The 9 Best Toys For Dogs With Separation Anxiety

Dogs May 22, 2020
Written by Avital | Updated Apr 21, 2021
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The 9 Best Toys For Dogs With Separation Anxiety

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Since then, we have noticed that he has extreme separation anxiety. For example, changes in his routine, being left alone, and having a physical barrier between us and him (for example, being in another room when someone comes into the apartment) increases his anxiety.

Like most pup parents, we wish that we could bring our 102 pound furry friend with us everywhere. But, unfortunately, we can’t. Instead, we have been working on finding ways to ease his anxieties with exercise and toys that he loves!

At a Glance: Best Toys For Dogs With Separation Anxiety To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Toys For Dogs With Separation Anxiety

Overall Best
KONG Classic Dog Toy

1. KONG Classic Dog Toy

Runner Up
Fire Hose Dog Tug Toy with Squeakers

2. Fire Hose Dog Tug Toy with Squeakers

Best For Playful Dog
Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

3. Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

Most Popular
Jolly Pets: Rope and Ball Tug Toy

4. Jolly Pets: Rope and Ball Tug Toy

Best Dry Or Wet Treat Dispenser
Lickimat Classic Playdate

5. Lickimat Classic Playdate

Best For Entertaining Dog
Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

6. Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

Best For Playful Dog
Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

7. Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

Best Fetch Toy
Squeak and Fetch Toy

8. Squeak and Fetch Toy

Best Durable
Pet Zone IQ Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy

9. Pet Zone IQ Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy

Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Price range
Low-mid
Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Price range
Low-mid
Price range
Low
Price range
Mid-low
Material
Natural rubber
Material
Firehose
Material
plastic
Material
Cotton and rubber
Material
Food grade TPR rubber
Material
plastic launcher and rubber ball
Material
plastic – non-toxic and BPA free
Material
Non-toxic natural rubber
Material
plastic
Size
7.2 ounces
Size
27 inches long, 3.2 ounces
Size
1 pound
Size
1.81 pounds
Size
7.4 ounces
Size
26 inches, 0.16 ounces
Size
12.8 ounces
Size
6.5 inches X 2.7 inches, 9.6 ounces
Size
Available in 3 or 4 inches
Made In
USA
Made In
China
Made In
China
Made In
USA
Made In
China
Made In
United States
Made In
China
Made In
China
Made In
China

How The Toys Were Tested:

  • We used our own money to purchase all the toys. In other words, the toys were not
  • purchased in exchange for positive reviews.
    Each toy was carefully chosen depending on quality, material, price range, and durability.
  • We spent a few hours each day testing the toys

Our dog LOVED this experiment, he was able to play and interact with so many new toys to create this list. In other words, Hyper has given all the items 5 stars and barking reviews!

Our Top Picks For The Best Toys For Dogs With Separation Anxiety

Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them! Here are our top 9 picks for Best toys for dogs with separation anxiety:

Overall Best
1.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Natural rubber
  • Size: 7.2 ounces
  • Made In: USA
Pros
  • Classic and durable design
  • Available in many different sizes (X-small – XX large)
  • You can use different types of treats
  • Easy clean up with warm soapy water and a bottle brush
  • Can reduce boredom and separation anxiety
  • Licking helps to soothe our anxious pups
Cons
  • Dry treats will fall out of the toy
  • Not challenged by the hole in the Kong
KONG Classic Dog Toys are simple and effective toys that have been around since the 1970s. The KONG’s design makes it easy for your pup to play independently. Freezing the KONG with wet treats, like peanut butter, makes for long lasting fun!

While you can use dry treats with this toy, we suggest using wet treats. The act of licking can be very soothing for your anxious pup. The KONG Classic Dog Toys come in different sizes, ranging from X-Small to XX-Large, and differ according to your dog’s chewer profile. We have found that our pup LOVES his classic KONG and even likes to play fetch with it when we are home.
Runner Up
2.

