15 Best Dog Toys for Separation Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide


best dog toys for separation anxiety

Quick Access To The Best Dog Toys For Separation Anxiety👇

Editors PickBrand
Best OverallSmartPetLove Snuggle Dog Toy
Best BudgetKONG Classic Dog Toy
Best Runner UpWest Paw Zogoflex Toppl Chew Toy
Best Under $25ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Toy
Best Puzzle ToyOutward Hound Treat Dispensing Game for Dogs
Best For SniffersAwoof Dog Snuffle Mat for Separation Anxiety
Best Plush ToyOutward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Plush Puzzle Toy

Does your poor pup become a nervous wreck when left at home alone? Do they constantly get into trouble and wreak havoc on your home? If so, chances are that your pup is one of many who suffer from separation anxiety. It’s not easy for them to have to deal with being away from the people they love. One way you can help ease their discomfort is with the best dog toys for separation anxiety.

Most pet parents have no choice but to leave their anxious pups at home on occasion. Doing so becomes a more severe problem for everyone involved if your pup has more serious separation anxiety. After digging into separation anxiety, one of the things that experts mostly suggest is providing the right toy for them to play with while they’re alone.

So we went ahead and scoured the internet to find the best dog toys for separation anxiety. We looked at over 74 different toys that “claim” to help with separation anxiety and narrowed it down to the 15 best toys that we could find.

Let’s dive in and help your dog overcome their separation anxiety.

Top 15 Best Dog Toys For Separation Anxiety

Best Overall: SmartPetLove Snuggle Dog Toy 

First up on our list is going to be the Smartpetlove Snuggle Dog Toy. Now, Not only is this one of the cutest toys that you can get online but It is known to drastically reduce negative behaviors resulting from anxiety, including whining, barking and destroying furniture. The unique aspect with this toy is the real-feel pulsing heartbeat and internal heat source that is included with the toy.

The idea is to mimic being part of a pack or by being with the people that they love. This directly appeals to the natural instincts your pup has. One of the biggest things this product does is eases loneliness, fear and of course separation anxiety. The snuggle puppy recreates a maternal intimacy with physical warmth and an advanced real feel heartbeat, with two modes, the eight hour setting and the 24 hour setting, so that when you’re gone, they can still feel like somebody is right with them.

After looking at the 14,898 Global ratings on amazon.com (Dec 10th, 2020), we found that over 71% of customers claim this to be a five star product. The only thing that we could note as a negative aspect of this toy would be that the material used is not indestructible. So if you have a heavy chewer. This is likely not going to be the best toy for you.

SmartPetLove Snuggle Dog Toy Features:

  • Reduces negative behaviors resulting from anxiety
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • ‘Real-feel’ pulsing heartbeat
  • Two AAA batteries (included) last up to two weeks with continuous 24/7 use
  • Easy To Clean (Machine Washable)
  • Disposable heat source lasts for 24 hours
  • non-toxic and safe for people and pets

Best Budget: KONG Classic Dog Toy

It would not be a list of best dog toys without the Classic Kong Dog Toy. This is the most recommended dog toy by vets, dog trainers, and canine behaviorists worldwide! Not only is this one of the best dog toys for separation anxiety but it will keep your pup entertained for prolonged periods of time, help with mental stimulation, teething pups, and serves as one of the most reliable chewable toys in the market.

The Kong classic dog toy weighs around 7.2 ounces and comes in a variety of different sizes with materials to fit your dog’s individual needs. There are types that serve each unique dog from your average chewer to your more aggressive.

Another major benefit is the hollowness of the Kong which allows you to easily fill it with treats so that your dog can chase it around digging for treats. You could even fill it with peanut butter to keep them busy! Now as a recommendation for pups with separation anxiety its best to leave something inside the toy when you leave, that way it will attract their attention and take them quite some time to get at the treats inside.

Kong Classic Key Features: 

  • Variety sizes and materials
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Ideal for teething pups
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material and a reliable chewable toy
  • Hollowness to Easily fill with Treats
  • Bounces and Floats

Best Runner Up: West Paw Zogoflex Toppl Chew Toy

Next up on our list is the West Paw Zogoflex toppl Chew Toy. Now similarly to the Kong classic dog toy, this toy is another with extreme durability, and a treat dispensing mechanism. One of the best aspects of the West Paw brand is their 100% manufacturer guarantee, meaning if your dog does end up breaking this toy, you’re able to send it back to get a brand new toy.

