The 4 Best Puppy Heartbeat Toys Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Getting ready to welcome a new puppy into your home? Or the new family member is already there and appears stressed out? When you start researching the ways to help a puppy adjust, you’ll encounter a variety of tips and tricks. One of them is introducing a puppy heartbeat toy.
To understand everything there is to know about puppy heartbeat toys, we teamed up with veterinarians and canine behaviourists to learn everything we need to know about them. Together as a team of independent experts, we then tested the most popular options out there to suss out the best from the rest.
So what are these puppy toys really about? Are they safe and do they work? Let’s talk about that!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuffed Toy by SmartPetLove
- Easy to use
- Pet-safe materials
- Machine washable
- Includes an optional heat pack
- Looks adorable
Runner Up -
HuggiePup by Pets Know Best
- Soft but durable
- 4-hour and 8-hour modes for the heartbeat
- Includes a reusable heat pack
Third Choice -
Moropaky Heartbeat Cuddler
- Functions as a sleeping mat and a plush toy
- Perfect for crate training
- Easy to use
- Soft and cuddly
Australia's Best Puppy Heartbeat Toy Reviewed
Now, let's take a look at the best puppy heartbeat toy Australia offers. These are the toys our team of independent experts tested out with their precious pups and loved most of all.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
Snuggle Puppy might just be the original heartbeat puppy toy. Even though DIY solutions were around for a long time, this was one of the first ready-made heartbeat toys, first introduced in the US more than 25 years ago. These days, the Snuggle Puppy is available worldwide and it has quite a following of happy pet parents.
So what exactly is a Snuggle Puppy? Well, it's an adorable plush toy in the shape of a puppy with the addition of a pulsating heartbeat and a heat pack. Note that the heat pack is not reusable, unlike our second choice next.
The Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuffed Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
Both the heat pack and the heart that beats can be added or removed from the toy as needed. There is a hidden pocket on the belly of the Snuggle Puppy where you insert the add-ons. The pocket is closed with a very tough velcro strap so I felt secure that my pupper couldn't open it and chew through the pulsating heart with batteries or the heat pack.
The heart uses two regular AAA batteries. A single set of batteries will let the heartbeat for about 2 weeks continuously. But of course, you can turn it on and off as needed. There are two settings available: either let the heartbeat run until you turn it off, or choose the automatic shut-off option that turns it off after 8 hours.
The Snuggle Puppy is available in different colours, and there is also a Snuggle Puppy Junior. A Snuggle Puppy Junior is the same toy, just smaller, which came in handy for the tiny breed puppies belonging to our team of independent experts.
The HuggiePup by Pets Know Best is very similar to the Snuggle Puppy. It’s an adorable plush toy that comes with a little removable device that produces a life-like heartbeat and a heat pack.
The price is also almost the same as the Snuggle Puppy, so is there anything different? Why choose one over the other? Well, there are a couple of small differences.
The HuggiePup by Pets Know Best being tested by our independent expert team.
First of all, the “heart” in the HuggiePup has two modes: 4 hours and 8 hours (after the time is up it will automatically shut off). As puppies don’t ever sleep longer than 8 hours continuously, this is more than enough, and it saves battery power.
Second, the heat pack in this toy is reusable, again, unlike our number one choice, which is something we like. To use it, I had to warm it up in the microwave for 1 minute. That’s quite convenient in my opinion, but not very practical for people who don’t have a microwave. On the other hand, the heat pack is an optional feature and you might not even need to use it.
Overall, our team of independent experts could all agree that this is a well-made and functional toy that can do wonders for keeping your puppy calm.
Moropaky Heartbeat Cuddler is a bit different from the other heartbeat toys on this list. Why, you ask? Well, because it comes in the shape of a little cute puppy blanket. So, if your puppy isn’t really into the concept of snuggling with a plush toy (not all puppies like that), they can simply lay on top of this blanket and feel the gentle calming heartbeat.
So how does that work? Well, first, there is a 46 x 46 cm blanket that your puppy can sleep on. Our panel of experts agreed that this is a great size for most puppies, and we love the soft fleece on top of the blanket. The underside of the blanket features a non-slip backing, which makes it great to use as a mat on the floor or in the crate.
The Moropaky Heartbeat Cuddler being tested by our independent expert team.
The blanket/mat is made to look like a puppy plush toy, so there is a head on one side and a tail on the other. The heartbeat simulator actually goes inside the plush puppy head, using a pocket conveniently located on the underside.
Note that unlike our first two options and our number four choice ahead, this dog mat does not include a heat pack and is simply a heartbeat simulator, which may be a better option for your pup.
The All For Paws version of the heartbeat dog toy is surely the cutest, if not the most well-made option. We especially liked the fact that you can choose between different plush toys. Our favourite is the unicorn, but there is also a dog, a bunny, a bear, and a sheep.
This makes the toy a perfect gift for somebody who just got a puppy: you can choose something that fits the personality of the pet parent and it’s soothing for the pup. Win-win, right?
The All For Paws Heartbeat Dog Toy Unicorn being tested by our independent expert team.
We also liked the fact that the plush toys are quite large. The unicorn, for example, is 46 cm long. The toys are very soft and cuddly, but they are also not very durable, which makes them a bad choice for chewers.
Also, some members of our team of independent experts found that the heartbeat simulator is not very well-made - it tends to run out of battery power rather quickly. On the other hand, there is also a heat pack included which is reusable and works quite well.