Fire Hose Dog Tug Toy with Squeakers

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Firehose
  • Size: 27 inches long, 3.2 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Made from real durable firehose material that is extremely hard to destroy
  • Three separate squeakers
  • No stuffing! You won’t need to clean up the stuffing if your pup destroys the firehose
  • Well made and cute designs
Cons
  • Always monitor your dog while playing with this kind of toy
  • Lizard legs can tear off (as seen in the photo)
Fire Biterz toys are made with durable tightly woven layers of the fire hose material. This lets your dog play as rough as he or she can with a toy made to withstand tons of pressure! The toys are used for all types of playtime, including tug of war.

Additionally, the Fire Biterz are not made with stuffing. This means that if your pup DOES destroy it – because no toy is completely indestructible- there will be no stuffing thrown around your home. No. Stuffing. Thrown. Around. Your. Home!

The squeakers also are durable, long-lasting, and will boost your dog’s playtime excitement. Our pup loves his Fire Biterz Lizard!
Best For Playful Dog
3.

Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low-mid
  • Material: plastic
  • Size: 1 pound
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Food chamber holds up to 3 cups (depending on the food size and weight)
  • Weighted bottom keeps pups engaged
  • Openings are adjustable
  • Exercises and feeds your dog at the same time
Cons
  • Large pups may try to chew on the top
  • Cannot take the dispenser apart, making cleaning difficult
The Bob-A-Lot Interactive treat dispenser wobbles and engages your pup during feeding and playtime. The bottom of the Bob-A-Lot is weighted and has an anti-slip coating. Mealtime in our home is after long walks, and our pup tends to eat his food quickly.

Using this type of toy not only slows down his eating but continues to tire him out physically and mentally after our long walks. There are two adjustable openings that allow different sizes of food to be released with different levels of difficulty. Cleaning is difficult because you can not reach the inside of the toy.

The company suggests rinsing with warm water. This type of treat dispenser can reduce boredom and separation anxiety.
Most Popular
4.

Jolly Pets: Rope and Ball Tug Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Cotton and rubber
  • Size: 1.81 pounds
  • Made In: USA
Pros
  • All materials are recyclable and non-toxic
  • Ball is made from puncture resistant rubber
  • Acts as playtime dental floss for your pup
  • Great toy for tugging, chasing, and swimming activities!
Cons
  • Frayed edges may be torn off
  • The puncture-proof ball is heavy
Your dog will love this high-quality twisted and knotted rope with a puncture resistant ball looped through. It is tough and can withstand hours of playtime with your lovable pup. This toy is great for pups that like to play rough.

The rubber ball comes in many different sizes, ranging from 4.4 inches to 8 inches. Because of the material and size of the 8 inch ball, it is over 1 pound! Hyper loves playing with this, and swinging the ball around. It helps release his pent up energy and anxiety within the home.
Best Dry Or Wet Treat Dispenser
5.

Lickimat Classic Playdate

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Food grade TPR rubber
  • Size: 7.4 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Promotes healthy tongues, gum, teeth, and breath
  • Made from food-grade TPR rubber: Nontoxic, durable, PVC and BPA free, and freezable.
  • Licking helps soothe and calm your dog
  • Can reduce boredom and separation anxiety
Cons
  • The ridges sometimes trap food
  • Not dishwasher safe
The LickiMat Boredom Buster is made from food-grade TPR rubber. So, this means that it is nontoxic, durable, PVC, and BPA free. The mat is designed to keep your pup licking for hours – especially if you freeze it!

So far, we have tried peanut butter, yogurt, and cottage cheese. He loved them all! Dogs often lick to ease their anxieties, this action can help calm your dog down, reduce boredom, and separation anxiety. The ridges also stimulate saliva production, this promotes clean dog tongues, gum, teeth, and breath!
Best For Entertaining Dog
6.

Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: plastic launcher and rubber ball
  • Size: 26 inches, 0.16 ounces
  • Made In: United States
Pros
  • Lightweight and available in many sizes
  • Keeps your hands clean from slobbery and muddy balls
  • Regular tennis-sized balls fit in the launcher
  • Balls are easily wiped down
  • Can be used in water and outdoor playtime
  • Increases your pup’s exercise time by catapulting the ball far
Cons
  • The ball may be destroyed by active chewers
  • The lightweight plastic material can also be destroyed by active chewers
The ChuckIt! Ball and Launcher helps you to enhance your pup’s fetch game. The lightweight plastic launcher lets you pick up the ball with ease, keeping your hands clean while catapulting the orange and blue ball across the park or any other outdoor space you and your pup go to.

Our pup LOVES taking his ChuckIt! Ball and Launcher to the dog park and he always comes home tired and ready for a restful day sleeping while we head to work.
Best For Playful Dog
7.

Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low-mid
  • Material: plastic – non-toxic and BPA free
  • Size: 12.8 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Food chamber holds around 1 cup, depending on treat size
  • Openings are adjustable
  • Exercises and feeds your dog at the same time
  • Made from non-toxic and BPA free plastic
Cons
  • The lightweight plastic means that it is not as durable as others in this category
The Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom turns mealtime into playtime! The treat dispenser is available in two different sizes, small and medium/large. The dispenser spins, rolls, and flips as your dog works hard to release his or her tasty treats. This dispenser stimulates your dog, both mentally and physically.

Therefore, it can reduce boredom and separation anxiety. The adjustable openings allow you to use different types of dry treats and increase or decrease the difficulty of the toy. Cleaning is very easy and it is dishwasher safe (top rack only)! The mushroom has a simple screw off mechanism allowing you to disassemble into 4 pieces.
Best Fetch Toy
8.

Squeak and Fetch Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Non-toxic natural rubber
  • Size: 6.5 inches X 2.7 inches, 9.6 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Non-toxic, eco-friendly, natural rubber
  • Made with 100% beef that is only detectable by your pup’s nose
  • Is durable enough for tough chewers
  • The company offers a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee
Cons
  • Heavier than typical fetch toys
  • Does not bounce well
This squeaky toy was made with dogs in mind! The rubber is made with 100% real beef scent. It is also non-toxic, eco-friendly, and natural. Hyper is attached to this toy!

Lucky for us, however, the smell is only detectable by a hunting dog’s nose. We play fetch with this toy and also use it to quickly get his attention when needed (someone walking around the apartment building or mail delivery). Best of all, it is manufactured in an FDA compliant factory. So you know it’s safe!
Best Durable
9.

Pet Zone IQ Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Mid-low
  • Material: plastic
  • Size: Available in 3 or 4 inches
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Exercises and feeds your dog at the same time
  • Very thick and durable plastic
  • Easy to clean
  • Rolls easily
  • Engages your pup’s hunting instincts
Cons
  • Makes a lot of noise when rolling around
  • Small kibble is best for this toy
The Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball is an interactive and challenging way to engage your pup during and extend mealtime. There are three disk inserts that create various levels of difficulty for your dog.

This treat dispenser rolls around the floor as your pup pounces to retrieve his or her favorite treats. There are many benefits to these types of toys, they engage your dog physically and mentally. It also assists your active pup’s digestion. The thorough cleaning of this toy is very easy! All you need is soap and water.

What Causes Separation Anxiety In Dogs?

Separation anxiety can be a result of many different internal and external factors. These reasons include but are not limited to, medical issues, being very attached to their humans and getting overly stressed when left alone, being over protective or scared of other animals or people, and more. If this behavior is sudden, take your pup to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.

All of our pups are different. This means that there are no “one size fits all” explanations as to why your pup may be feeling this way or how to correct it. As a rule, trial and error help us determine the causes of these symptoms, how to correct the behavior, and ultimately, how to help our pups feel better!

It is important to try to understand the cause of the anxiety your pup is having, before trying to correct it in their behavior.

Review Some Of The Questions Below To Understand Why Your Dog May Be Experiencing Separation Anxiety:

  • Does your pup have any medical problems?
  • Is your pup on any new medications?
  • Have you attempted to correct the behavior with positive reinforcement and training?
  • Has your dog recently been abandoned or surrendered?
  • Did someone in your pup’s life pass away recently?
  • Has someone in your dog’s family left the home?
  • Has there been a change in your dog’s schedule?
  • Have you recently moved?
  • Are you suddenly spending less time at home with your pup?

