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Help dogs with anxiety - extra sub box toys?

MrsDogfireMrsDogfire Posts: 2Member
Good morning all,
I am disabled and have been involved with fostering dogs; rescue work etc off & on for years aside from my previous professional career work. When my circumstances changed, I wanted to get back to the dogs as they say - but a little differently. It began with the dog of a friend of a friend who had such severe anxiety/separation anxiety that the owner could not find a suitable, affordable full-time "daycare" for the poor pup. So, he came to me. Why am I telling you this? Because I now have a purposefully small, full-time separation anxiety support group consisting of only 4, each of whom belong to wonderful doting owners who are priced out of full-time, smaller doggie daycare options. They provide their own kibble & treats, the rest are donated by friends/families, made, or I buy - this is to help keep dogs & owners together. I am happy to provide extra info off line. But I am desperate for toys! Anything, please, that Barkbox etc sent and maybe your pup tired of or didnt like. Please contact me with questions, this is a small effort to help out a few good hardworking families who are like many do live paycheck to paycheck, and if hanging on my couch means theyre not home alone whining, barking & potentially ticking off a landlord, I am happy to help them out. Thanks, Randy (sorry if this is not appropriate request)


  • MrsDogfireMrsDogfire Posts: 2Member
    Thank you, thank you Pink!!
  • lilyannelilyanne Posts: 58Member
    Have you made sure to check with owners that none of the dogs are resource guarders? I'm sure you have, or that you would have noticed if they got aggressive with each other over foods or treats, but it might be worth double checking.

    Some dogs value stuffed toys higher than pretty much anything else!

    I wish I had some toys to send along, but my apartment doesn't allow pets (the saddest rule.). Have you checked out petsmart's 2 for $5 toys? They are surprisingly nice! A bigger dog would probably rip one apart in a day or two, but you get at least a month of chewing and ripping and fun for a smaller dog. My parents have a special needs dog (from an abusive home and he has Cushings) who will carry those toys around even after they've been de-stuffed. He likes to bring a toy outside, and those are the ones he's allowed to.
  • GanendalGanendal Posts: 2Member
    Watch out for the stuffing rippers, anything swallowed can do great damage in a number of ways. I got stuffing free toys for my Bella but she began to rip up the cloth and vet said that too is dangerous. Now she is tearing up Nylabones... Gonna call tomorrow, that can't be good either
  • ArianaAriana Posts: 232Member
    @MrsDogfire did you get some items? Pls PM me your address also so I can send something
  • SJPSJP Posts: 2,226Member
    Does anyone have a good suggestion for a toy/item for my poor dog who is somewhat afflicted with separation anxiety? I'd love to find some item that would be good for him to chew while we are out of the house.

    He's not really into toys & he is a rescue dog so we really don't know anything about his past so we have no idea what helps him.

    I think he needs some sort of indestructible chew thing. Preferably something that makes crunchy chewing sounds. Does that even exist?

    He's not home alone often so it's not a huge problem, but I would like to help him if I can.

    (Sorry to hijack the thread! I don't have any toys to pass along but I wish you luck. :) )
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  • 3Pyrenees3Pyrenees Posts: 114Member
    @SJP can you give some more details about the behaviors that indicate to you that your dog has separation anxiety? I may be able to help once I know more
  • SJPSJP Posts: 2,226Member
    @3Pyrenees He's visibly upset whenever he knows we are all leaving & then he will often chew up random things while we are gone. He has chewed through three or four of my lip or lotion products, he has chewed cardboard boxes, he will chew on any paper product he can find. He never does any of this while we are home.

    Also, if we are in the car & one of us leaves the car he will whimper, whine, and cry until the absent person returns to the car. So, I don't know if it's separation anxiety but I'm basing that assumption on his behavior that I've seen and his behavior while we're gone. (He was abandoned & spent a month at the animal shelter so I think his actions largely stem from that but I could be completely wrong.)

    He seems to get comfort from chewing & he loves really crunchy/hard items. I'd love to find some sort of indestructible crunchy chew toy for him.

    (More background info: he has a kennel but he hates it so that's not a workable solution. I just try to make sure there is nothing harmful around for him to get into while he's on his own now.) (He's pretty old so I don't know how much we'll be able to modify his behavior at this point, but I'm open to suggestions. :) )
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  • SmedsSmeds Posts: 13Member
    @SJP - I think it is awesome that you rescued an older gent! Not sure if any of this is helpful, but here are a few things you could try:

    - Put peanut butter in a kong, freezing it and then giving it to him when you leave. Sometimes that keeps them occupied when you aren't home.

    - You can also try desensitizing him to your leaving. Start by walking out the door and coming back in a minute later and just keep on increasing the time you are gone until he seems more comfortable that you are gone. Don't make a fuss when you leave or come back and maybe give him a toy or the kong with peanut butter to distract him when you leave. If you google Sophia Yin, she also has great tips for dog training and a bunch of videos on youtube. She should have some on separation anxiety.

    - Try a natural doggy zanax called solliquin. They are chews that contain all natural products to help pets relax. I am a vet tech, and the vets at my practice recommend it to our anxious patients when they don't want to Rx drugs. You may want to ask your vet about it. I don't think you need and Rx for it. It is something he would need to take everyday, not just when you leave him alone.

    Good luck! I hope you find some thing that works!
  • SJPSJP Posts: 2,226Member
    Thank you @Smeds . :) I will look into those options. I just want to make things easier for the poor little guy. :)
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  • 3Pyrenees3Pyrenees Posts: 114Member
    @SJP the suggestions that @Smeds gave above are great. Definitely try desensitizing him with the method she described. It doesn’t matter that your fur baby is older, dogs are remarkably adaptable and can learn new behaviors at any age.
    You may also want to try leaving the tv or radio on when you are gone. The sound of voices is soothing to dogs with this type of behavior.
    In addition, you could also consider adopting another dog as a companion. That is always a certain way of reducing separation anxiety. That’s the excuse I gave myself for adopting three giant breed dogs :)
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