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Are Laser Pointers Bad For Dogs?


Laser pointers are a lot of fun, especially if you have a pet. Cats and dogs love them. However, the question for dog lovers is, are laser pointers bad for dogs?

What is it about dogs and laser pointers? Why do dogs love them? But most importantly, do laser pointers make dogs crazy?

As we looked into this topic, we began to realize that cats and laser pointers make a great combination. However, it may come as a surprise that laser pointers are bad for dogs.

Why do dogs love laser pointers?

a dog loves playing with laser pointer

Dogs’ eyes are not just sensitive to light, but they’re also sensitive to movement. So, when a laser pointer is introduced, it drives a dog wild. They love it.

The fast pace of the laser brings its inner predator to the surface. Your dog will feel like he’s hunting his prey.

The stimulation also gives your dog plenty of exercise. We all know exercise has lots of health benefits. It also puts a smile on your pup’s face.

Because dogs love laser pointers so much, many dog toy manufacturers have created dog toys that now have lasers in them.

This is great because dogs prefer staying active. And if you’re at work all day, it gives your dog a reason to keep moving.

The main argument for laser pointers is our busy schedules. With work, chores, and human children, we often have less time in our day to take our dogs to the park.

Therefore the brilliant solution became toys with laser pointers in them.

Considering pet obesity is rising, some think these toys act as a babysitter of sorts.

These toys turn on by themselves, move the light around, and keeps your dog active. But how healthy is this for your dog?

Do Laser Pointers Make Dogs Crazy?

Do laser pointers make dogs crazy? I suppose the answer to this question depends on your definition of crazy.

On one hand, a dog’s predatory instinct is aroused, giving your K9 a wild sense of adventure. In other words, it’s a crazy good time.

On the other hand, a laser pointer can give your dog behavioral problems and anxiety. It can also lead to stress and frustration.

In this sense, yes, it’s making your dog crazy.

The reason for the behavior problems, frustration, anxiety, and stress is simple. Your dog never had closure when playing with the laser pointer.

With physical objects like toys and treats, a dog finishes each activity by having a sense of accomplishment.

With a laser pointer, the light simply goes away. The dog doesn’t get rewarded and never gets that sense of accomplishment for finding the light.

In turn, they start looking for the light when it’s not around. They frequently look at the last place it saw the light.

a dog looking for laser light

This causes lots of anxiety and stress for your dogs. Eventually, all of this stress will pile up, causing behavioral problems.

Are Laser Pointers Bad for Your Dog?

The quick answer is yes. Laser pointers are bad for your dog.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of cats versus dogs in regards to laser pointers.

We’ve all seen funny cat videos on YouTube chasing that funny red dot on the wall. These laser pointers provide endless amounts of fun for you and your pet cat.

When it comes to indoor cats, laser pointers help get your cat exercising.

If you’re worried that your laser pointer will damage your cat’s eyes, don’t worry, laser pointers are not harmful to cats as long as you don’t point them directly at their eyes.

In this case, use the laser pointer to help your cat find their toys instead.

However, when it comes to dogs, things get a little more complicated.

Dogs enjoy laser pointers as much as cats. But the difference between dogs and cats is that dogs develop a neurosis that is not seen in cats.

When you introduce a laser pointer to your dog, your dog learns that lights are what he’s after.

A dog then becomes obsessed with lights. Whether it’s car lights, porch lights, or any lights for that matter, your dog may start barking at them until the lights are off.

If that wasn’t bad enough, your dog starts associating shadows with lights as well.

Once this happens, it hurts other factors of owning a dog. For example, taking your dog on a walk might become unbearable. He’ll bark at moving cars or chase shadows.

It gives you second thoughts about using laser pointers with your dogs.

Other Reasons Laser Pointers are Bad for Dogs

laser pointers are bad for your dogs

It comes as no surprise that pointing a laser pointer at a human’s eye is dangerous. The same applies to our furry friends.

It’s easy to say, “keep the laser out of your dog’s eyes.” However, the truth is dogs move fast when chasing the red dot. Yet, this increases the chances for accidents to occur.

It’s easier not to use a laser at all.

The obsession and frantic behavior a laser pointer brings out in our pets might seem funny at the time. But it can have dangerous consequences.

If your furry friend decides he must get that red dot, he could start digging at the carpet, a task that might end in disapproval and disappointment.

It could also lead your pet to search around furniture. Jumping over smaller furniture or even trying to move furniture might result in injury.

Even if your dog doesn’t get hurt in the process, your walls, chairs, and paint will suffer.

Let’s face it. Some veterinarian bills are so high they’re scary. If the vet bills don’t scare you, perhaps the price you pay to replace objects around your house will. Which would you prefer?

However, if this is the case, why not say “no” to laser pointers?

Laser Pointer Alternatives

We always want what’s best for our fur babies. So let’s leave that laser pointer at the store and opt for something less destructive.

Here are a few alternatives to a laser pointer you might want to consider.

Considering the laser pointer is mainly created to engage your dog in a healthy daily activity, what we need are toys that will do the same without the harmful effects of the laser.

Depending on your dog’s age and breed, they might enjoy different types of activities.

Midsize to bigger dogs like Huskies and Doberman prefer a lot of activity.

If you’re a runner, consider taking them with you. A highly active dog will enjoy this as well as keep them heart-healthy.

Running with your dog also strengthens your bond. It helps them with boredom, and it tames the anxiety that accumulates due to inactivity.

Dog toys are an excellent alternative to laser pointers. One, in particular, called a Flirt Pole, comes to mind.

A Flirt Pole is essentially a long stick with a toy attached to a string at the end. It’s like a fishing pole but for dogs.

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole V2 with Lure - Durable Dog Toy for Fun Obedience Training & Exercise, Purple/Blue Tie Dye, Regular - 36 inch
  • New and improved V2 developed using customer feedback from extremely popular original Flirt Pole
  • Comes with durable polyester webbing Lure pre-attached
  • Regular size, 36-inch Flirt Pole is recommended for play areas at least 15'x15'

This type of toy will engage your dog’s instinct to hunt. They’ll enjoy it as well as keep them active.

The best thing about the Flirt Pole, as opposed to the laser pointer, is having a physical object your pet can catch at the end of the activity.

This gives your pet closure upon completing this activity, thus relieving any anxiety.

Playing fetch with a ball or frisbee is another great alternative.

Fetch makes your dog run towards the object. And it gives him an object he can physically attain.

The truth is any activity is better than choosing a laser for your dog.

If You Must Use a Laser Pointer

If you simply must use a laser pointer, here is a healthy alternative to ease the frustration and anxiety it may provoke in your pet.

At the end of the laser pointing game, reward your dog with a treat. In this case, the laser is out of the picture, and the treat becomes the game’s focus.

give treat to your dog

This reward system provides excellent closure for your pet.

Another way to appropriately use the laser pointer is to end the game by pointing the red dot onto a ball or toy your pet can physically grab.

Make sure you hide the laser pointer, so your pet believes he’s caught it.

The Main Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility to keep our pets healthy and safe. Considering an alternative to laser pointers is the best thing you can do for your pet.

Remember that toys with laser pointers don’t make up for time not spent with them.

Ultimately our bond comes from the activities we engage in with them.

Our pet’s mental health and physical health should come first.

Avoid laser pointers but if you must always consider your dog’s health and remember to keep the laser away from your pet’s eyes.

In any case, a laser pointer should be the last priority when deciding which toys to get for your best furry friend.

Now that you know all of this information, would you consider using a laser pointer with your pet? Or would you choose an alternative?

Last update on 2021-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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