If your dog is plagued with anxiety then you are probably researching the best ways to help your dog. One method we recommend is looking through some anxiety-aiding dog toys. These toys act as both distractions and methods to help soothe your dog. There is not just one variety though; there are many different kinds of anxiety toys so it is important to know the type that will help your dog. Therefore, we have found the best dog anxiety toys and comprised a list for you.
Understanding how your dog’s anxiety affects them as an individual can help you to find the most suitable dog anxiety toy for them. We will be explaining the different factors to consider as well as their benefits. Furthermore, with our honest reviews of each product, you should be able to identify which best suits your pup. Come take a look with us!
15 Best Toys for Dogs With Anxiety
Onto the best part, the toys! We will detail all the factors you need to consider before making a purchase.
Our Best Pick:
For sure, dogs love to play, so pet owners must bring them the best dog anxiety toys available on the market. Well, for future reference, the first one on the list is the Kong classic dog toy. It has six sizes that are perfect for dogs of varying ages. Also, it’s good for dogs that suffer from anxiety and boredom. Further, if you want to have more choices, you can read the rest of the customers’ reviews below.
1. KONG – Classic Dog Toy, Durable Natural Rubber
Not only are Kong’s toys some of the most popular dog toys available, but it is also one of the most beneficial. It is constructed with strong rubber so your dog will struggle to break it, even strong dogs are unlikely to make a dent. It works by having a small center that you can fill with dog treats, paste, or other tasty snacks. They then have to use their tongue and paws to get all of the treats out. It gives them a toy that bounces to chase, as well as an enriching and engaging toy. Owners’ reviews mention how their dog who destructively chewed now only chews this Kong during times of stress.
This is a very engaging toy that helps stimulates both the mental and physical development of dogs. It prevents boredom, and separation anxiety, and even helps exercise a dog’s instinctual behavior. Moreover, this classic dog toy also acts as enrichment motivation for active dogs.
- Good for dog’s behavioral training.
- This can be filled with treats such as peanut butter and kibbles.
- Provides great mental stimulation for dogs.
- This is durable and highly recommended by veterinarians.
- It doesn’t have warnings at all.
- It’s not suitable for large dogs with a powerful bite.
2. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball
Pet Zone offers a food dispenser ball that is both fun and enriching. It’s a little plastic ball that you can put treats in. Your dog has to roll and paw at the ball in order to move the treats through the sections of the ball and out into the open. This helps to distract your dog and keep them mentally stimulated for long periods of time. One of the best qualities is that you can increase the difficulty over time to keep things new and interesting for your dog. However, this ball is made of plastic so it should not be given to heavy or destructive chewers. Reviews mention that this ball can entertain for hours at a time.
Well, this is perfect for dogs that like to combine both feeding and playtime. Yet, take note that as owners, we must control their eating pace. According to a study, dogs need to eat slowly. That is because gulping very fast when feeding leads to choking and bloating. Further, this is the main reason why this treat ball is great for dogs.
- This acts as a treat dispensing machine for dogs.
- Perfect for stimulating your dog’s mind.
- It’s easy to use and clean.
- This promotes a slow yet healthier mode of feeding.
- It’s highly recommended for medium breeds.
- This gets broken easily.
- The broken shards of plastic are choking hazards.
- Not suitable for large dogs with powerful bites.
3. AWOOF Pet Snuffle Mat for Dogs
A snuffle mat is a mat with a lot of material pieces that allow you to hide treats and other forms of enrichment. AWOOF’s snuffle mat has a brown bass with green material on top to resemble green grass. It has a string tie that lets you place the treats in and then begin to close the mat. Therefore, your dog not only has to sniff and push around to find the treats but pull open the snuffle mat. This makes the foraging more engaging and the process of recovering the treats a longer one. The reviews of this product are very positive and mention how their dog’s anxiety lessened when this toy was offered as a distraction in stressful situations, such as they leave the house.
Dogs like to play search, so incorporating this play mat will trigger your canine’s instincts. Also, this doubles as an interactive feeding bowl and mat that helps aid in doggie digestion. Moreover, this also has a non-slip bottom for a more enjoyable feeding and food-searching experience.
