The Snuggle Puppy toys are a great comfort to a small puppy, especially one who has just been adopted and may be missing their mom.
But if for some reason you cannot get a Snuggle Puppy for your young pup, these are the best alternatives.
Any large soft toy that the puppy can cuddle up to will help. You could add a heat pad if the weather is cold, which is an added attraction.
Plus there are specially designed plush puppy beds that are so soft and cuddly to snuggle into that will help your puppy adjust to being on their own.
The idea behind the snuggle puppy is this.
- The toy is soft to cuddle and provides comfort.
- It provides a ‘friend’ to sleep with, which relieves anxiety.
- The toy has a sound that mimics the mom’s heartbeat, which is reassuring.
- It is warm, soft, and helps them to relax.
- The toy makes them feel safe and secure.
There have been many positive comments made by owners who have tried the Snuggle Puppy toy.Many of them say that from the first night the puppy was given the toy, they immediately settled down to sleep without protest.
Like any good idea, the toy has been copied by other makers, albeit in a slightly different form and style. You could try a different make as a compromise.
Alternative Products to the Snuggle Puppy
- Other brands of toymakers for dogs also make similar toys to the Snuggle Puppy brand.
- The Puppy Cuddle Pal. This beautiful toy works for a puppy who is feeling a bit lonely. The toy has a removable buckwheat packet that you can heat in the microwave. This provides a soft warm toy for your pup to snuggle up to.
- The Multipet Aromadog Calming Dog Shaped Fleece Plus dog releases a calming blend of lavender essential oils that relaxes your pup and this toy helps to calm and soothe dogs with anxiety. They love their soft, sweet-smelling toy!
- De-stress is an aromatherapy freshening and shining spray that soothes and calms an anxious puppy. Spray a little on their coat and stroke them for a few minutes to warm and spread the smell. They will feel loved and sleepy.
What to Look Our for With a Snuggle Puppy Alternative
There are loads of things that are great alternatives to Snuggle Puppies, maybe they have all of the things that Snuggle Puppies have, or just some of them.
This is what to look out for, or do yourself:
- Any large soft toy that is soft, and good to snuggle into will help your puppy.
- A deep plush bed with bolstered sides that the puppy can burrow into will help.
- A crate beside your bed will reassure your puppy and keep them safe.
- Blankets that have the smell of their mom and siblings will help them settle at night.
- A deep, plush blanket that they can snuggle deeply is fun.
- One of your sweaters lets them know you are near.
- A small soft blanket that they use as a comforter, will get dragged everywhere and become your puppies plaything.
- Soft music that is relaxing and takes the startling silence off the night.
- A dim light lets them see that you are nearby and chases off their fear.
- Another pet to sleep with. Perhaps your cat will become a snuggle friend, or if you can have two puppies who can play and sleep together will help.
- Once they are a bit older and have learned to hold their bladder, letting the puppy sleep on the bed will bring them comfort and security. But be aware once you start this, it is almost impossible to stop them.
How These Things Help Your Puppy.
Your puppy is used to being with their mom and siblings, so they will feel a little isolated in the first few weeks that they are adjusting to your home.
They are used to cuddling together in a soft pile of puppies and are used to their mom sorting out their puppy squabbles over which teat is best.
Soft toys are an ideal substitute for a lonely puppy. Even if you can’t get a Snuggle Puppy, other toymakers have similar products.
The All Paws brand has a soft lamb toy, a horse toy that is appealing, and both have a heartbeat.The Yours Drooly Muff Pup is another alternative.
Any large soft toy that is soft, and good to snuggle into will help your puppy. The toy may not have a heartbeat, but you could play soft music to help your puppy to drift off to sleep at night times.
Provide toys that are good for a variety of uses. A toy and a blanket for carting around the home, perhaps two or three toys to shake and attack, and of course the comfort toys that they can cuddle and sleep with. All serve the purpose of comforting your little puppy depending on their mood.
There are so many makes of comfy beds available for pets, that you can be overcome with choice! For a puppy, the choice of a deep, plush soft bed is a good choice for warmth and comfort. They can snuggle into the sides and get warm and cosy.
A special bed area such as using a crate filled with soft blankets, soft toys and a puppy pad in case of a toilet emergency will help. Puppies take several weeks to get control over their bladders, so provide for those moments when you know they won’t make it to the proper toilet area.
Let your puppy sleep in your room beside your bed. If they stir and get scared, you can reach out and stroke them to reassure them.
As bedtime approaches, make sure you have a calming routine before expecting them to go quietly off to sleep.
A calming treat before bed will soothe that ever grumbling puppy belly for food and help them to relax and sleep.
Soft music takes off the sound of the silence of the night, and dim light will let them see what is in the room.
