Puppy heartbeat toys have been around a little while now, at least for the last 15 years that I’ve been professionally working with dogs.

Not going to lie, I once thought of them as a little bit of a gimmick. Now, I’m much more on the side that dog heartbeat toys can actually be quite beneficial for young puppies – especially when they’re off to living their new lives and have to sleep somewhere strange.

puppy playing with tug toy
Photo by Darinka Kievskaya on Unsplash

If you’re still unsure what a puppy heartbeat toy is and whether it might be good for your dog, you’ve come to the right place, in this article we’ll help you make that decision. In a heartbeat, that is. We’re going to give you the full rundown, including:

  • What are puppy heartbeat toys?
  • Why should you use a puppy heartbeat toy with your dog?
  • How to tell if your puppy needs a heartbeat toy

Just putting it out there, puppy heartbeat toys are commonly used for puppies who find it difficult to sleep through the night. But besides using heartbeat toys to help figure out your puppy’s nighttime routine, the Zigzag puppy training app has a lot more material you’ll find helpful when facing a fussy puppy at night. We have a complete programme on sleep training and how to get your puppy to sleep on their own, as well as plenty of other lessons based on emotional development, socialisation and life skills. Why not hop on a free trial today? Our team of qualified puppy coaches will be happy to answer any questions you might have, big or small.

What is a puppy heartbeat toy?

Good question to start with. A puppy heartbeat toy is mainly used for comfort. It’s got a mechanism inside that makes a pulsing noise and sensation that is meant to simulate the sound of another dog’s heartbeat. It’s adorable when you actually think about it.

By snuggling up to the toy, the idea behind them is that a puppy will feel comforted by the sound since it’s so much like what they did with their littermates when they were still with their mother.

There are a few options you can go for when it comes to heartbeat toys. The Snugglepuppy toys have a small battery-operated heart-shaped device that pulses like an actual heart. Other puppy heartbeat toys like the Snugglesheep and Snugglebear also feature a pad or pack that can be heated in the microwave, which gives the toy a warming effect mimicking the body heat of their siblings.

Ultimately, the claim of dog heartbeat toys is that they’ll soothe and lower your puppy’s anxiety, as well as prevent separation anxiety – something that you don’t want to become an issue later on.

Is your puppy’s body language telling you that a heartbeat toy would be welcomed with open paws?

pug cuddling toy
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Why should my puppy use a heartbeat toy?

While there isn’t any scientific proof that heartbeat toys work, there’s certainly no question that they might be of some benefit to your puppy in certain situations. They will generally fall into the dog anxiety toys, ‘can’t hurt, might help’, category. What’s better than that?

Dog heartbeat toys mimic the sound of a pulse.

Heartbeat sounds are something puppies are drawn to. It prompts them to relax, so as to be able to hear it and feel it.

Puppy heartbeat toys can help transition from litter to home.

For a puppy, having something warm, comforting and cosy to snuggle up to may make things a little easier when they’re getting used to their new surroundings. A good idea is to leave the puppy heartbeat toy with the breeder for a few days before you pick them up, so that it is a familiar sound to your puppy when you bring them home.

Heated puppy heartbeat toys.

A heated or warm area can remove the element of shock if your puppy falls asleep on you and then has to be moved. The heat that the puppy heartbeat toy releases is that similar to body heat, allowing your pup to feel warm and safe even when alone.

Many puppies struggle to relax in the early days of you bringing them home. Unless they’re cuddling you, that is. But sleeping next to you isn’t really sustainable for your puppy in the long term, is it? So here’s what you do: move them next to a heated puppy heartbeat toy once they are asleep. The warmth will mean there is less chance of your puppy waking up, keeping them calm, and making the transition of them sleeping on their own a lot easier.

If you just want a warming pad without the heartbeat, the original Snugglesafe pad is a great option. As you could probably also tell by the name, they will also do a great job at keeping your puppy nice and warm. 

puppy lying on floor
Photo by T.R Photography 📸 on Unsplash

How do I know if my dog needs a heartbeat toy?

A dog heartbeat toy can be helpful for puppies and dogs who:

  • Struggle to sleep through the night – the heartbeat toy can help them get into that rhythmic sleep pattern, and you get more shut-eye!
  • Aren’t able to relax for long, so they don’t get enough sleep. Tired puppies are quite bitey and irritable. Puppies need lots of sleep!
  • Are learning to cope with being home alone. A dog heartbeat toy is something that might bring some sense of comfort.
  • Need a little extra warmth: Warm toys can bring a smile to their face, either because they are in a cold climate or simply find reassurance in body heat. This can be particularly true if you have a short-coated dog; they don’t have much fur to keep themselves warm.
  • Maybe mourning the loss of a dog sibling when older. It’s a little sad. But this is precisely where heartbeat toys can be fantastic.

There you have it – your little piece of information about dog heartbeat toys. Bet you’ve always dreamed about that. While they’re not a magic wand, they can be useful in certain circumstances, like when bringing a new puppy home and you’re trying your best to get everything right!

Whether you’re still waiting to bring your puppy home or already have them there, you’ll find the Zigzag puppy training app has everything you need to know in bite-sized lessons for the journey you’re about to go on. Our team of fully qualified puppy coaches are also there to set minds at ease and answer the many questions you may have. Download a free trial of Zigzag today and get started on your puppy training journey!

Oh, and did you know we’re also endorsed by some of the leading dog training organisations? Well, now you do. Thought you’d be dying to know.