Does your furbaby bark for hours while you're out and about? Did they tear the couch cushion to shreds last time you left town for the day? If your pup suffers from separation anxiety, the holidays can be hard to handle. The holiday season is a busy time of year, and chances are, you'll need to leave your pup home alone on more than one occasion.
Fortunately, there is no need to feel guilty when it's time to visit relatives or shop for presents. In this post, we've compiled a list of the best gifts for anxious dogs to help your furbaby survive separation anxiety throughout the holiday season and beyond. The following gift ideas will also help you enjoy the festivities with peace of mind because you'll know your furbaby is comfortable and happy while you're away.
1. Furbo Dog Camera
As a pawrent, one of the most stressful parts of knowing your furbaby has separation anxiety is not knowing how they are doing. The moment you walk out the door, you probably wonder if they are shredding the house to pieces or experiencing severe distress. It breaks your heart to imagine your furbaby anxious and alone. Furbo brings loads of relief for you and your precious pet.
Dogs experience separation anxiety because they feel a strong attachment to their pawrent. Furbo Dog Camera allows you to be there with your furbaby, no matter where you are. That's because Furbo is a camera, two-way microphone and treats dispenser you can control from your smartphone, Amazon Alexa or any compatible device. In other words, you can interact with your furbaby whether you are a thousand miles away on vacation or down the street buying Christmas cookies.
For example, the microphone allows you to speak to your furbaby and comfort them with your voice. If they seem anxious, you can toss tasty treats with a touch of your phone and distract them until they calm down.
You can also use Furbo to keep an eye on your furbaby and watch them play with their new holiday toys. As a result, you'll gain valuable insight into your furbaby's world, and you will be able to determine which toys or products help them relax most. Once you learn how your furbaby acts while they're alone, you'll be able to help them overcome their anxiety in the best way possible.
Overall, Furbo offers a simple way to interact with your pooch and stay connected at all times. If you're going on a trip this holiday season, you'll be glad you purchased Furbo before you left. You'll enjoy your fun in the sun much more knowing your furbaby is OK.
A ThunderShirt is a durable jacket that wraps around your furbaby and applies gentle pressure to your pup's torso. Simply said, a ThunderShirt "hugs" your dog to help them stay calm.
ThunderShirts are designed to relieve anxiety resulting from thunderstorms, fireworks, separation and any situation that may make your dog nervous. It might be a great holiday gift for a shy furbaby if you are hosting a holiday party. A ThunderShirt offers a simple solution to separation anxiety, and it's worth a try. You can use Furbo to check in and see how your furbaby reacts to alone time while wearing a ThunderShirt.
3. Puzzle Toy
Puzzle toys make excellent holiday gifts for dogs with separation anxiety for many different reasons. First of all, a fun, stimulating toy will keep your furbaby busy and happy. They will learn to associate positive feelings with being alone, and they will be less prone to experience anxiety the moment you pick up your keys. They might even look forward to being alone with their toys, especially those that contain treats.
Secondly, furbabies need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical exercise to relieve stress and satisfy their instincts. Puzzles keep dogs engaged to prevent boredom and distract them from anxious thoughts and feelings. A puzzle will also help prevent your pooch from searching for other forms of entertainment. In other words, your new set of holiday-themed throw pillows are more likely to survive the season if your puppy has a puzzle to play with.
There are tons of wonderful puzzle toys available for dogs to keep them occupied until their anxiety subsides. To find the best toy for your furbaby, check out the many Nina Ottoson-designed dog puzzles, like the Dog Casino game . Dog Casino will challenge your dog to open drawers and access the treats hidden inside. You can teach your pup how to play until they get the hang of it.
Chewing and licking can calm a furbaby down, and that's what a KONG is all about. A KONG is a durable rubber chew toy that has a hollow center. You can fill a KONG with a variety of your furbaby's favorite treats for a satisfying chewing session. For example, you might stuff a KONG with kibble and some peanut butter to keep your puppy happy while you're not home. If you stick the KONG in the freezer, it'll take your furbaby even longer to get at the treats inside.
According to the KONG company site, stuffing a KONG with a mix of dry and wet ingredients will typically keep a pup busy for 20 minutes to help them overcome the peak of their anxiety. So, if your furbaby does not already own a KONG, make sure to wrap one up and toss it under the tree this year.
5. Calming Treats
As a human, you might sip a cup of chamomile tea to unwind after a long, stressful day. Our furry friends can also benefit from soothing herbs, and there are many calming treats available that are specially designed for anxious pups. In conjunction with other anxiety-reducing techniques, calming treats can help take the edge off of alone time.
Look for all-natural dog treats that contain ingredients such as chamomile, passionflower, valerian, L-theanine or L-tryptophan. Speak with your furbaby's veterinarian to determine if herbal treatment is right for your dog.
6. Soft Blanket
When you were a child, did you have a favorite blanket you loved to curl up in? If your best friend tends to nest and snuggle in piles of blankets, treat them to their very own cozy blanket this Christmas and help them find comfort and warmth when they feel anxious.
