vendor of squeakers... I have a feeling this will be a recurring purchase.
posted by zachxman at 9:25 AM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

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