This toy floats in water, has a treat dispensing mechanism inside of it, an interlocking ring design (allowing you to link the small topple with a large topple), and it’s easily cleaned by tossing it in the dishwasher. Included in all West Paw toys, they have a mechanism for measuring the toughness of their toys. This Particular model falls under the category of moderate chewers. So if your dog is an extreme chewer, this is definitely not going to be the option for you.

This is a great toy for helping with separation anxiety as it will keep your pup stimulated and entertained for hours helping to put them in a more relaxed state reducing anxiety! Distraction and keeping our dogs happy and having fun is a great solution to anxiety. Not to mention this toy is also good for their teeth!

West Paw Zogoflex Toppl Features: 

  • Variety sizes
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Ideal for teething pups
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material and a reliable chewable toy
  • Hollowness to Easily fill with Treats
  • Floats in water

Best Under $25: ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Toy

If your dog is one who prefers plush toys, then this is going to be the best bet for you. There are a few variations of this product you can get, for the sake of explanation we will be going with the bunnies and carrot. Just to keep in mind, there are also a few different variations you can get such as: the monkey & banana, the Panda & bamboo, and also the pig pen.

ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Toy comes with 3 small animals each with squeakers inside and a larger plush toy for the little animals to hide within. This is a great toy if you have a small or medium sized dog. Larger dogs are not going to be able to utilize this as well considering the size of it is pretty small and they’ll tend to just chew it apart. This is going to be perfect for helping with separation anxiety due to its colorful and attractive nature that will keep your dog coming back for more (even when you are gone).

A lot of the reviews mention this toy being the favorite among all toys for their pups . After looking at the reviews of over 3380 customers over 80% had a five star review of this product, suggesting that it is a high quality product that your dog will love so its a must on our list of the best dog toys for separation anxiety.

ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Features: 

  • Variety sizes and variations
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Includes 3 animals with squeakers inside
  • Includes 1 large hide and seek plush toy

Best Puzzle Toy Separation Anxiety: Outward Hound Treat Dispensing Game for Dogs

Does your anxious dog need a job to do? Try a game of “hide-and-seek” with Outward Hound Treat Dispensing Game. It challenges your dog’s brain, keeping them too busy to be anxious. Its unique “brick” style design allows you to hide treats under the different “bricks” for your dog to sniff out. The idea is simple, the dogs must flip the covers off various compartments to find the treats.

This is a great dog puzzle toy for beginner dogs new to the concept of puzzle toys. It’s rated a level 2 or 3 for difficulty so it’s a great starter puzzle that will be the perfect cure to separation anxiety. If your dog tends to be a smarty pants, some owners have mentioned it being too easy for their dogs.

So if you want something to help eliminate boredom, reduce stress, destructive behaviors, exercise their brain, and distract them from anxiety triggers, Give this a try!

Outward Hound Treat Dispensing Game Features: 

  • Level 2 Challenge
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material and a reliable toy
  • Easily fill with Treats
  • Easy To Clean

Best For Sniffers: Awoof Dog Snuffle Mat for Separation Anxiety

This next one on our list is the perfect go to choice if your pup LOVES sniffing. It’s the Awoof Dog Snuffle Mat and is designed with a durable fabric that is safe and perfect for entertaining and mentally stimulating your dog. This is going to be perfect to use in order to reduce separation anxiety by keeping them busy sniffing away to find treats. 

The anti slip bottom helps keep the toy stable while your dog happily sniffs around looking for their reward. One of the best parts about this toy is how easy it is to clean and store. Throw it in the washing machine then pull the lanyard to close it up!

For sniffers this will be one of the best dog toys for separation anxiety.

Awoof Dog Snuffle Mat Features: 

  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material 
  • Easily fill with Treats
  • Multiple hiding spots
  • Rope and buckle for closing and transporting
  • Built In ringing bell and ringing paper

Best Plush Toy For Separation Anxiety: Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel

Outward Hound brings a unique and innovative Plush puzzle dog toy to the market. This toy includes hidden squirrels inside a soft plush tree trunk. Your dog will love this interactive puzzle as the squirrels pop in and out of their hiding holes while squeaking away. This is by far one the best toys to entertain your dogs, provide them with cognitive stimulation, and tucker them out! Which ultimately provides aid to any pups dealing with separation anxiety.

The Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel is available in multiple sizes ranging from junior to ginormous. The ginormous included 5 hiding spots that will keep your pet continuously entertained for hours on end and 3 – 6 squirrels with squeakers. Something to note about this toy, it contains stuffing and many users claim they tear after extensive use.

