Best dog toys for separation anxiety

Toys

While toys can provide comfort and stimulation when you’re away, it’s important to exercise caution when leaving your dog alone. Severe anxiety may result in a dog destroying toys and consuming inappropriate things, leading to a potentially dangerous situation.

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What are the best dog toys for separation anxiety?

When bonded to their owner and used to a certain lifestyle, dogs can quickly become attached to having company and grow worried when they’re left alone. Separation anxiety may start at a young age or develop over time; it can be triggered by sudden changes in routine or environment and lead to destructive, harmful behavior.

One of the ways to alleviate separation anxiety in dogs is through toys. The best dog toys engage in order to distract from being left alone and avoid boredom or provide comfort to reduce stress and help keep the dog calm while they’re left alone. Separation anxiety can be dangerous when unchecked, but there are means to help your furry friend cope.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety happens when a dog has become attached to a person or persons and is left at home. It can develop over time or occur as a result of past trauma. Separation anxiety may result in barking, shaking and marking. Destructive behavior can also ensue, with dogs chewing or ripping clothes or furniture or trying to break free of barriers.

There is no one guaranteed way to eliminate separation anxiety. Providing calming toys, the best chew toys for dogs or interactive puzzles is one approach; others include administering soothing treats or even medication.

Reducing separation anxiety will require regular training, easing the dog into feeling comfortable alone by leaving them for a short period and then increasing the length of time apart. Physical and mental exertion prior to leaving can help your dog relax. Upon returning home, avoid getting too excited as this can lead your dog to get worked up while you’re away, anticipating your return.

11 best dog toys for separation anxiety 

Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy

Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy

While cute and cuddly on the outside, this soft dog toy offers a warm and cozy companion for pets left alone. It features a pulsating heating pad inserted within, which offers both a clamming and protective sensation for worried dogs. The heartbeat function can be toggled on or off as desired, and the purchase includes batteries so it’s ready for use immediately.

Sold by Chewy and Amazon

Kong + Calming Chews Bundle

Kong + Calming Chews Bundle

The Kong is one of the most popular and best chew toys for dogs. It’s a simple plaything that dogs can chew, chase and investigate for treats. When it comes time to leave, placing a reward within the Kong will help redirect your dog. With repetition, they may even begin to associate you leaving with being rewarded. This purchase comes with calming chew treats designed for use with the Kong.

Sold by Chewy

Ethical Pet Soothers Blanket

Ethical Pet Soothers Blanket

This cuddly, calming plush toy is paired with a security blanket for extra relief. The blanket offers a sense of protection and a place of warmth for nervous dogs, while lavender beads within exude a soothing aura. What’s more, the blanket includes a squeaker that can distract or even engage when left alone.

Sold by Chewy and Amazon

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Beginner Puzzle Toy

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Beginner Puzzle Toy

This simple, interactive toy is ideal for anxious pups just getting into puzzles. It prevents boredom and provides a welcome distraction from times alone, offering up tasty treats as rewards. Your dog needs to move around the ball to dispense treats, stimulating their mind while hopefully removing stress and tiring them out.

Sold by Amazon

All for Paws Puppy Sleep Aid

All for Paws Puppy Sleep Aid

This is another soft, welcoming toy for pups that are scared to be alone. Within a cozy, furry exterior is a gentle simulated heartbeat to offer protection. This toy also includes a heat pack to add a comforting, warming sensation as well.

Sold by Amazon

Outward Hound Calm Dog Koi Dog Toy

Outward Hound Calm Dog Koi Dog Toy

This adorable Koi fish dog toy is cleverly designed to engage and stimulate worried pups. It features small compartments to house treats, challenging your dog to get them out. The interactivity holds attention and distracts from being left alone, minimizing boredom and fear. This toy is also easy to wash and holds up fairly well against more eager dogs.

Sold by Chewy

Busy Buddy Calming Treat Dispenser

Busy Buddy Calming Treat Dispenser

The Busy Buddy interactive toy is another worthy option to keep your dog engaged while dispensing treats as a reward for their hard work and good behavior. The rubber is scented in chamomile to offer a calming sensation, while the dispenser can be adjusted in size based on the size of the treat and how difficult you want the experience to be.

Sold by Chewy and Amazon

Petstages Cuddle Pal Sloth

Petstages Cuddle Pal Sloth

This cozy and calming toy welcomes dogs of all ages seeking a friend to curl up with. The internal warming pad can be microwaved to provide up to an hour of heat distribution. Like other toys on the list, this one can provide relief from anxiety of all kinds, whether it’s during a storm or adapting to a new environment.

Sold by Chewy

Ethical Pet Soothers Crinkle Plush Toy

Ethical Pet Soothers Crinkle Plush Toy

This comforting plush provides not just a safe partner for when your dog is alone, but also a toy to enjoy when they are feeling playful. The crinkly exterior and internal squeaker stimulate excitable dogs while lavender beads within provide a calming experience. Purchase includes one of three randomly selected animals: a pig, monkey or cow.

Sold by Chewy

Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad

Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad

Distraction and redirection are the foundation of behavioral training. Separation anxiety may be reduced if your dog has something else to focus on when you leave — like a lick pad. This inexpensive and easy-to-clean toy can provide lengthy distraction. Spread a little bit of peanut butter or treat crumbles across the various patterns to engage your dog when you leave.

Sold by Amazon

Multipet Aromadog Man Therapeutic Essential Oil Dog Toy

Multipet Aromadog Man Therapeutic Essential Oil Dog Toy

This soft and squeaky plush provides added comfort by releasing calming lavender essential oil. The furry exterior offers a cuddly companion with its fleece exterior. One of three characters — bear, elephant or dog — will be shipped upon purchase.

Sold by Chewy

 

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