The 10 Best Dog Toys For Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a common issue that may be difficult to treat for many dog owners.
All sizes, ages, and breeds of dogs may suffer separation anxiety, which is not only distressing for the dog and their family, but also troublesome and can lead to a variety of undesirable behaviors.
Toys are one of the many methods to assist dogs manage their anxiety, but what kinds of toys are helpful for nervous dogs? That's where we come in, then.
When selecting a nice toy for your dog, it is difficult to go wrong with a KONG. The KONG Classic is our top selection for the best overall dog toy for separation anxiety, not only because it is wonderful for keeping your dog active, but also because it is very durable.
The KONG may be packed with kibble, KONG Stuff’N Easy Treat Paste, or your dog’s preferred goodies. This is a terrific technique to keep your dog occupied and calm while you are away, as they must strive to uncover the concealed treat.
KONG toys are non-toxic and available in a variety of sizes, making them suitable for all dog breeds. There are also extra-durable choices available for the most aggressive chewers. In addition to being dishwasher-safe for simple cleaning, they make a fantastic retrieve toy. The main disadvantage is that as dogs find out how to extract the rewards, they become faster and busy for shorter durations.
- Strong and suitable for heavy chewers
- Relieves dogs’ boredom and keeps them calm.
- Comes in several sizes
- Safe for use in a dishwasher
- May not endure for extended periods
The Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball is a wonderful option for relieving separation anxiety in your dog. It is also the most cost-effective dog toy for separation anxiety. This ball reduces anxiety by keeping dogs active in a healthy manner by promoting natural foraging habits and requiring them to work for their goodies.
These balls are wonderful for all types of play, since they roll, bounce, and even float. They are useful for reducing separation anxiety. You may easily utilize interlocking snacks in the chew ball, or just add your dog’s food or favorite treats.
A further benefit of this toy is that it is free of latex, vinyl, and phthalates and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The negative is that it is too large for tiny breeds, and owners of aggressive chewers claim that it is demolished in no time, so it may not be perfect for dogs with strong jaws who like ripping apart their toys.
- Compatible with all types of treats
- On water, it rolls, bounces, and floats.
- Safe for use in a dishwasher
- Absence of latex, vinyl, and phthalates
- Not recommended for heavy chewers
- Not designed for tiny breeds
The iDig by iFetch is a fantastic toy that not only helps with separation anxiety, but also prevents your dog from digging up your furniture, carpet, and maybe even your lawn. The iDig’s pockets let you to conceal snacks and toys, making it much more entertaining and intriguing.
The base is built of hard shell plastic, making it appropriate for all sizes of aggressive diggers. The shoulder straps are machine-washable and may be simply removed for cleaning. Overall, this toy provides good cerebral and physical activity.
The iDig’s high price is a drawback, but there aren’t many similar products on the market. There were also instances of the material tearing after lengthy and regular usage.
- Excellent for dogs of every size
- Promotes normal digging behavior
- Featuring compartments for hiding goodies and toys
- Maintains dogs’ happiness and occupation
- Fabrics may fray with continued wear.
Smart Pet Love’s Snuggle Puppy is a fantastic option for children who suffer from separation anxiety and want some comfort. Snuggle Puppy is designed as a behavioral intervention to assist pups overcome feelings of isolation while they undergo crate training and adjust to life away from their mothers and littermates.
With its disposable heat packs and heartbeat simulator, this toy will give comfort by simulating the body heat and pulse of a living partner. Snuggle Puppies are available in a variety of colors and are machine-washable and extremely simple to clean, which is a great benefit during the messy puppy period.
Snuggle Puppy will include two AAA batteries and one disposable heating pack with a 24-hour lifespan. The substance used to create these cuddly companions is marketed as human-safe. The disadvantage of this plush toy is that it is easily chewed up, therefore owners must oversee play.
- Imitates heartbeat and body temperature
- Provides solace to lonely dogs
- Excellent crate training assistance
- Machine washable for simple maintenance
- Offers several color options
- Can be readily chewed
- Recommended usage under supervision
The Licki Mat may be used as either a distraction for separation anxiety or a slow feeder for individuals who like to gulp down their food. It encourages licking, which is associated with the production of endorphins that may help relax and calm your dog if separation anxiety is causing them distress.
The act of licking their yummy food will keep them interested and will also stimulate salivation, which may promote tooth health. The Licki Mat is designed to be eco-friendly and is constructed without BPAs.
Licki Mat may be used for dogs of all sizes, and its owners are often pleased with it. The one disadvantage of owning the Licki Mat is that it is not a traditional toy that can be used for separation anxiety as well as amusement.
- Excellent for calming
- Encourages licking, which triggers the production of relaxing endorphins.
- Keeps dogs occupied
- Excellent for oral health
- Possible benefit to oral health
- Not your average toy
This Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game is an excellent method to offer your worried dog with much-needed mental stimulation. You just conceal the goodies inside the maze and let your dog enjoy the challenge of locating them.