Hide a Squirrel Puzzle Key Features: 

  • Provides mental stimulation and aids with separation anxiety
  • 2-In-1 Interactive Play
  • Gentle on teeth and gums
  • Soft plush tree with 3 – 5 squirrel hiding spots
  • 3 – 6 plush squeaking squirrels included

Other Top-Rated Dog Toys For Separation Anxiety

Paw5 Wooly Snuffle Mat

Is your dog a heavy sniffer? If the answer is yes then this next toy is going to be one of the best dog toys for helping your pup with their separation anxiety.

The Snuffle Mat is an Ideal puzzle toy to challenge your dog’s sniffer. The soft felt strips make for a soothing material on your dog’s nose while giving them mental stimulation. This is not so much of a tough – to – solve puzzle, it is more of a scent game. One of the best parts of the Snuffle Mat is its ability to reduce nerves and anxiety in dogs. Sniffing is a great way for dogs to improve their mental health and bring them a sense of joy and accomplishment. This puzzle toy does not require any training but will keep your dog busy for quite some time searching through the mat for all the treats you’ve hidden away.

Paw5 Wooly Snuffle Mat Features: 

  • Engages your dog’s sense of smell
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Easy to fill with treats
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Easy to clean / Machine Washable

Hyper Pet LickiMat Boredom Buster

Next up on our list is the Hyper Pet LickiMat Boredom Buster. What’s great about this toy is it’s perfect for reducing anxiety, boredom and destructive behaviors. It works to help calm and soothe your pet by helping release endorphins through the promotion of licking.

Why this is one of our best dog toys for separation anxiety is how you can use it for taking your dogs to the vet, car trips, during bath time, nail clippings, injury recovery, thunderstorms etc… A whole bunch of different stressful things for dogs. This can be utilized to calm them down and relax them.

This is a product that’s recommended by vets and trainers due to all its benefits. This also aids in dental health as it has a surface with texture that promotes pleasurable licking action which generates saliva. This helps protect your dog’s teeth, gums and leaves them with a fresher breath.

The mat is perfect for soft spreadable foods, so things like yogurt, mashed pumpkin, peanut butter, even the occasional raw wet, and junk foods. After looking at the reviews online out of 20’353 reviews over 69% of people, rated this a five star and above.

Hyper Pet LickiMat Boredom Buster Features: 

  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Recommended by vets and trainers!
  • Aids with separation anxiety, boredom and destructive behaviours
  • Helps with Dental Health
  • Easy to clean (dishwasher safe)

Furbo Treat Tossing Dog Camera

Ever wonder what your pet is doing at home when you’re away? Wanting to check in to see if they’re misbehaving? Or if they look anxious or nervous? Well, here’s the solution to that. The Furbo Dog Camera. Now the great thing about this is it is essentially a camera and mic, combined with a treat tossing process.

This allows you to check in on your pet through your iPhone whenever you want! You can talk to them, you can give them a treat, and just check in to see what they are doing. This will make them feel really engaged and happy.

One of the coolest things about furbo is it was featured on Ellen and over 5000 vets and professional dog trainers approved Furbo for helping alleviate separation anxiety in dogs.

That’s not all though, it also includes a real time smart alert and cloud recording, to make sure that your dog is safe! Meaning, if your dog gets up to something bad or maybe there’s a fire in the house and your dog isn’t safe. Well It’ll let you know that something is going on in your house. 

We love this tech toy and it definitely belongs as one of the best dog toys for separation anxiety.

Furbo Treat Tossing Dog Camera Features: 

  • 1080p Full HD camera & night vision
  • 2 way audio 7 & activity alert
  • Fun automated treat tossing
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Easy 3 Step Setup

Wickedbone Smart Bone

Next up on our list is another interactive dog toy, called the Wickedbone Smart Bone. Now one of the coolest parts of this is it’s automatic and intelligent. Meaning you can choose between an interactive autoplay mode, or you can control the toy yourself using a joystick via the app. The autoplay mode is great for attracting your dog’s attention and does not require manual operation. It includes 12 types of emotional driven systems based on your pup. Wickedbone acts responsibly to different types of touch, such as chasing, teasing, avoiding, etc.

The battery life of the wicked bone is about one hour and lasts more than 30 minutes in app mode and more than two hours in interactive mode. Now, this is definitely one of the best dog toys to help with separation anxiety, as it can be a companion for your dog one when you’re away, making them feel as though somebody is with them.

Wickedbone Smart Bone Toy Features: 

  • Automatic & Intelligent
  • Auto Play Mode
  • Manual Drive Mode
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Easy to clean
  • Worry-free service

Nina Ottosson Tornado Puzzle

The bright orange colors of the Nina Ottosson Tornado Puzzle toy make for a beautiful and dazzling puzzle toy that any dog will love. Each of the 4 layers spins alternating between two different shades of orange.