- It provides a more enjoyable experience for dogs.
- The felt fabric is eco-friendly and easy to clean.
- It can help train your dog’s olfactory senses.
- The mat can be turned into a bowl.
- Perfect for dogs that like searching for things.
- Some parts can be ripped and be choking hazards.
- Large and more active dogs can easily destroy the mat.
4. Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound – Medium
Outward Hound’s products are well-known due to their high quality and engaging functions. This interactive puzzle is no different. It has some of the best reviews on Amazon and has three compartments for hiding treats and four different puzzles. This product is best for dogs with higher IQs as others may become bored or frustrated, which reviews concur with. However, you have the choice to buy this product in four different levels including dogs of many different abilities. Similarly, dogs of high intelligence may finish the puzzle very quickly, so it all depends on your dog’s personality and IQ.
Well, canines like challenges, whether it be physical or mental stimulation. So, this Nina Ottosson treats puzzle could be the right one for your furry companion. Moreover, it has unique treat-hiding trays that can arouse your dog’s interest while eating.
- Perfect for both indoor and outdoor games.
- It’s PVC, BPA, and Phthalate-free.
- The puzzle provides good interactive mental stimulation.
- It’s cost-effective and easy to clean.
- It helps promote calm behavior in dogs.
- This is not for chewer dogs.
- Small parts are choking hazards to dogs.
- The tile parts get broken easily.
5. WEOK Heartbeat Puppy Toy with Heartbeat
This is a very creative toy that is a mat with a heartbeat. Your dog can lie on this plush, cuddly elephant and they can feel the heartbeat module when lying on it. This mimics the heartbeat of their mother and gives an also immediate calming effect. Combine this with the soft texture of the elephant and you have a toy that can really make a difference. The reviews for this toy state that puppies and elderly dogs have particularly benefited from the calming effects of this design.
Dogs experience emotions such as fear and sadness too. But, unlike humans, they can’t tell us how they cope with it. So, it’s our job to give them the best comfort ever. Well, in that case, buy your furry companion some snuggle buddy. Plus, this WEOK Heartbeat puppy gives off a motherly presence that surely will ward away a dog’s negative emotions.
- Provides comfort to anxious and lonely pets.
- It aids in behavioral training.
- This has a heartbeat module that dogs can listen to.
- It’s durable and easy to clean.
- This isn’t good for puppies that chew things.
- The heart function is faulty.
- It’s smaller than what was advertised.
6. QDAN Dog Squeaky Toys
This is a dog toy that is perfect for destructive chewers of medium to large sizes. It is a very strong toy that comes in a green and black marble design in either a skull or time bomb shape. It acts as an alternative to destructive chewing due to its robust design.
As your dog cannot break this toy, they will continue to chew it to try and pull it apart and this is very difficult to do. Looking at customer reviews, even those who own dogs with insanely strong jaws are shocked at the strength. One owner mentions how their Pitbull couldn’t break this toy, even after eight months!
- Suitable for aggressive chewers
- Durable and long-lasting
- The squeaky sound can’t last longer
7. Felixmuc Puppy Behavioral Training Aid Toy for Anxiety Relief
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This heartbeat relief toy is shaped like a panda and offers a heartbeat simulator to comfort your dog. They can lie on top or cuddle around the toy to feel the comforting heartbeat, that which resembles that of their mother from when they were a puppy. This presents the feeling of safety and comfort which helps to relax them in times of anxiety.
The product will continue to simulate a heartbeat for an 8-hour period unless turned off, so can comfort your dog when you are out at work. Reviews discuss how comforting the product is for dogs that struggle to sleep at night or be alone.
- Promotes safety and comfort
- It has a heartbeat stimulator that will remind the pup of their mother
- Can last up to 8 hours and automatically turns off
- It is pricey
8. Feeko Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Chewers
This long-lasting, rubber ring is the perfect chew toy for your dog. It comes in five different colors and aids in different kinds of chewing. Firstly, it is strong for destructive chewers so they will have difficulty breaking the toy. Secondly, it is flexible. This allows your dog to pull and bend it and play with it in a more engaging manner than a regular chew toy. Many anxious dogs put their energy into chewing different textures and objects that break or move differently for stimulation and distraction. A toy that offers different movements and is difficult to break will draw more of their attention and keep them mentally stimulated. Reviews enjoy the flexibility and strength of the toy.