This is a really gratifying game, as your dog will get their favorite treat for all of their hard work. The white plastic blocks may be used to adjust the game’s complexity. Possessing a challenging activity might aid in reducing separation anxiety and provide some mental relief.
Unfortunately for large breeds, this toy is intended for smaller ones. Owners said that it wasn’t as durable as they would have liked, and especially intelligent dogs were able to figure it out fast, allowing them to finish the problem too soon.
- Challenging challenge to keep your dog engaged
- Ability to alter the difficulty
- Hiding sweets inside a riddle
- A fantastic mental workout
- Not for huge breeds
- May lack durability
The Chill Playtime Kit is an excellent, all-inclusive toy for medium and large-sized dogs with separation anxiety. This package includes a robust chew toy that is free of BPA and latex as well as a tasty reward spread produced with a peanut-based spread including naturally relaxing components like as melatonin and chamomile.
When your dog is feeling worried, you may fill the ends of the Chill bone with the yummy treat spread to keep them focused and calm. It will need them to take time to relax and strive to remove every last trace of the paste.
This is an excellent option for medium to big dog types, but it is much too huge for little dogs. The bone is quite durable and ideal for aggressive chewers, however some owners have complained that it retains a strong odor even after several washings.
- Includes a buffet of delectable treats.
- Devoid of BPA and latex
- Maintains dogs’ occupied
- Convenient all-in-one kit
- Not for tiny breeds
- The bone may have a pungent odor.
The Jolly Ball Teaser Ball is designed for dogs that like balls, which is why it has a ball inside a ball. This toy is made from high-density polyethylene and is meant to roll about in an irregular manner, keeping your dog interested and wondering how he got the ball out.
This is wonderful for separation anxiety because to the toy’s mobility and excitement, and the challenge it presents will keep them occupied. You may further attract them by introducing peanut butter or another spreadable delicacy.
The Teaser Ball from Jolly Ball is also perfect for independent play and as a water toy for pool days or trips to the river, lake, or beach.
It is available in many sizes, allowing dogs of various sizes to participate. Owners of aggressive chewers note that the outer ball is simpler to damage than they had planned, since bits of plastic are easily removed.
- Available in several sizes
- The feature of a ball inside a ball is really fascinating.
- Easily add reward spread to further occupy your dog.
- Excellent for solo play
- Floats in liquid
- Not suitable for excessive chewers
- Small bits of plastic fragment.
Zippy Paws manufactures very entertaining hide-and-seek toys that may be used to treat separation anxiety. The Burrow Log & Chipmunks is one of the numerous plush alternatives for charming creatures that includes a log and noisy toy chipmunks that may be concealed within.
This is a highly rated interactive toy that may keep your dog interested as he or she attempts to expel the chipmunks. In addition to providing a great deal of cerebral stimulation and excitement, this toy is incredibly simple to clean, since it is machine-washable.
The downside is that it is not designed for aggressive chewers, so if you have an anxious dog that enjoys chewing, the plush will be easily destroyed. Supervise your dog during playtime in order to avoid them from ingesting the stuff.
- Interactive and enjoyable
- There are squeaky toys hiding inside
- Excellent mental stimulation
- Plush is readily ruined.
- Recommended usage under supervision
The multi-level Trixie Flower Tower is a fascinating, interactive toy that challenges your dog’s intelligence by requiring it to figure out how to get the yummy goodies.
This toy demands focus and will keep your dog’s mind occupied, making it an excellent aid for separation anxiety sufferers.
It contains nonslip rubber feet to keep the toy in place while your dog plays. You may raise or reduce the degree of difficulty by removing cones, and you will also get a little pamphlet with training tips.
Whether you use treats or your dog’s usual kibble, you may conceal it in a variety of areas. This toy is ideal for small to medium-sized dogs, but it is not suitable for bigger breeds.
There are some complaints that it isn’t as durable as promised, so take that in mind, but many dog owners give this toy positive feedback overall.
- Engaging interactive snack toy
- Great mental exercise
- Includes a manual with training recommendations
- Increase or decrease the degree of difficulty
- A little too little for huge canines
- May lack durability
Consider the Preferences of Your Dog
Prior to making a final selection, it is essential to identify and comprehend your dog’s preferences. For instance, your dog may like balls and respond best to a treat-dispensing ball or an interactive ball toy of some kind. It would be a shame to spend money on something that doesn’t appeal to them in the first place.
Ensure the Size is Appropriate
Before you buy a dog toy, examine the item’s size and the breed sizes it is meant for, particularly if you are purchasing online. You do not want to buy a toy to aid with your dog’s separation anxiety only to discover that it is too small.
Maintain Mental Stimulation
Separation anxiety occurs when a dog feels very anxious when separated from its owner. Having a toy that keeps them active and cognitively stimulated can assist to divert their attention away from their anxiety as they attempt to solve a problem or get that reward.
Candy Dispensers Are Wonderful
The road to most dogs’ hearts is via their bellies, therefore treat-dispensing toys are often well-received. Treat dispensers excite them and provide them the drive to concentrate on the toy rather than on the stress of being separated from their folks.
