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When it comes to white noise, we humans often like static, rainstorms, forests, or even gongs. But puppies? It turns out, they like the sound of a heartbeat, and now there are toys designed to replicate one for them.
It’s still a relatively small market, so don’t expect them to be lining the walls at your local pet store, but heartbeat toys are definitely a growing trend, especially among puppy owners.
Why would you want a toy like this? Well, heartbeat dog toys can help soothe your puppy during crate training and in general when they whine and cry. So before we review the best heartbeat toys currently on the market, let’s talk a bit about crate training and why puppies whine.
The first steps to crate training
Introduce your puppy to the crate by feeding them their meals, snack-filled puzzle toys, pig’s ears, and bully sticks inside. Begin by leaving the door open and when your puppy seems comfortable try closing the crate door while they’re munching away. Open the door again when they’ve completed their meal or snack.
Gradually build up how long your dog is inside the crate by leaving the door closed for longer and longer periods (adding a few minutes at a time) after they’ve finished their food.
How long should a puppy be in a crate?
Crate training is important but starts out slow. Introduce your dog to the crate first with treats, then gradually build up to 10-15 minute intervals, and then longer periods of time as your dog becomes comfortable in there.
Puppy age and maximum daily time recommended in the crate:
- 8–10 weeks: 30–60 minutes
- 11–14 weeks: 1–3 hours
- 15–16 weeks: 3–4 hours
- 17+ weeks: 4–5 hours (though please don’t resort to this often!)
As your dog gets older, he can be kept in the crate for longer periods of time. But keep in mind, it should always be used as a short-term solution. It’s important that your dog gets a lot of exercise and human interaction.
Why do puppies whine and cry?
If you’re looking for a heartbeat dog toy to calm your whining puppy, you’re not alone. Puppies whine a lot in their first months of life. That’s because whining is a normal form of communication for a puppy. Like any baby, they communicate with the tools they have. Whining means something isn’t right in the puppy’s world and this method of communicating started the day he was born.
Nine times out of 10, puppy whining is based on anxiety. She’s unhappy at being confined. She’s missing her littermates. It’s dark and she’s “alone” for the first time in her life.
Along with slowly desensitizing the crate using positive reinforcement with your puppy, a heartbeat dog toy can be remarkably soothing.
This heartbeat toy is shaped like a puppy, making it extra easy to want to cuddle up against. It may also remind puppy of being with their littermates. This sweet toy has a disposable warming pack that makes your pup feel like he’s cuddling up against a living body.
Helpful review: “Ordered this based on reviews and I sure am glad I did. Started the heartbeat put it in toy and put my pup in her pen, first night she slept thru the night. We are on night 7 and she has slept thru each night without a peep! This toy is priceless to me and my wife! Would highly recommend.”Buy Now on Chewy for $31.98
Much like the other heartbeat toy, this one has a heartbeat and microwaveable warmer. The difference is that this one is pillow shaped. The heartbeat automatically switches off after a period of time, and the pillow casing is machine-washable.
Helpful review: “If you have a brand new puppy this is a lifesaver at night. Our puppy stopped barking and would go right into his crate at night with the pillow. It’s easily washable and worth the price!”Buy Now on Chewy for $34.45
For more toys that can help make your puppy feel safe and comfortable, check our list of toys that are soothing for dogs.