Meanwhile, what makes this product worthwhile is its innovative non-toxic rubber donut-shaped design. This arouses dogs’ interest to chew which can help clean tartars off their teeth. Also, this is pretty much easy to clean. Just run it over some soap and water, then it’s good to go.
- This is highly recommended and ideal for dogs of all ages.
- It’s highly interactive as well.
- This is durable and safe to use for most dogs.
- It can be coated with peanut butter to arouse interest.
- It has a lifetime warranty period.
- The actual product is smaller than the advertised size.
- Some parts are choking hazards.
9. Moropaky Heartbeat Toy for Dog Anxiety
This is another heartbeat toy to help with your dog’s anxiety. What makes this toy stand out is the shape of the product. It is a curved pillow that can hug your dog. Having surrounding support has evidence to suggest that it reduces anxiety greatly. This is because they feel support surrounding multiple areas of their body and therefore feel less vulnerable. Combining this feature with the heartbeat that your dog can feel from lying on this toy will calm their nerves in a variety of situations. Multiple owners comment on how their dog has slept better having this in or by their bed throughout the night.
If you want a different style of heartbeat toy to give to your dog, then you better check this one out. This Moropaky toy is perfect for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. Also, other than its heartbeat function, this toy has a wrap-around design that mimics the feel of a hug. Hence, it can comfort, release stress, and calm any dog at all times.
- Perfect for the cold snuggly weather.
- Great way to calm down anxiety in dogs.
- It also has a heartbeat function that aids in sleeping.
- This is also good for behavioral crate training.
- It was quite expensive.
- The battery gets too hot after 6 minutes of usage.
- Its heartbeat feature is faulty.
10. BellaBoo Pets Interactive Dog Toy for Strong Chewers
Bellaboo has created an adorable, interactive toy for your dog. This wonderful product is shaped like a cute little hedgehog but is actually a chewable, food dispenser. You can put treats inside this toy for them to have to chew, lick, and push out. Furthermore, the hedgehog spikes act as teeth-cleaning, chewable prongs. Add a little bit of peanut butter in the spikes for your dog to lick and chew. The toy is strong and can survive a lot of chewing but the prongs can be chewed away by digs with strong jaws. This is a highly rated product that owners from all over love the multi-function toy to distract anxiety.
If you’re having trouble maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene then this toy is for you. Well, what are you waiting for? Buy this interactive chew toy and incorporate both play and dental hygiene together.
- It’s ideal for medium to large breeds.
- This is a combo toy and food dispensers.
- It’s durable and made from a non-toxic rubber material.
- Also, this is safe and easy to clean.
- This helps prevent boredom and arouses dogs’ interests.
- It’s not as tough as advertised.
- It has a hole at the bottom that can trap dogs’ tongues.
11. All for Paws Puppy Sleep Aid Plush Toy
This is a combined anxiety toy by all for paws. It offers a heat pack alongside a heartbeat and comforting texture. It is a cute little lamb toy that your dog can cuddle with. The supplied heartbeat and warmth will remind your dog off when they were a puppy sleeping with their mum. This helps them to feel safe and thereby relaxed. The pulsing heartbeat has been designed with accurate timing to display a dog’s heartbeat. An added bonus of this product is that it is machine-washable. Which is extremely useful if your dog sleeps with it every night. Owners love this for their anxious or nervous puppy.
Dogs love plush stuffies that they can cuddle during sleep. This also has a heartbeat function, so it mimics the motherly figure dogs love. Moreover, a single purchase includes heat pads and batteries which makes it such a good deal.
- This is a plush and very comfy cuddle buddy for dogs.
- It aids in behavioral crate training sessions.
- Acts as both a toy and a pillow.
- Comes with three free batteries.
- It’s not chew-proof.
- The heartbeat function is faulty.
- Its heating pad contains small choking hazards.
12. SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy
This cute little dog is a heat pack and is available in five colors to purchase. With 22 years of experience in developing products to help your dog, SmartPetLove has a lot of experience in creating positive toys. We call this a toy because it is a soft plush that your dog can cuddle and take around with them. With the added heat pack though it brings the perfect level of comforting warmth to settle your dog’s nerves. Owners have used this, especially during times when they leave the house. It offers support and a feeling of warmth that you give, so they can have it even when you aren’t there.
- This is thick and at the same time durable.
- The plushness is enough to comfort a dog’s anxiety.
- It’s safe and easy to clean.
- It has a built-in heat pad that can last 24 hours.
- Perfect heartbeat toy for dogs of all ages.
- The package arrived without heat packs.
- It also contains chewable choking hazard parts.
13. Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Cute Pink Boutique Rope Toys Set
Otterly Pets has a set of six pink rope-based toys. Your dog has multiple choices of what to chew and play with when they are anxious. Furthermore, each toy has different shapes and textures so even if your dog ignores one or two, there should be one that satisfies their needs. Reviews state that if your dog loves chewing toys and furniture, this set can be a major relief and distraction for your pup.
Well, other than mental stimulation, this Otterly rope toy set also has dental benefits. It helps remove plaque and tartar build-ups. Hence, your dog can have cleaner teeth and fresh breath while enjoying playtime.
- It’s a unique rope-shaped toy for dogs.
- The rope is made from safe and natural materials.
- Helps clean teeth and removes tartar build-up
- Distracts your dog from feeling bored.
- It’s sturdy and easy to clean too.
- The colors are inconsistent.
- Very aggressive dogs may be able to tear the rope.
- Torn materials can contribute to choking hazards.
14. ZippyPaws Farm Pals Burrow Interactive Dog Toys
Toys are important in a dog’s life. Well, toys motivate dogs to be active in terms of physical and mental attributes. Anyway, if your dog requires an interactive squeaky snuggle toy, then you’re in the right place. This ZippyPaws toy product is very helpful in behavioral and crate training. Moreover, as owners, you can hide this toy and ask your dog to find it. Then, when he finds it, give him praise for good behavior. Also, you can use this as a strategy to convince your dog to get inside the crate. Simply just put the stuffie inside the crate, and motivate your dog to go in.
Other than that, this ZippyPaws dog toy can also be your dog’s comfort buddy. Further, this is the perfect size to be brought anywhere. So, when your dogs feel like it, they can just grab this stuffie and put it in places they want to sleep. Also, it comes in different designs and variations so dogs will most likely be entertained.
- Its unique design and texture trigger dogs to play.
- This is a 3-in1 product.
- It’s a squeaky toy that enables dogs to practice their hearing.
- Perfect for hide-and-seek games.
- This also comforts dogs during times of anxiety and loneliness.
- This is made from fabric so it’s easily torn.
- Torn pieces are choking hazards.
15. Goughnuts Dog Chew Toys
If you own large dog breeds such as Pitbulls and German Shepherds, then you may have to consider buying this type of chew toy. Unlike others that easily get broken, this Goughnuts is twice as sturdy, making it almost nearly indestructible. Moreover, this is one of the most highly recommended dog anxiety toys since this is heavy-duty and cannot be torn by normal biting and clawing of dogs. Also, this comes in 3 colors and is suitable for 5 dog sizes.
Moreover, this can be used to play games of fetch or hide and seek. This is an enjoyable toy that promotes the development of a dog’s mental and physical being. Also, to ease a dog’s anxiety, this toy can be covered with layers of peanut butter. By doing that, canines will be too busy licking the treat instead of worrying.
- This was specifically made for medium to extra-large dogs.
- It’s extra durable and can withstand tough bites.
- This is cost-effective and long-lasting.
- It’s made from safe and natural rubber.
- This is donut-shaped, so dogs have a better grip on it.
- Other pet owners complained this smelled like a tire.