If you have the puppy in your bedroom, and within reach of their bed, you will be able to reach out and comfort them if need be. Imagination can frighten a puppy, so being able to see what them is around will help them to settle at night.
Snuggle Puppy Alternatives For When They Are Awake
Puppies are really cute with their toys, they drag them around the place, play tug of war with them, and generally use the toy to practice their ambush and attack skills.
That is why you should get a toy that is robust so that it can take a ton of punishment without coming apart.
Some soft toys can be torn open, and your puppy will proceed to drag all the stuffing out of the toy and leave it scattered around your home. If the toy is not made of thick woven material, you may come home to clouds of soft filling floating around your home.
It can be surprising what a puppy becomes attached to. It may be a square of random material, a ball, a crazy looking bug-eyed toy, or even a soft doll or animal.
Color doesn’t seem to matter. As long as it is squishy, cuddly and preferably makes a noise, it is fair game. Your puppy will offer you their toy, and turn away when you reach out to get it. It is like they are teasing you.
Or they may want you to throw the toy away so that they can chase after it and return it to you. Be warned, this game can go on, and on, and on, and on…..
You will often tire of their games before they will.
But the toy becomes a valuable psychological item to tide the puppy over from missing you at work, or when you have to go out for a while.
An Alternative That Does Not Cause Object Guarding
When a puppy starts to guard all their toys it is called object guarding, where the puppy becomes increasingly possessive and protective. It may seem cute at first, but once they get the habit, it can be hard to break.
If your puppy has their toys taken away from them and they never get them back, they will soon learn to develop habits to run and hide the object from you or growl or snap if you try to take it.
The object here is to prevent this from happening, as it can take a dedicated effort to overcome it when they are older.
Start working with objects that you can both hold at the same time, such as a rope toy. Teach your puppy to ‘Off’ and then waggle the toy and say ‘Take it.’ When your puppy learns to give and take, life becomes easier.
Remember to praise your dog for letting the object/toy go and offer a reward treat. The idea is for your puppy to learn that they will get tasty treats for giving up a toy. And to a puppy, food is the ultimate prize!
If you have another dog or puppy in your household, resource guarding can raise its ugly head. Often the pets can work it out themselves, or you can lure the other dog away so there is no fighting. But if things start getting bad, you may need the help of a certified trainer. Yelling and punishing one dog or the other can only escalate the situation.
Dogs in the wild were led by the pack leader who decided what each dog could or could not have. The pack leader who was the boss, and heaven help a pushy youngster who didn’t understand the rules.
If you own a dog, YOU are the pack leader. If you let your dog decide things then you will have a puppy who grows into a snappy, growling dog who may start biting. If you have more than one dog, you must retain pack leader status to control your dogs.
Rotate Toys for Games, but Their Comfort One
If your puppy has a favorite toy then like to snuggle with, leave that one out or give it a quick clean up and give it back to them.
However your puppy’s play toys, such as ones they use for hunting games should be rotated every week to avoid boredom. It gives your puppy a sense of getting new and interesting things to play with.
A toy that helps your pet to relax or gives them confidence should remain with the pup to work its magic.
But other toys, feel free to check them for damages, do some repairs, or even throw the odd toy out that is now beyond repair.
Surprising them with some toy changes is like a game. They love to explore new toys, puzzle games, or a brand new bouncy ball. By rotating a toy and introducing the odd new toy here and there, your puppy will always be kept entertained and interactive in games.
Some puppies can be rough on toys, so check any new toy to ensure it is dogproof and safe by removing ribbons, strings, eyes or other parts that could be chewed off and ingested.
And one last word here about toys, make sure the toy is appropriate for the size of your puppy. Ensure a ‘squeaker toy has the squeaker buried deep within the toy. Some pups seem to feel that they have to seek and destroy the squeaky thing, which if ingested could lead to trouble.
The Last Word
It doesn’t matter what the toy is, as long as it gives your puppy a sense of security and it is safe for them to play with.
The need for a security blanket/toy usually wears off after a few weeks of living with you and your family. Once they become accustomed to the activity and members of your family, they will soon adjust. Creating a small area that is both cozy and warm for your puppy with their favourite toys, bed, and a treat-dispensing toy can prevent separation anxiety. The puppy is contained within an area or room, filled with cuddle toys, yummy treats and soft music will be a happy puppy. Leave them with plenty to play with to do and they will hardly miss you at all.
Confidence is important for a puppy, so always take care to be kind and reward good behavior or effort while playing down the mistakes.
Because your little puppy will make mistakes, it takes many goes at a task to get it embedded in their minds. That is just the way it is with puppies.
Patience and kindness will get you’re a loyal and devoted companion for life!!
Writer: Jean Brewer