Everyone loves laser pointers. Although cats are obviously more well known to chase the red dot, many dogs, depending on their breed and personality, also find lasers amusing. We have countless dogs who play with the laser toy on the Petcube Camera - in fact, it was designed for a dog initially. And there are many dog parents who say they love the feature.
Canines and felines love chasing lasers because they move. The movement stimulates their inner predator (no wonder smaller prey like rats stop moving when hunted). Dogs, in particular, have very light-sensitive eyes, which explains their acuity.
The Argument Against Lasers
But are lasers safe for your pooch? It really depends on your dog’s breed and personality. It also depends on your approach.
When you turn on the laser toy on the Petcube Play, your dog’s hunter instinct is aroused, urging your pet to run after the light. This keeps your dog active, healthy, and engaged — a good thing, especially when you’re away from home or at work.
However, some experts in dog behavior claim that laser pointers are bad for dogs because they have the tendency to get obsessed with it, although there is still insufficient proof of this assertion.
According to Professor Nicholas Dodman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, dogs can get so driven that once they start chasing the red dot, they can’t stop. The lack of closure could stress out your dog.
As pet parents, we’re totally responsible for the health and wellness of our dogs.
So when you turn on the laser pointer next time, one thing you can do is consider leading your dog to a toy or even a treat. You can hide treats in corners or hidden spaces in your house, and land the red dot on the goodies so your dog is rewarded. This way, you’re exercising and rewarding your mutt at the same time. It can also help provide some closure to the chase.
The Argument for Lasers
The main reason why pet owners love the laser pointer for their mutts is to give them some much needed and well-deserved exercise. Most dogs don't like to stay at home, by themselves for long periods of time. Laser games can help them to focus their attention in a non-damaging or disruptive way and keep them stimulated and moving.
Pet obesity continues to be a problem and it's growing. Continued and various forms of activity, including games with lasers and other popular pet toys, keep your furry loved one fit and moving.
- Don’t point the laser beam directly to your dog’s eyes. While Petcube’s laser is certified as safe for both human and pet eyes for occasional contact, it is strongly recommended to avoid looking straight at the laser for extended periods of time.
- Limit game sessions to a few minutes at a time and note if your dog seems to get stressed out by the laser.
- Complement laser playtime with stimulation from other physical toys and treats.
- Remember that there’s no toy that can substitute for quality pet/pet parent time. Spend time with your pet 1-on-1 every day.