16. PetSafe Busy Buddy Interactive Dog Toy and Treat Dispenser
Dogs love the combination of play and feeding time. Hence, that’s the reason behind those excited stares and leaps whenever humans give them a new toy. According to science, dogs cope with their anxiety whenever they eat food or chew objects. Well, upon knowing that case, scientists invented a way to incorporate eating and chewing stuff together by creating dog toys and treat dispensers.
Further, if you’re a pet owner looking for the best dog anxiety toy ever, then you should give the PetSafe interactive dog toy a chance. This toy not only helps enrich a dog’s mental capacity but also promotes a healthier way of feeding, and that’s slow eating. Also, this product has a soothing lavender scent that relaxes a dog’s body during certain anxious stages.
- It’s perfect for dogs that have anxiety.
- This has a natural chamomile scent that relaxes your dog.
- It’s safe and easy to clean using the dishwasher.
- Customers reported this product is cost-effective and durable.
- Bigger dogs can break this toy in 24 hours.
- Its small parts can be choking hazards.
- The sizes are bigger than normal.
17. Petcube Bites 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser
Last but not least in our list of best dog anxiety toys is none other than this advanced Petcube treat dispenser. Among all the dog toys, this one is the only entry that comes with wifi technology. Well, not only that though, but it also has wide-angle cameras, motion sensors, and a two-way sound system that can help you monitor your pet effectively and efficiently.
Moreover, the best part of it, owners can control this treat dispenser by connecting it to their mobile devices. In addition to the remote giving treats, this also has a way of playing music to bored and anxious pets. Well, just pair your IOS 11.0 or Android 7.1.2 devices to Petcube and then you can have access to the unlimited high-tech feeding and monitoring of your beloved dog.
- It has a built-in wifi camera for pet surveillance.
- This also has a motion sensor and two-way audio technology.
- It has an Alexa assistant.
- Also, this has a night mode session and ultra-wide camera panels.
- With this, you can feed your pet remotely.
- The camera is blurry.
- This is quite expensive.
- The Alexa function is a bit faulty.
Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety is a mental health problem that can deeply affect our dogs and lead to their unhappiness. It can also be a struggle for us to both deal with and support them through. There is also not one cause. Some dogs are more prone to anxiety based on their age, breed, and genetics. Many cases of anxiety are induced through the environment and situational changes though. Furthermore, the symptoms can vary from constant vocalizations to urinating inside. Although the symptoms can be quite mild initially, they usually develop if left untreated. This means that the odd bark can become barking for hours in the middle of the night.
A common cause for dog anxiety is separation from their owner or others. This is called separation anxiety and can affect your dog mildly or severely. In severe cases, your dog can react strongly from you being in the room next door. This could be jumping at the door, scratching it, and even destructive behavior. Another situation that induces anxiety is aging. As dogs become older their movements start to limit and even dementia and confusion, in general, can set in. These can all be stressful and lead to your dog becoming more anxious.
Dog Anxiety Toys
Dogs with anxiety are aided through gradual training, distraction, herbal remedies, and keeping them engaged and supported through times of stress. Dog anxiety toys can help to cover all of these areas. For example, if your dog suffers from separation anxiety then one method to help is giving them a lot to keep them engaged when you are not there. These toys can revolve around food retrieval, stimulating your dog’s senses, or even offering something of comfort for them to turn to.
By providing your dog with these toys you are offering them both a distraction and outlet for their anxiety. This not only redirects their negative behavior, but also offers something to help reduce their anxiety. It does so by allowing them to put that negative energy into something positive. Every dog is different and some toys will be more beneficial to them than others. Evaluate your dog’s personality to find their perfect fit.
Other Ways to Calm Anxious Dogs
Like humans, dogs suffer from anxiety as well. Well, that happens if they’ve been left alone for too long or it can be due to other traumatic experiences. As a pet owner, don’t worry. Here are some ways how to calm anxious dogs.
Provide Enough Exercises
According to research published in 2021, proper exercise daily helps reduce the amount of boredom and anxiety in dogs. Moreover, it helps stimulate their minds to become active and train their bodies to become alert. Plus, exercise strengthens and builds up doggie muscles so they won’t get tired fast in terms of walking or playing.
