Best 5 Dog Toys For Separation Anxiety
Did somebody say food toys!? 😍🤤
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If your dog’s suffering from separation anxiety, you’re probably looking for ways to help keep her occupied when you’re out of the house.
While there are tons of different separation anxiety dog toys on the market, they aren’t all created equal, and it can be hard to try to figure out which toys and brands are the best for your dog.
The Dodo reached out to Jane Wolff, a certified dog separation anxiety trainer and co-owner of Good Wolff in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to find out which separation anxiety dog toys she recommends to her clients.
How separation anxiety toys can help
When it comes to toys for dogs who are home alone, food and puzzle toys can help your dog from becoming bored and may even reduce symptoms of separation anxiety (like constant barking, destruction or urinating inside the home).
“However, food toys alone will not solve separation anxiety as many dogs will not eat while alone due to anxiety,” Wolff told The Dodo. “Separation anxiety is a panic disorder and needs to be addressed through systematic desensitization,” which is basically like a type of training.
So while food and puzzle toys won’t necessarily solve separation anxiety, they can still be used to help treat it — along with other treatments recommended by a certified trainer or dog behaviorist, like desensitization and counterconditioning, and a vet, like prescription medication or calming supplements.
How to find the best separation anxiety dog toys
Thankfully there are tons of really cool toys on the market now that can help a dog who suffers from separation anxiety
“Any food puzzle or interactive feeder will do,” Wolff said. “Toys that can be stuffed and frozen can give your dog a long-lasting, stationary project to work on while alone.”
Best dog toys for separation anxiety
“If a dog truly has separation anxiety, I would suggest first reaching out to a qualified professional who specializes in treating it,” Wolff said. “Separation anxiety is considered a behavioral emergency by veterinary behaviorists and should be taken seriously.”
If your dog is not panicking while alone and just needs a project to fill her alone time, Wolff suggests the following separation anxiety toys since they’re entertaining, long lasting and durable:
This classic separation anxiety toy can be stuffed with your dog’s favorite treats to keep her happy and distracted. You can even fill it with peanut butter and freeze it overnight so that it lasts longer.
This brightly colored food toy is built specifically for moderate to aggressive chewers. Not only will it help keep your dog busy when you’re away from home, but it’s also floatable, so you can use it to play in the pool whenever you’re looking for some fun outdoor activities.
The cool thing about the KONG Genius collection is that if you get multiple, you can connect them together for an added challenge!
Not only will this slow feeder food toy help keep your dog busy while you’re out, but it’s infused with mint oil to keep your pup’s breath fresh.
You can use peanut butter, canned dog food, yogurt or another spreadable treat on a Lickimat to keep your pup distracted. “Frozen works great too,” Wolff said.
While treating a dog with separation anxiety can be difficult, it’s not impossible to help her feel better. With these separation anxiety dog toys, you should be able to help keep your dog occupied while you’re away — and hopefully not worry so much yourself!