Written by Jennifer Connelly

As we conquer the Holiday season, our pups may be interested in all the flashing lights from Christmas trees, light projections on houses, and even reflections from our jewelry hitting the sun. Laser pointer toys seem like the perfect stocking stuffer for a dog. Unfortunately, there are serious and life changing consequences to subjecting our pups to these laser toys.

As pet owners, our furry companions bring us immeasurable joy and laughter. Engaging in playful activities with them is not only fun but also crucial for their mental and physical well-being. However, amidst the various toys and games available, there’s a controversial item often used for play: laser pointers. While these tiny devices seem harmless and entertaining, especially for cats, their use with dogs can pose unexpected dangers that many overlook.

The Allure of Laser Pointers

Laser pointers fascinate both dogs and humans alike. The simple act of directing a small, bright light onto different surfaces creates a game of chase and excitement for dogs. Their natural prey drive kicks in as they eagerly chase the elusive red dot, enjoying the thrill of the hunt. This seemingly innocent activity can quickly turn problematic.

Unintended Physical and Psychological Consequences

While the sight of a dog joyfully chasing the red dot might appear harmless, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks associated with using laser pointers:

1. Anxiety and Frustration:

Dogs never get the satisfaction of “catching” the red dot. Unlike tangible toys or objects, the laser dot can’t be captured or chewed, which can lead to frustration and anxiety in the dog. This unresolved energy may manifest into behavioral issues, including compulsive behaviors or heightened stress levels.

2. Obsessive Behavior:

The repetitive nature of chasing the elusive dot can lead to obsessive behaviors. Dogs may become fixated on any flashing or reflective light, even in everyday environments, causing a constant state of alertness and stress.

3. Physical Hazards:

In their fervor to catch the light, dogs may recklessly dart across rooms, leap onto furniture, or collide with objects, risking injury. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to laser light might potentially damage a dog’s sensitive eyes, leading to vision problems.

Safer Alternatives for Playtime

Thankfully, there are numerous alternative toys and activities that offer safe and enjoyable experiences for dogs:

– Interactive Toys: Opt for toys that engage a dog’s senses and allow them to physically interact. Flirt poles are a great alternative to lasers! Flirt poles are metal sticks with a long string and a rope toy on the end. Similar to cat wands, the point of the game is to lure your pup in a game of chase until they catch their prey!

– Outdoor Activities: Engaging in activities like fetch, agility training, or nature walks provides both mental stimulation and physical exercise.

– Puzzle Games: Introduce puzzle toys that challenge their problem-solving abilities, providing mental stimulation and a rewarding experience.


Here at Dogtopia of Easton, we are adamant about not allowing laser pointers in the daycare. Any sort of projected light, like our dance party lights, are specifically designed to project large displays of light that do not trigger a pup’s prey drive. We discourage staff from using anything reflective, like a watch or a phone camera, outside when the sun is shining in order to prevent the pups from chasing the light reflections.

While laser pointers may seem innocuous and entertaining, their use with dogs can lead to unforeseen consequences, impacting their mental and physical well-being. As responsible pet parents, it’s crucial to prioritize safe and enriching playtime activities that cater to our pup’s needs without risking their health or behavior. By choosing alternative toys and activities, we can ensure that our dogs enjoy playtime in a way that is both enjoyable and safe for them.