What Does Separation Anxiety Look Like In Dogs?

There are no “one-size fits all” as to what separation anxiety looks like in dogs. Each pup is different meaning that each pup will show separation anxiety differently. Below are some examples of what separation anxiety may look, keep in mind that your pup may show signs that are unique to them. You know your pup best, and know what differences in their behavior may look like.

Some Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety Are:

  • Excessive barking, whining, howling
  • Repeated incontinence or defecation in the home; having accidents
  • Chewing or scratching items around the home, furniture, doors, shoes, etc.
  • Digging holes
  • Excessive drooling, panting, or salivating
  • Obsessive pacing around your home in stressful situations
  • Attempting to escape from the home

We love our pup and have worked hard over the last 5 years to understand him and try to ease his anxieties. One thing that always works – toys and treats!

We have put together this list of The 9 Best Toys for Dogs with Separation Anxiety and we hope you find these items as helpful as we have!

Types Of Toys We Considered:

There are many toys that can help dogs with separation anxiety.

  • Fetch: Dogs need tons of physical and mental stimulation. Playing fetch allows your dog to get all the exercise needed! Keeping their eye on the ball, racing after it, and bringing it back will tire your dog out mentally and physically. You can play fetch with many different types of toys, like, rubber balls, plush balls, tennis balls, frisbees, and sticks.
  • Chew: Chew toys are a great and tasty way to keep your dog occupied. There are many different types, even some that can improve dental hygiene and clean teeth. Before choosing the best chew toy, you should figure out what type of chewer your dog is.  That will help you figure out the type of chew toy you should get.
  • Plush: Plush toys can be really fun for your pup. Figuring out your pup’s ability and drive to destroy will help you determine if this kind of toy works for you and your dog.
  • Tug: Tug and rope toys are great for indoor interactive and dependent play. These toys are typically very durable and are available in many shapes, sizes, types, and colors.
  • Interactive games: Interactive games are designed to keep your pup entertained and engaged with tasty treats. These toys target your pup’s mind, keeping them busy and happy, sometimes for hours. Interactive games are known to reduce boredom, separation anxiety, increase independent playtime, and slow down your pup’s eating habits. There are many different types available, such as puzzles, treat dispensers, and mazes.

You should always consider your dog’s preferences for one type over another, material, price, and durability when researching and purchasing toys. Because, after all, you know your pup the best!

Safety Information For Dog Toy:

There are many different types of toys made by many different manufacturers. As a rule, new toys should always be introduced under supervision to ensure their safety. On the other hand, some toys, like chews, should always be played with under supervision, for example, chews or bones.

It is important to remember that no toy is completely indestructible. For that reason, you should periodically inspect your dog’s toys for signs of wear and tear.

Here are some guidelines to consider when conducting your own research.

  • Size: You should always choose toys that fit your dog’s size. Small dogs may not want to play with large toys, and small toys may be dangerous for large dogs.
  • Washability: Keeping your pup’s toys clean is very important. Always check to make sure that the toys can be machine washed, wiped down, dishwasher safe, or hand washed. This is critical in keeping your pup not only happy – but healthy!
  • Material: The material of each toy is very important. Make sure that the toy is durable, especially if you have an active chewer, and that it is made with safe material for your pup to lick and enjoy.

You know your playful dog the best, and know what types of toys he or she will like most. Your dog’s activity level – both indoor and outdoor, their ability and drive to destroy toys, and the size of your dog will help you figure out the best toys for them.

Final Thoughts:

The best thing that we can do for our dogs is to challenge them, both physically and mentally, to keep them happy and healthy. Learning the causes of your dog’s separation anxiety will drastically change your pup’s quality of life!

Toys are a great way to engage your furry friend that displays separation anxiety. I hope that you and your dog find this list of The 9 Best Toys for Dogs with Separation Anxiety helpful and fun!

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Avital lives in Los Angeles and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her pups!
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