Dog holding crinkle toy in his mouth

Crinkle Effect On Dogs: What Makes Crinkle Sound in Dog Toys

I’ve always been fascinated by the simple joys that keep our furry friends entertained for hours on end, which is why often, as dog owners, we wonder about crinkle toys. Among the plethora of toys available, this particular type never fails to capture their attention -and leaves us wondering, “why are crinkle toys made of?” and “What makes the sound in crinkle toys?”. The unique sound it makes can turn even the most dignified pooch into a playful puppy. But what exactly is behind this auditory magic? In this article, we’ll delve deep into the crinkly world and uncover the secrets behind that irresistible noise.

Crinkle dog toys often have a crinkle paper interior that dogs find irresistible, as well as a squeaker for added stimulation.

crinkle dog toys in the shape of animals

To understand the allure of these toys, it’s crucial first to examine the material responsible for the captivating sound.

The Essence of Crinkle

At the heart of every crinkle toy lies a seemingly simple yet ingeniously selected material known for its durability and sound-producing qualities. This material is often a type of plastic specifically designed to mimic the sound of rustling leaves or paper – sounds that naturally pique a dog’s curiosity due to their hunting instincts.

This noise is one of the factors that allows our furry friends to ignite their interest in dog toys.


A polyester film that is lightweight, flexible, and, most importantly, durable. It’s the same material found in survival blankets and balloons, known for its ability to retain its shape and sound-making quality even after being squished and chewed.


Once a popular choice, cellophane is biodegradable and offers a distinct crinkle sound. However, it’s less commonly used now due to its lack of durability compared to Mylar.

Specialized Plastic Blends:

Some manufacturers have developed their own proprietary blends of plastics that are specifically engineered for dog toys. These materials are designed to be safe for dogs while providing a satisfying crinkle noise.

Safety Considerations

While the crinkle sound is enticing, safety is paramount. High-quality dog toys are designed with the pet’s safety in mind, ensuring that the crinkle material is encased in a protective layer of fabric. This design prevents dogs from ingesting the material while allowing them to enjoy the sound. Additionally, reputable manufacturers conduct rigorous testing to ensure their toys are non-toxic and meet safety standards for pet products.

I would personally advise you to do a thorough market research for materials that are safe for your dog if consumed before being mesmerized by the allure of crinkle toys.

I was dog-sitting my friend’s dog is a spirited golden retriever with a penchant for anything that makes noise, stumbled upon a crinkle toy that I had just brought to him as a gift. Initially, I was skeptical about its appeal, given his vast collection of toys. However, the moment he bit down on the toy and heard that distinctive crinkle sound, his eyes lit up with excitement. It was as if he had discovered a new treasure. For weeks, that toy became his constant companion, providing endless entertainment not just for him, but for me as well. Watching him curiously explore the sounds and textures, I realized the profound impact that such a simple design could have on a dog’s playtime. This experience not only deepened my appreciation for the intricate design behind dog toys but also highlighted the joy and stimulation they bring into our pets’ lives.

Understanding the material is one thing, but comprehending its appeal to dogs offers another layer of insight. What makes them so special for our furry friends?

puppy clinging to crinkle dog toy

Tapping into Instincts

The crinkle sound closely mimics natural noises that would attract a dog’s attention in the wild, such as the rustling of small animals through leaves. This sound can trigger a dog’s innate hunting instincts, providing mental stimulation and keeping them engaged with the toy.

Sensory Stimulation

Dogs explore the world through their senses, and auditory stimulation is a critical component of their exploration. The unique sound of crinkle toys offers a novel experience, different from the typical squeaks and bounces of other toys, keeping their interest piqued.

Crinkle dog toys represent a fascinating blend of simple design and complex appeal. Through the careful selection of materials and an understanding of canine psychology, manufacturers have created a toy that satisfies a dog’s curiosity, instincts, and need for play. As dog owners, providing a variety of stimulating toys, including those with that irresistible crinkle, enriches our pets’ lives, ensuring they remain happy and healthy.

In the world of dog toys, the crinkle material stands out not just for its sound but for the joy it brings to our four-legged friends. By choosing safe, durable toys, we can ensure countless hours of fun for our pets, making every playtime a delightful exploration of sounds and textures.

Safe alternatives to commercial crinkle materials

  • Crinkly paper: Crumple up unused clean paper bags or parchment paper. 
    • Important: Avoid using glossy or dyed papers, and supervise your dog while they play to make sure they don’t ingest large pieces.
  • Fabric with texture: Fleece or felt fabric can provide a crinkly noise. Cut squares or strips and tie them together for a simple toy.
  • Water bottles: Empty plastic water bottles with a cap on can create a crinkling sound when your dog paws at them. 
    • Important: Make sure the cap is secure and remove the label beforehand.

Putting it all together:

  • For Plushie-style toys: Sew two pieces of fabric together, leaving an opening for stuffing. Fill with safe, dog-approved stuffing (like fleece scraps) and include your chosen crinkle material. Sew the opening closed.
  • For No-sew toys: If you’re not handy with a needle and thread, you can braid strips of fabric together for a crinkly braid toy.


  • Always supervise your dog when playing with homemade toys.
  • Choose materials that are safe for chewing and won’t break into small pieces that can be swallowed.
  • Replace any homemade toy that becomes damaged or worn.

There are! While traditional crinkle toys may not hold up to a determined shredder, there are some options that are more durable than others. Here are a couple of things to look for:

No stuffing: 

Crinkle toys without stuffing are less likely to be disemboweled by your pup. These are often made from thicker fabric and may also have crinkle material woven throughout the toy rather than concentrated in one area.

Double stitched seams: 

Look for toys with reinforced stitching that can withstand some tugging and chewing.

Durable materials: 

Some brands offer crinkle toys made from tougher materials like ballistic nylon or canvas.

Here are some specific examples of crinkle toys designed for tougher chewers:

  • KONG Dyno Plush Toys: These come in various shapes and sizes and have a reinforced lining for added durability.
  • Ethical Pets Skinneeez Crinklers Dog Toys: These are long, flat toys with crinkle material throughout and no stuffing.
  • Tuffy Toys: While not specifically crinkle toys, Tuffy toys are known for their durability and come in a variety of shapes and sizes with internal squeakers.

Different crinkle materials can create variations in sound that might appeal to different dogs. Here’s a breakdown:


  • Plastic film: Creates a high-pitched, sharp crinkle sound. Often used in commercially produced crinkle toys. Can be startling for some dogs.
  • Fabric (fleece, felt): Produces a softer, more muffled crinkle sound. May be more tolerable for noise-sensitive pups.
  • Paper bags: Offer a crinkly sound that varies depending on the paper’s thickness and crumple. Can be a good option for testing a dog’s tolerance before committing to a toy.

Sound Properties:

  • Pitch: Plastic film crinkles tend to be higher pitched, while fabric and paper offer a lower, more muted sound.
  • Crispness: Plastic film crinkles have a sharper, crisper sound, while fabric and paper might have a softer, more muffled quality.

Dog Preference:

  • Sound-sensitive dogs: Might prefer the softer crinkle of fabric or paper.
  • Playful dogs: May enjoy the excitement of a higher-pitched plastic film crinkle.
  • Individual preferences: Ultimately, each dog has its own preference. Experiment with different materials to see what your pup responds to best.

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