Think About Your Dog’s Chewing Behavior
Some dogs are strong chewers, but others may rarely chew at all. If your dog exhibits destructive chewing behavior as a result of separation anxiety, you need a toy that can withstand their sharp teeth and strong jaws. You should not provide a persistent chewer soft, fluffy toys or ones that are quickly damaged.
Always keep safety in mind
Due to the fact that no toy is indestructible, it is important to keep in mind that toys should be used under the supervision of their owners. If ingested, they may offer a choking danger or cause a foreign body blockage. Remember to consult your veterinarian if you have questions about the kind of toys (if any) that are OK to leave out while you are away.
Additional Suggestions for Managing Separation Anxiety
It may be tough to treat separation anxiety, and toys are only one of the numerous things you can use to aid your dog. Toys won’t necessarily address the issue, so here are some other considerations to bear in mind.
Initially, Avoid Leaving Them Alone for Prolonged Intervals
Every dog should be crate-trained, and although some may eventually be allowed out of the crate while you are gone, this should not be the starting point. Never leave your dog alone for extensive periods of time in the beginning, and be careful to start slowly and gradually increase the time away. You may begin by leaving them alone for five minutes, then progress to twenty, then an hour, etc. This might help them gradually adjust to your absence.
Exercise Your Dog
A dog that is exhausted is more calm. Attempt to exercise your dog before leaving the house if you are aware of an impending departure. Depending on the breed and amount of activity, you may need to allot more time for specific dogs. Consider going for a stroll, jogging, or simply bringing them outdoors to play for a bit. When they have returned inside and are ready to relax, you may go so they can obtain much-needed rest while you are gone.
Do not emphasize leaving the house
Numerous owners do the error of kissing their dog farewell, expressing their love for them, and making it quite clear that they are leaving the home. If you are saying goodbye before leaving, do it far in advance of walking out the door, so your dog does not associate the two events. Simply organize your belongings before leaving, maintain a cool and forceful demeanor, and leave the home without a change in your demeanor. Dogs are very perceptive, and when they understand you’re going to leave, their anxiousness may go into overdrive.
Play Soothing Sounds While You’re Out and About
One strategy for combating separation anxiety is to play familiar sounds while abroad. This may assist to calm your dog, since they will be able to hear regular household noises while you are around. This may include television, music, or an audiobook. Certain dogs benefit greatly from this background noise.
Consult a Professional
If you are worried about your dog’s separation anxiety, it is advisable to seek advice from your veterinarian. Before addressing separation anxiety, it may be necessary to rule out any underlying health concerns. If your efforts to help your dog with this problem have been unsuccessful, there is no harm in calling a professional dog trainer for assistance. Separation anxiety may be difficult to cure, and expert advice is never harmful.
1. Are there toys that function when I’m away from home?
Fortunately, the majority of dog toys designed to relieve anxiety are most effective when the dog is alone. If your dog is like others, the reason he or she feels anxious is because you are gone for long periods of time throughout the day.
To keep their thoughts occupied and concerns at away, you may invest in an enrichment toy that will offer them with hours of enjoyment, leaving them with little time to miss you.
2. Why do some toys encourage physical exercise indoors?
It is common knowledge that exercise is a fantastic stress reliever for dogs. While it would be ideal to give them plenty of exercise before they depart, we understand that this is not always possible given your schedule. There may be another option that will work.
Investing in toys that encourage your dog to run about or any item that promotes physical activity will significantly alleviate their anxiety. Not to mention it will undoubtedly wear them out and result in a restful slumber!
3. Why does my dog not like playing with her toys?
If you have yet to locate a dog toy that he or she enjoys, there may be an issue with the dog’s surroundings. When attempting to assist your dog feel less anxious, the toy is only one of a number of crucial items to consider. She must also feel secure in the house. Take efforts to make your dog feel safer while you’re gone.
4. What more can I do to ensure that my dog plays with appropriate toys?
Sometimes a great deal of excitement is required to urge dogs to engage in soothing activities. If a toy alone is insufficient, you may also introduce a white noise machine into the room.
Similar to humans, soothing noises lower the anxiety-inducing receptors in the brain and contribute to a more relaxed atmosphere. You may also like to try aromatherapy or a dedicated pet bedding.
5. Do I need to oversee my dog’s playtime with his new toys?
Always maintain vigilance over your dogs while they are eating, biting, or chewing on anything. This is particularly true for new products, since you cannot predict how well they will withstand your dog’s strength.
Toys may often be chewed into little pieces that pose a choking danger. Invest on goods that are impervious to the power of your dog’s teeth. The majority of the toys described in this page may be used unattended.
Regarding separation anxiety toys, BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) reviews of the best dog toys for separation anxiety speak for themselves.
The KONG Classic is an excellent option since it is available in several sizes, is robust, and can store a variety of goodies that your dog must struggle to remove.
The Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball is inexpensive and provides ball-loving dogs with a fun way to stay active. The iDig will keep your dog occupied and stimulate his natural digging instincts.
There is no dearth of excellent options, but keep in mind that toys are simply one tool in the process of addressing separation anxiety.
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