Best Calming Toys

best calming toys, Aleksey Boyko Shutterstock
Aleksey Boyko/Shutterstock

It is common for puppies, kittens, and other pets to feel great levels of stress on a daily basis. This can be enhanced with separation anxiety, recent adoption ( more precisely, change of environments), or anything else in between. As a responsible owner, you should make sure to comfort them and help them relax and feel at ease. However, you won’t always be able to do so – at least not without the right tools. These calming toys are a great help as they are designed specifically with the purpose of reducing stress and providing comfort for your pet. With a lot of unique designs, they can be ideal for puppies, cats, senior dogs, or any other pet that is easily stressed. Here is our list of the 10 best calming toys on the market – keep your eyes glued to this page and find the one that your anxious little pet will just fall in love with.

Editor’s Choice: PetSafe Busy Buddy Interactive Dog Toy

Sometimes, the most calming solutions are also the simplest. This unique Busy Buddy interactive dog toy is a simple but very efficient way to calm your anxious doggo or puppy. This unique toy has chamomile-scented rubber that works like a charm in reducing a dog’s anxiety level. It also has a treat-dispensing system that will dish out those hard-earned rewards after your pet puts the effort into digging them out of the toy, so it will occupy them for hours on end. The Busy Buddy is super durable and can withstand the vigorous chewing of an eager puppy. It comes in small and medium size options.

Pros

  • Simple but efficient
  • Dispenses treats
  • No harsh chemicals

Cons

  • Can be small for large dogs

Runner Up: WEOK Heartbeat Puppy Toy Bed

When it comes to calming effects, nothing can beat the natural effects of a heartbeat toy. Simulating a heartbeat, this fluffy unique toy gives an illusion of company which will always calm down a distressed pup. Of course, it can work like a charm for cats as well – and can relax them also. This toy comes in the shape of a goofy elephant, with a size that is large enough for most puppies to lie on. The design features an integrated pulsating heartbeat gadget that slowly pulsates and provides natural comfort for a dog. It can literally soothe them in minutes! The soft inner filling can be taken out when needed, and the outer material can be washed as needed.

Pros

  • Great calming effect
  • Large enough to double as a bed/pad
  • Soft and comfy

Cons

  • Only one size

Customer’s Choice: Petstages Dogwood Alternative Dog Chew Toy

Let’s face it: dogs love their branches! Nothing can get them in a calm and satisfied mood better than a branch all of their own. This unique calming toy is designed for dogs and resembles a perfect-sized branch. Made with real wood and hemp, it is safer and less messy than actual wood branches you find outside. It is a great toy for avid chewers – who will always want to nibble on something when anxious. The flavor and the scent of these branches will attract your pet, and they will be content just chewing away for hours on end. That’s the ideal way to calm them and occupy their time.

Pros

  • Imitates real wood
  • Natural ingredients
  • Great for chewers

Cons

  • Can crumble to bits quickly

Best Heartbeat Calming Toy: SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuffed Toy

Designed to offer your pet some artificial company and comfort, this toy is shaped like a puppy – but it packs a few secrets! It has a built-in heartbeat pulsating device that has two modes of operation (continuous and auto shut off), as well as a heat pack you can use to make your puppy even more toasty and cozy. The sound and vibrations of the heartbeat can help them relax, snooze away, and feel safe in their new home. Perfect for young puppies who have recently been separated from their littermates!

Pros

  • Mimics natural heartbeat
  • Two modes of operation
  • Comes with a heat pack
  • Puppies will love it

Cons

  • Heartbeat might be too loud for some dogs

Best Pheromone Calming Toy: SENTRY Calming Toy for Dogs

This one-of-a-kind plush toy will perfectly calm your anxious and frightened pet thanks to a few secrets it boasts! It is combined with special SENTRY Calming Drops, which, together with the fluffy teddy bear toy, will help your pet to unwind and get into that calm and happy mood. The calming drops contain a natural pheromone that imitates the mother dog and thus soothes the dog with nothing but the help of their natural instincts. And the plush toy makes them think that they have a buddy of their own to stay by their side, as well. Cute and effective!

Pros

  • Versatile design
  • Very efficient to pheromones
  • Natural ingredients

Cons

  • Not for aggressive chewers

Best Calming Toy for Chewers: ExtreFun Dog Toy for Chewers

One of the common ways dogs display stress and anxiety is chewing. Stressed dogs will often chew on furniture, shoes, or anything else they get a hold of. And that’s not something you want – it’s better to give them a productive outlet for their chewing endeavors. This unique calming toy can help remedy that and satisfy the need for chewing as the pet calms down. Shaped like yellow sweetcorn, it is made from 100% natural rubber and is hollow inside so it can float on the water too. A built-in squeaker entertains your pet, while an added rope can allow for some tugging games as well. All in all, it is a great chew toy that can engage and soothe your anxious dog.

