Dog separation anxiety toys and other things to help destress your pooch.
In this post we’re going to look at not just dog separation anxiety toys but dog separation anxiety products in general. We’ve got you covered from vests to mats and essential oils to dog calming treats. There’s a whole host of items out there which claim to be the solution to all of your problems so let’s dig a little deeper.
Before we get to the products, let’s take a look at what separation anxiety is in dogs, why it happens and then finally, what we can do to help.
Why do dogs get separation anxiety?
Dogs by their very nature, are pack animals. Your little Chihuahua or your Poodle may look like the furthest thing imaginable from a Wolf. The fact is though, it’s in their DNA and dogs are meant to be in a pack. If you’re a dog owner, they essentially see you as a member of the pack and they want to have you around.
Separation anxiety can be triggered by fear, boredom, a new home or simply, the dog is just not used to being left alone. Does your dog bark or whine when left alone? Do they chew the furniture or become very restless (setting up a camera can help monitor this) ? If the answer is yes they could be suffering from separation anxiety. So aside from buying products, what can we do to alleviate the situation?
One thing we can do which is absolutely free is work with our dogs and train them to be content when left alone. Building things up slowly is the key here. Try initially just leaving the room and closing the door behind you. Stay out for a minute or so and then return with no fuss. If your dog has remained quiet and well behaved you can reward them with a small treat. Build it up and leave the room for a few minutes at a time. Eventually you can leave the house for a short period, maybe leave, go to the shop and then return within 15-30 minutes. Again, reward the dog when you come home.
When you go out, leave them a toy, it’s much better they chew that than the legs of your sofa.
Although it’s good to train your dog to cope when left alone for some time, it doesn’t mean you should be striving to train your dog to be ok with being left at home all day. That’s not the goal here. It’s widely accepted that 4 hours is the absolute maximum time a dog should be left alone.
Dog separation anxiety toys.
So in this section, let’s have a look at the top 5, customer rated best dog separation anxiety toys.
1: The Z-Vine dog toy Panda Mat is a soft, plush mat which comes with a built in heartbeat simulator. The idea is that the simulated heart beat soothes your dog and helps them to sleep. There are many dog stuffed toy with this feature but also too many reviews from people saying the dog would rip the toy apart. Given that there are plastics and batteries inside these products I’m not sure they’re a good idea.
2: BUIBIIU Assorted Chew Toys 6 pack. At under $15 this pack contains 6 different, plastic free toys to keep your dog entertained. The majority of customers rate this pack at 5 stars and it seems to be good value for money.
3: Stuff the KONG Classic with your dog’s favourite treats and then simply let your pooch figure it out. The shape of this toy makes it bounce in an unpredictable manner and the drip feeding of treats keeps your dog engaged. At the time of writing this has an owners rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.
4: Ok so strictly speaking this isn’t a toy but the Lickimat Dog Slow Feeder is sure to keep your hairy wee friend entertained for some time. These mats also prevent your dog from eating too fast. Many owners it seems are opting to freeze the mats after smothering with food to make it last even longer.
5: Finally we have the ZippyPaws – Woodland Friends Burrow. This interactive, puzzle style toy should keep your dog entertained and it doesn’t contain any small, plastic parts which could be easily swallowed. It has over 12,000 ratings with over 80% of owners giving it 5 stars! That’s a lot of 5 star reviews.
Alternative dog anxiety products.
Now that we’ve had a look at some of the available dog anxiety toys, let’s see what else there is on the market.
1: The Thundershirt dog anxiety jacket claims to relieve dog stress by applying a constant but gentle pressure to the dog’s body. Sound unbelievable? Well lots of owners seem to agree and if it doesn’t work they offer a no questions, money back guarantee. Worth a try at least.
2: Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that over the last decade there’s been a massive rise in the use of Hemp oil to help treat human ailments. Now the canines are in on it and Charlie & Buddy offer their Hemp Oil for Dogs as an option to reduce anxiety in your dog.
3: If your dog is anything like ours, they probably spend a lot of time in their bed. The Best Friends by Sheri Donut Calming bed is Amazon’s Choice and by the look of it, the choice of many owners also. The bed comes in a variety of colours and sizes and looks to be super cosy.
4: We use essential oils in the home for a range of different things but when we first got our current dog she was extremely nervous. We already had doTERRA Lavender essential oil in the house. doTERRA oils are very concentrated so a single drop goes a long way. We mixed it with water in a misting bottle which is usually used for plants and sprayed it on her bed. Dogs have a much keener sense of smell than us so go easy with it.
5: Zesty Paws Calming Bites might be the dog treat you need to settle your anxious pooch. Two flavours to choose from and 90 treats in a bottle.
Dog anxiety toys (roundup.)
In this post we’ve looked at some of the available dog anxiety toys. To be honest, many of the ones available looked gimmicky and also dangerous. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable leaving our dog with a toy filled with small plastic parts as these could easily be swallowed. After a bit of digging though there were a handful of useful looking solutions.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety there’s really no substitute for spending some time and patience training them. If you don’t feel up to the task look up a local dog trainer. Ask friends who have dogs for recommendations or even find a suitable dog training course online.
These things take time and solutions don’t happen overnight. If your dog is new in the home, more often than not their anxiety will ease over time as they learn to trust you.
Please feel free to check out some of the related posts which are linked below.
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