In addition, another study in 2020 reported that dogs suffer from fearfulness and anxiety due to environmental factors. So, researchers concluded that the emotion of fear and anxiety will only be reduced if dogs will be exposed to interactive exercises such as games, walks, or runs.
Use CBD Supplements
CBD or cannabidiol is an active component found in cannabis plants. In humans, it was found that the proper use of Cannabis has many benefits. For instance, it reduced symptoms of patients with Dravet syndrome and also decreased signs of anxiety. Well, since dogs are mammals just like humans, then it’s a possibility that CBD treatments can work for canines as well.
Moreover, that claim was supported by another study in 2022. Yet, AKC gave a thorough warning to pet owners who would like to give this as a treatment to their dogs. Hence, they stated that CBD has side effects of low blood pressure, dry mouth, and drowsiness. So, to minimize those effects, it’s better to consult a doctor for the proper dosage.
Offer Your Shirt
Anxiety in dogs is often a result of loud noises, the environment, or bad experiences with people. This condition cannot be cured in a single day, but rather it takes an ample amount of time to finally get rid of it.
In addition, people thought of ways how to calm anxiety in dogs. At some point, they found out that wrapping dogs in unused T-Shirts or calming vests help reduce the fearful experience in canines. Well, the explanation for that situation could be that the wrapping of clothing mimics a mother’s embrace. Hence, dogs appreciate that warmth and become calm.
Enroll Your Dog in a Daycare
Boredom is also another factor that gives anxiety in dogs. For instance, you go to work, and you leave your dog alone for hours in your house. When that happens, your canine doesn’t have anyone or anything to keep them entertained. As a result, they will have separation anxiety and worst, they may develop aggression.
Meanwhile, to avoid all that, humans can drop off their beloved canines at some doggie daycares. A dog daycare center attends to every dog’s needs that is from feeding time to playing and keeping them company with the best dog anxiety toys to avoid boredom.
Consult With a Vet
Anxiety is not a light situation. Dogs with anxiety issues struggle to communicate with their owners and also with the people around them because of their fearfulness. Yet, there are certain ways how to deal with doggie anxiety. For instance, giving them the best dog anxiety toys can alleviate the mood and calm the situation.
On the other hand, there are occasions where anxiety is severe and dogs become aggressive toward their owners. When that happens, no toys or activities will be able to calm them down. So, the best way to help your very anxious dog is to bring him to the nearest veterinarian.
Toys For Anxious Dogs: FAQ
We wanted to answer some further questions concerning dogs, anxiety, and dog anxiety toys. So we have collected the most asked and answered them below.
Some dog breeds that are more prone to anxiety include:
– Jack Russell Terrier
– Siberian Husky
However, note that any dog has the capability to develop anxiety. Their genetics, situation, and past can all influence anxiety. So do not eliminate the idea that anxiety could be affecting your dog if they are not in a breed that is usually affected.
There are both veterinarian prescribed and herbal remedies for anxiety. This depends on the severity of the anxiety and what methods you have already tried. Furthermore, it depends on the symptoms your dog is displaying and how severe they are.
Some ways to help your dog include:
– Gradual training to help certain symptoms
– A routine
Finding the right treatment depends on the cause and symptoms of your dog’s depression. Referring to a behaviorist or vet can help you to decide the next cause of action.
Anxiety dog beds are specially shaped and textured beds to help calm your pup. These calming beds help to soothe your dog through a few methods. One such is the shape of the bed. As it is curved it encourages your dog to lie in a circular position, one which naturally encourages your dog to calm down. This is because they feel safe and supported all the way around, helping them to calm down. Furthermore, the material is of an extra-soft variety. This is to remind your dog of the feeling of their mother’s fur which immediately helps to calm them down. This combination helps minimize their anxiety and offers them a safe place during times of discomfort.
Whether they are store-bought or homemade, anxiety toys can help dogs. Often a homemade dog toy can offer tailored care and fun that is perfect for your dog, as opposed to generalized dog toys.
Dog anxiety toys can be a cheap and effective solution to help your dog feel better. Finding the perfect toy helps to increase the likelihood that it’ll be of benefit to your dog. Evaluating what they like and what brings them comfort can help your choice.