The only way to reveal the treats is to move each bone shaped layer out of the way. This is ideal of dealing with separation anxiety as it can provide a job for your pup to complete and keep them stimulated. That way when you are gone, they are all tuckered out and stimulated from playing that it can help lower their anxiety.

Just fill the toy with treats and your dog will spend quite some time distracted searching for treats. As a warning, it is not recommended to leave your pet unattended with this toy.

This is a level 2 difficulty puzzle and will help stimulate your dog’s mind while not being so difficult and easy to not be effective. As an added bonus you can up the difficulty by placing treats under smaller white bones that fit into the compartments in each layer.

As with every toy, no dog toy is truly indestructible, so always remove the toy from playtime if pieces begin to break off.

Nina Ottosson Tornado Puzzle Features: 

  • Intermediate Puzzle
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Easy To Clean (Hand wash)
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Easily fill with Treats
  • Fights boredom & reduces destructive behavior

West Paw Rowdies Sanders Dog Toy

Up next on our list is the cutest plush toy ever called the West Paw Rowdies Sanders Dog Toy. This is one of the best plush toys, as it’s strong and durable and perfect for smaller dogs. It’s guaranteed, and built for heavy play so its a must for our list of the best dog toys for separation anxiety!

Not only is this one of the cutest looking toys on the market but it includes West Paws innovative Zogoflex material to create designated chewing zones dogs that love to chew away. In this toy the chew zones are the ears of the toy.

Another great thing about this toy is that it’s machine washable and dryer safe for easy cleaning. It’s perfect for tugging, shaking, flopping and a great toy to keep your dogs anxiety down.After looking at all the reviews over 70% of people rated this a five star toy.

West Paw Rowdies Sanders Features: 

  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material and a reliable chewable toy
  • Easy to clean (machine washable)
  • Build for Rough Play
  • Comes in multiple colours

PetSafe Busy Buddy Jack

This next toy is a unique toy design that’s going to help with your pups separation anxiety and it’s called the Petsafe Busy Buddy Jack Dog Toy. What’s unique about this is it’s a refillable product that uses Gnawhide or Cornstarch Rings. The idea is simple, you add the rings to the product and let your pup go at it. It stands up to heavy chewers and helps clean their teeth.

This product comes in a variety of sizes from small to large, and includes additional treat rings that can be purchased separately if you do run out of the rings that are used for food motivated pups. The goal with this toy is to redirect potentially destructive chewing behaviors into positive playtime that helps with their dental hygiene, as well as keeping their mind stimulated and distracted from any anxiety and stress. A great feature of this toy is you can also adjust the difficulty by placing the gnawhide rings in multiple locations to customize the toys difficulty level.

This item is recommended for strong chewers and after looking at all of the reviews, over 77% of reviewers gave a five star rating of this product.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Jack Features: 

  • Variety sizes and treat rings
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Ideal for teething pups
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material and a reliable chewable toy
  • Adjustable difficulty
  • Recommended for strong chewers

Petcube Bites

If you read over the Furbo dog camera product review, this is going to be very similar. This product is called the Petcube Bites and includes a Wi Fi pet camera with a treat dispenser. It includes a 1080 p HD video, two way audio, sound and motion alerts, night vision and has a Alexa built in. Essentially, this is going to be very similar to the furbo. So definitely check out both to see which one fits what you’re looking for best.

Another great aspect to the Petcube Bites is that you get a one year warranty. Meaning that if there’s any defects in the material or workmanship under normal use for the period of one year, you get a free new one in return or a refund.

This product was also featured on Ellen, CBS, NBC today, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. This product also includes a quick and easy two minute setup, entirely of pet proof including the wall mounting option and holds up to 1.5 pounds of treats (which is more than any other treat camera on the market).

The biggest downside to this version of the product is its a bit more pricey than other similar products. 

Pet Monitoring Camera with Built-in Treat Dispenser Features: 

  • 1080p HD camera
  • Two way audio
  • Sound and motion alerts
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • 1.5 pound treat holder
  • Night vision
  • Built in Alexa

PetSafe Busy Buddy Barnacle and Squirrel Dude

Next up on our list is going to be the Petsafe Medium Busy Buddy Calming Toys for one of our final best dog toys for separation anxiety. This includes two products in 1!

One is the busy buddy barnacle and the other is the squirrel dude. This is a great toy that uses a soothing caramel scented rubber that helps reduce your dog’s separation anxiety.

It includes two sets of fun toys to give your dog a variety. Now keep in mind if you go to purchase this on chewy.com, there are going to be two separate products that you would have to buy. Whereas on Amazon.com, they come in a two set bundle.