When choosing a blanket for your furbaby, consider their size and coat. Make sure to pick a blanket that is large enough to cover their body. Also, if your furbaby has a thin, short coat, they might enjoy a heavier material. On the other hand, if your pup has thick fur, a thin blanket would likely suit them better.
Choose a blanket made of soft fleece, polyester or flannel in a cute pattern to match your pup's personality. PAWZ Road, for example, offers plush, adorable and washable blankets for dogs . Put a drop or two of calming lavender oil on the blanket to boost your pup's sense of peace even more.
7. Cozy Bed
What animal wouldn't love a luxurious bed for Christmas? A comfortable bed can encourage your pup to take it easy and nap while you're out of the house. The right bed can also help soothe achy joints, which might be a source of anxiety for your furbaby.
Choose a memory foam bed like a Big Barker therapeutic mattress to relieve pressure points. Big Barker specializes in designing beds for large dogs, but they also offer junior sizes for small furbabies who weigh under 50 pounds . If your pup likes to sleep in confined spaces, choose a bed with bolster sides, like the BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper .
Just like it does for humans, music can help a furbaby chill out and set their worries free. Research shows dogs share a lot in common with their pawrents when it comes to music.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the University of Glasgow conducted a study which found music significantly decreases stress levels in dogs. The study also found that dogs, like humans, become easily bored if they listen to the same music continuously, so it's important to include variety when sharing tunes with a furbaby.
The researchers revealed that all genres they tested, which included classical, pop, Motown, soft rock and reggae, helped keep furbabies calm. However, reggae and soft rock seemed to work best. Researchers determined furbabies are most relaxed when they listen to music that has the same rhythm as their heartbeat. If you wish, you can purchase an album based on the results of the study .
9. Anxiety Medication
Medicine for a Christmas present? You might say, "Bah humbug," but the truth is, furbabies with severe separation anxiety can greatly benefit from anxiety medication. Speak with your furbaby's veterinarian to discuss your options and if medicine is the right treatment for your pup. Generally, vets like to try alternative treatments like using a ThunderShirt first, rather than prescribing medication. However, furbabies with extreme anxiety risk harming themselves or damaging the home. In such a case, medication, along with behavioral training, can help them make it through a tough time.
If your furbaby experiences severe anxiety, their vet might recommend antidepressants such as fluoxetine and clomipramine . If your pup suffers from anxiety triggered by specific events, they might prescribe a medication to take right before the event occurs, such as a benzodiazepine, along with an antidepressant. Either way, the vet can help you figure out the cause of your dog's intense anxiety, and recommend the best treatment possible so you and your furbaby can start the new year with a positive outlook.
10. Pheromone Diffuser
You may have heard other pawrents talk about using dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) to calm separation anxiety. What is DAP exactly? DAP mimics the natural pheromone lactating mama dogs secrete. DAP has a calming effect in young and old furbabies in high-stress situations, like when they experience separation anxiety. A study by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association found DAP reduced behavioral signs of separation anxiety, such as excessive licking and pacing.
DAP products are available in sprays, collars or diffusers. ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser, for example, is a plug-in gadget that allows a continuous release of DAP to comfort your pup throughout the day. Just plug the diffuser into an outlet in your furbaby's favorite room, as it will cover up to 700 square feet. The odors this diffuser produces are only detectable to our furry friends.
Tips for Treating Separation Anxiety
The above gift ideas are excellent tools to help your furbaby combat separation anxiety this holiday season. With a packed schedule and many places to go, you'll find these gifts will come in handy. To complement your furbaby's presents, here are some tips for treating separation anxiety.
- Exercise: Exercise will help your dog relax when they are home alone, and they will have less energy to engage in destructive behavior. Aim to end exercise sessions a half-hour before you leave so your furbaby has time to settle down.
- Massage: Massage can help relieve tension for both humans and furbabies, and it can make your bond even stronger. Just a few minutes of massaging your furbaby's ears, feet or head can reduce their stress level.
- Stay calm: It's tempting to give hugs and kisses before you head out or when you return. However, it'll help reduce your pup's anxiety if you make your departure and return as emotionless as possible and draw little attention to the fact that you are leaving.
- Train: If your pup has severe anxiety, consider hiring a professional to help you modify your furbaby's behavior, and to make sure they are on the right path.
- Socialize: Helping your pup feel comfortable around other dogs early on can prepare them for doggy daycare, which might be a great solution for your furbaby's separation anxiety.
Buy Furbo Today
Furbo Dog Camera is the perfect Christmas gift for a dog with separation anxiety. It's also something you'll enjoy immensely as a pawrent. To your pet, nothing is more comforting than the sound of your voice, followed by a tasty treat.
This holiday season, give your puppy the best gift of all – you! Furbo helps you be present and interact no matter where you are. Also, you'll know what your furbaby is up to so you can enjoy a few more hours at the holiday party utterly free of guilt and worry. To learn more about separation anxiety and your furbaby, check out our blog. Help your furbaby overcome loneliness and anxiety while you're gone by buying Furbo Dog Camera today!