What Are Heartbeat Puppy Toys?
Heartbeat toys are exactly what the name suggests: plush toys with a heartbeat. But, the name is also a bit misleading. Heartbeat toys are not meant to be played with. Rather, they are designed to be a comfort item that your puppy can snuggle up to when feeling nervous and restless.
Heartbeat toys are primarily meant to help puppies adjust to their new homes. Getting separated from their littermates and their mom is always a very stressful event for puppies, and often they will need a bit of help to get adjusted to the new world that is your home. Heartbeat toys have a heartbeat simulator inside that is supposed to imitate the heartbeat of the puppy’s mom, thus helping the pup feel calmer and less lonely.
“While no peer-reviewed scientific evidence exists to demonstrate how effective heartbeat toys are in the management of severe anxiety, their premise is simple: pets may find reassurance in plushies that mimic the shape, coziness, companionship, and heartbeat of their moms and littermates, who they once slept beside” - Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, the Veterinary Medical Advisor, Rover told Apartment Therapy (1)
According to our independent team of experts, these toys can even remain useful throughout the dog’s life and help them deal with things such as:
Do Heartbeat Toys Work?
As mentioned above, there is no scientific proof that these toys work. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that they do.
Pups often tend to get attached to their snuggly heartbeat toys and act just like some toddlers do with security blankets.
Besides, this is not even a new idea. While special plush toys with heartbeat simulators inside are quite new, a similar tip for calming new puppies has been part of folk wisdom for decades. Before the Snuggle Puppy and similar toys appeared on the market, some pet parents used old-fashioned ticking clocks wrapped in a towel to simulate the heartbeat, often accompanied by a hot water bottle (2). It was much less pretty but had the same principle.
However, while all that sounds great, we must say that heartbeat toys don’t always work. Some puppies simply never get used to them. Some find the heartbeat unnatural and scary, while others treat the heartbeat toy just like any other toy, promptly proceeding to tear it apart (and these toys are not chew-proof).
If you have a nervous puppy on your hands, heartbeat toys are worth a shot, but it’s important to observe the pup and how it reacts to the new snuggly buddy. Using a heartbeat toy is one of the many possible strategies to help your puppy transition into a new home and it’s best to use it in combination with other methods.
Features To Look For in Heartbeat Toys
Truth be told, most heartbeat toys available in Australian pet shops and online are very similar to each other. Still, there are a couple of things we recommend you pay attention to before buying a toy for your puppy:
Ideally, every toy you give your dog would be completely non-toxic and safe. In reality, that’s difficult to verify. However, all heartbeat toys are plush toys with a shaggy fleece-like exterior and a fluffy filling. That means, they are fine for your dog to cuddle with but not fine to be chewed on. So just be aware of that.
Moreover, always check if the toy is machine-washable. Life with puppies can get messy, so you’ll want something that can be washed, just in case. Luckily, most heartbeat toys are washable, as the heart simulator can be taken out.
The heart simulator is a small battery-operated device that, well, ticks. They are all similar and use regular AAA batteries, but they can have different modes. Some have auto shut-off functions, while others don’t, so that’s something to look out for.
Most heartbeat toys come with an additional heat feature. Some puppies do love the warmth of the toy as it reminds them of their mom’s body, so it’s a nice add-on to have.
To make them warm, the toys come with a heat pack that can be added. Some, like the Snuggle Puppy, come with single-use heat packs. On one hand, these are quite convenient to use, but on the other hand, they are not very eco-friendly and well, they just don’t last that long.
The other options are microwaveable heat packs filled with buckwheat or something similar. These are nice since they are reusable and non-toxic, but you do need a microwave to use them.
My Final Thoughts
Getting a dog toy with a heartbeat simulator can be a nice way to help your puppy feel more comfortable in your home. This type of puppy comfort toy can be a dog’s companion throughout life, even long after the heartbeat stops being useful.
As for which one to choose, the Snuggle Puppy was definitely the most popular option per our panel of independent experts. However, the other variations on our list also have their advantages, so look through them all and see what strikes your fancy.
No, heartbeat toys are dnot necessary, but they can be a nice addition to your puppy gear collection. There are other strategies for making a puppy feel less lonely when transitioning to a new home, such as giving a simple toy that smells like the pup’s mum. Some puppies do just fine without any extra help, some don’t react to heartbeat toys at all, while others love them.
When you welcome a puppy into your home, they get separated from their mother and littermates. So what ensues might be the puppy’s first case of separation anxiety, but that’s quite normal. Other puppies get attached to their owners and get separation anxiety when you leave the home. In both cases, a heartbeat toy can be helpful (but there is no guarantee it will work).
Prevention is often more helpful than a cure when it comes to calming a puppy at night. Puppies will generally be calmer if they have a good daily routine, get lots of exercise, and are well-fed - but not right before bed. When it’s time for bed, it might help if you gently cuddle your pup for a while, and introduce comforting objects like something that smells like their mom (or you), something warm, or, of course, a heartbeat toy.
- Kanaras, A. September 17, 2021. “This Amazon-Favorite Dog Toy Is Supposed to Soothe Your Dog — Is It Worth It?”. Apartment Therapy. Retrieved October 25, 2022. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/calmeroos-puppy-heartbeat-toy-review-36977311
- Reisen, Jan. Jul 28, 2016. “How to Help Your New Puppy Deal With Separation Anxiety”. AKC. Retrieved October 25, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-help-your-new-puppy-deal-with-separation-anxiety/