One of the great things about this toy is it is treat dispensing so it keeps your pup entertained, especially if they are food motivated. Both these products are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

They’re designed for medium sized dogs who weigh between 20 to 50 pounds and the great part of the Petsafe brand is that they give a quality guarantee! 

PetSafe Busy Buddy Barnacle and Squirrel Dude Features: 

  • Two products in 1 (on amazon)
  • Provides mental stimulation 
  • Ideal for teething pups
  • Aids with separation anxiety 
  • Durable material and a reliable chewable toy
  • Easily fill with treats
  • Easy to clean (dishwasher safe)
  • Petsafe quality guarantee

What Other Things Can Help With Dog Separation Anxiety?

When your dog is facing separation anxiety, us pet owners want to make sure we do everything we can to prevent stress and anxiety in our dogs. Although some toys can be a great way to reduce or eliminate anxiety in some cases they do not solve the problem. In some cases it is best to have a few options or combinations that work together synergistically to really make a massive impact.

Here are a few other select products that may work to help further decrease your pups separation anxiety.

ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket

This next product is definitely going to be one to consider if your pet doesn’t mind wearing things on their body. This is called the Thundershirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket. This product  is vet recommended as a calming solution for fireworks, thunder, travel, separation anxiety, etc. This is made of 100% polyester and helps millions of dogs with an over 80% success rate. This product is recommended by 1000s of vets trainers and pet owners alike.

Now, why this product works so well is because it applies a gentle and constant pressure to calm the anxiety, fear and over excitement due to a variety of environmental triggers. When humans and dogs get hugged, we naturally release endorphins in our bodies. That’s why people love to hug so much! This product is essentially hugging the dog at all times, making them feel safe and secure.

One of the great things about this product is it has 100% money back guarantee. So if you’re not satisfied for any reason, simply return for a full refund of the purchase price.

ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket Key Features: 

  • Variety sizes 
  • 100% polyester
  • Aids with anxiety from separation, thunder, travel, fireworks etc. 
  • 80% success 
  • Hollowness to Easily fill with Treats
  • Bounces and Floats

Sentry Calming Collar

Next up is a very unique collar that helps calm dogs, The Sentry Calming Collar. This collar is scientifically proven to reduce the fear of loud noises, bad behaviors and excessive barking among dogs. It’s said to help reduce stress through releasing hormones for up to 30 days.

Some of the reviews mentioned that this did not work for them. So make sure if you are buying this product that you are aware that this may not work for your dog. However, some say that this did the trick and really made an impact on their dogs health and behaviour. 

Sentry Calming Collar Key Features: 

  • Variety sizes 
  • Provides 30 days of hormonal release 
  • Aids with separation anxiety and fear of loud noises

Aromatherapy Freshening And Shining Spray

 One of the other things you can look for to help with anxiety is special aromatherapy products. Up next on our list is the Lavender and Chamomile Aromatherapy Freshening and Shining Spray for Dogs. Veterinarians say the soothing blend of essential oils, aloe vera and other natural ingredients not only block bacteria and thicken fur but also quiet barking and calm anxious dogs.

All you have to do to use it is just spray before a grooming session and then brush through to enjoy a clean fresh coat and a more peaceful pup. As an added bonus it will also act as a deodorant spray to reduce bad odors, It’s 100% dog safe, and these naturally fresh senses will produce a lavender and wildwood scent.

The last thing we will note about this product is that it’s great for detangling hair and making dogs coats soft, shiny and easier to brush. Its 100% safe and non-toxic.

Aromatherapy Freshening And Shining Spray Key Features: 

  • 100% safe and non-toxic
  • Block Bacterial and Thicken Fur
  • Aids with separation anxiety
  • Helps to detangle hair
  • Lavender and wildwood scent

Final Thoughts

These are just some of the best dog toys for separation anxiety, along with a few extra products to help. There are many more to choose from. To find the best one for your unique pup it may help to analyze just what is right for them specifically. Analyze your pup to understand what situation they are in.

Do they tend to chew, rip or bark when alone? An extreme durable chew toy may be the best option.

Do they get easily bored and start benign destructive to your home? An interactive toy is likely the best option.

Or maybe your dog tends to become very nervous and frightened. They would likely need a calming aid, combined with a nice, fluffy cuddle buddy. Perhaps a combination of items may be the solution to help ensure that when you do have to leave your pup it’s far less upsetting for you both.

Other posts you might find interesting:

10 Best Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety: The Ultimate Guide

Top 12 Best Dog Beds For Anxiety | Minimize Dog Anxiety

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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