Pros

  • Durable and tough
  • Saves your furniture
  • Improves dental health

Cons

  • Not for extreme chewers

Best Calming Toy for Cats: Petstages Cat Pillow

This unique toy is a great way to keep your mischievous and anxious cat friend under control. It guarantees a relaxing snooze and as little ruckus as possible! This kitty-shaped cat calming toy has a built-in purring device that will emit sounds upon touch. This is the ideal sound to resonate with stressed kitties and to help them feel snuggled and safe. Besides this, it is fluffy and endlessly cuddly, which only enhances the feeling of comfort. Another great thing about this toy is that it is fully washable – just take out the purring mechanism and wash it, and your pet will always have their favorite toy ready and clean. In addition to the kitty toy, there are other designs available, such as that of a cute little sloth or even a unicorn, if you want to mix things up a bit.

Pros

  • Perfect for kittens
  • Unique purring sound
  • Durable material

Cons

  • Could be thicker and fluffier

Best Squeaky Calming Toy: Pawsclaws Dog Stuffed Squeaky Toys

Some dogs really love that squeaky sound – it can quickly shift the situation to fun and games, and redirect them from feeling stress and fear. This unique squirrel-shaped squeaky toy is full of stimulants that will completely change your pet’s mood. The toy has built-in squeakers and crinkle foil, whose sounds can calm some pets. Its length is great for playing tug and fetch, while the secret treat-dispensing pockets are great for a comforting, hard-earned reward. The material is also good for your pet’s gums. But above all, this cute toy is great for relieving anxiety. If you noticed that your pet is lonely, anxious, stressed, and unhappy, then this toy might be just the thing that’s needed to lift their spirits.

Pros

  • Subtle crinkle squeaker
  • Stimulating toy
  • Treat-dispensing pockets

Cons

  • Some dogs are afraid of the squeaker

Best Calming Toy for Puppies: All for Paws Puppy Heartbeating Pillow

This unique fluffy toy is designed to calm pets thanks to the pulsating heartbeat gadget that hides within its core. And even better – it is shaped like a tasty bone treat! This toy will calm any pet, puppies especially, without fail. Snuggling on a soft, fluffy pillow that gently emits heartbeats, reminding them of the safety and love they felt in their mother’s company – what’s not to love about that? This plush pillow toy will fit perfectly into your pet’s little fav nap spot, and you shouldn’t be surprised if the two become inseparable.

Pros

  • Very efficient
  • Soft and comforting
  • Unique pulsating design

Cons

  • Not for chewers

Are Calming Toys Necessary?


Dogs and cats are exposed to high levels of stress and anxiety on a daily level, especially if they are still quite young, easily frightened, or have a history of abuse or abandonment. These emotions can be enhanced by many things: strangers, separation, hunger, bad weather, loud noises, or anything else in between. Leave your pet’s emotions unchecked, and you can soon see even more trouble emerging. Stress and anxiety lead to more behavioral issues, and even some visible changes. Parrots will pluck out their feathers, cats will become aloof, aggressive, or start avoiding the litter box, dogs will turn to destructive behaviors, bark their heads off, or become even more timid and shy. Having in mind that stress and anxiety can lead to concerning consequences, it’s easy to see that helpful things such as calming toys are, in fact, very much necessary. They create a sense of comfort, companionship, and peace. And these are key ingredients to make any stress a thing of the past.


What are the Benefits of Calming Toys?


It goes without saying that calming toys can offer many benefits for all pets. Puppies will go through their fragile first stages easier, cats will be calmer, and senior dogs will be content and happy. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are just some of the common benefits of calming toys.


  • Imitates natural behavior to relieve anxiety


Many of the unique calming toy designs will go to great lengths in order to imitate the natural behavior and instincts of your pets. Take for example the pulsating heartbeat of stuffed animals. For puppies, such a natural thing would come as a great comfort: just watch as they snuggle up to them and snooze, calm and content. It’s their natural instinct and behavior that will always come out on top. Also important are toys with natural pheromones, as they will always create a feeling of safety for your pet.


  • Offers a calming distraction


Oftentimes, redirecting your pet’s attention from the source of stress and anxiety and engaging them in a fun activity can be a great way to help soothe them. Chew toys work great in this scenario, as most dogs will start chewing things when they are nervous – only this time it won’t be your favorite sneakers they’re gnawing when under stress, but rather a soothing toy. Flavored or scented chew toys work great, as well as treat-dispensing ones, as they’ll quickly grab your pet’s attention.


  • Can help your pet adapt


Whether you’ve just brought a new puppy to the family or adopted an adult dog from the shelter, it will take some time for them to acclimate to their new home and surroundings. Socializing and playing with them will greatly help during the adjustment period, even more so when you use toys designed to reduce stress and anxiety, which are undeniably high during these times of big changes. You can use calming toys to help a puppy stop whining and crying after being separated from their litter or to reassure and soothe an adult dog that’s wary of their new family due to past trauma.


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Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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