If you want your dog to be happier & less anxious, trainers swear by these 30 genius things

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If you have a dog with stress and anxiety issues, it can feel like you’re constantly trying new ways to calm them down. I don’t even want to know the amount of money that has gone toward toys, treats, and other supplies to help my dog with her anxiety before finding something that worked. Luckily, there are tons of products out there, from calming chews to interactive toys, that can help relax your dog.

With the help of some recommendations from experts, we’ve compiled a list featuring lots of useful products available on Amazon that encourage pups to feel calm. Keep dogs occupied and mentally stimulated with this interactive toy that dispenses treats. If poochie struggles with daily anxiety, this plug-in diffuser that emits calming pheromones might be the way to go. For dogs that might be missing their furry family, this stuffed animal with a heartbeat can help calm them, as it reminds puppers of snuggling with their littermates.

Whether your furry friend struggles with stressful events like loud thunderstorms or long car rides, or whether they experience anxiety that prevents them from relaxing, there are tons of products in this list that can help bring piece of mind to both you and your dog.

01

This nosework game that provides mental stimulation

Diana Ludwiczak, certified dog trainer and master K9 scent detection trainer with Dr. Sniff’s and Wolfie’s Place, recommends nose work as a game for dogs, which can reduce stress and anxiety. “Dogs not only need exercise but they also need mental stimulation,” says Ludwiczak. “Allowing your dog to use their nose to sniff out essential oils will provide you and your dog an indoor game to play.” This nosework training program comes with five scented pouches and three different challenges to get your dog going both physically and mentally.

02

These clickers that make it easy to reward during training

This clicker is a small but effective way to mark your dog’s behavior in training. Just click and give them a treat to reward them for a certain behavior. Ludwiczak, who works with bed bug-sniffing dogs, uses them to train for the scent. “The clicker is important for the initial imprinting of the odor,” says Ludwiczak. “It’s also important to find a high value reward — each dog is different so each person will need to find what is their particular dog’s most valuable.”

03

Some freeze-dried treats that make a delicious reward

Ludwiczak recommends these Orijen freeze-dried treats as a training reward for food-driven dogs. The protein-rich bites are made from raw animal parts, including meat, organs, and bones. They come in a wide variety of flavors, including duck, lamb, and a Regional Red variety that includes ranch-raised beef and wild boar. The treats are small and ideal for rewarding during training.

04

A durable ball toy for play & training

Another of Ludwiczak’s sniffers prefers a ball reward. This ball on a rope is a great choice, and is also ideal for dogs that need extra play and activity time. Made from a thick and durable rubber that is attached to a nylon rope, this toy can be used for a tug-of-war, or for throwing long distances. It’s even used by police and military working dog teams to train their k9 crew.

05

This treat pouch that makes rewarding your dogs super convenient

As a dog owner, I don’t know where I’d be without a treat pouch to store all the rewards I give my pup while we train. Ludwiczak says this treat pouch with a belt is the exact one that she uses. This pouch has a spacious pocket for holding treats, as well as a hidden zipper pocket that’s great for storing keys, poop bags, or other essentials.

06

A calming supplement that doubles as a probiotic

Elissa Weimer-Sentner, a former military policewoman who now owns her own dog training business, Paw & Order, recommends these Purina Pro Plan calming supplements to help out stressed dogs. Plus, this powder supplement has probiotics to aid with digestion. “Not only have I seen this supplement help calm dogs down when stressed, but it also is a probiotic!” says Weimer-Sentner. “Dogs that are stressed may have loose stool as a result, and this product helps with both issues.”

07

This treat-dispensing toy that keeps dogs occupied

Weimer-Sentner recommends this treat dispenser toy to keep dogs engaged and says it’s “great for dogs that are anxious or need something to do.” This durable and dishwasher-safe toy is built to handle heavy chewing, and comes in a small and large size. “Take this with you in the car or put in your dog's crate when you need some quiet time!” suggests Weimer-Sentner.

08

An interactive feed toy that helps build canine confidence

Instead of feeding your dog out of a bowl, try giving them a meal using this Starmark Bob-A-Lot toy that dispenses kibbles or treats as your dog moves it around. “This toy actually helps build confidence with anxious or nervous dogs from my experience,” says Weimer-Sentner. “The toy bobbles around and can make loud noises when it bumps into other things which helps condition your dog to not be afraid of movement or loud noises.”

09

This plug-in diffuser that emits calming pheromones

This plug-in diffuser releases pheromones that mimic those given off by a mother nursing her puppies, which gives dogs a sense of calm and relaxation. It’s recommended for separation anxiety, fireworks, or other stressful events. “I have one of these plugged into my dog suite in my own home when a training dog first arrives since the first day is always the most stressful for them!” says Weimer-Sentner. “It is also recommended by veterinarians.”

10

These stress-reduction chews made with naturally relaxing ingredients

Weimer-Sentner recommends VetriScience Composure chews, which help calm down dogs who are stressed and anxious. They’ve been super useful for my own dog during times when she gets more stressed like on a long car ride. The formula includes L-theanine and thiamine, which are naturally relaxing and soothing.

11

These organic, sustainable supplement chews that soothe

Weimer-Sentner recommends these Green Gruff relaxing chews for dogs that deal with stress or anxiety. These chews, which are made from a sustainable cricket protein, feature calming ingredients like chamomile and L-Tryptophan to help your pup chill out. They work for daily stressors, as well as one-off events like a thunderstorm or fireworks.

12

These turkey-flavored bites that help with hyperactivity & aggression

These calming bites from Zesty Paws, also recommended by Weimer-Sentner, contain Suntheanine, a clinically studied form of L-theanine that promotes relaxation. The turkey-flavored chews can help with hyperactive behaviors like jumping and barking. A reviewer writes, “I noticed a difference right from the first day of giving her a [Calming Bite]. She seemed less wired, and certain noises that she would normally bark at were being ignored.”

13

A licking mat with suction cup that promotes calming behavior

Whether you want to keep them occupied in the car or distract them in the bath, this dog lick bowl with a suction cup base is a great tool, and can be stuck on a window or wall. Weimer-Sentner recommends this one, which can be filled with peanut butter, yogurt, or another spreadable treat that your dog can lick off. Licking is soothing for dogs, so it’s a good stress reliever in anxious situations.

14

This nutrient-dense bone broth that helps with joint health

Hydrate your dog’s kibble or add extra nutrients to their diet with this beef-based bone broth. It comes recommended by Jason K. Johnson, former K-9 Trainer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and founder of Project K-9 Hero, which connects retired military and police dogs to adoptive families. “I use Brutus Bone Broth for my working dogs because of its all natural ingredients that helps boost their immune system and contains added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health,” says Johnson. “This helps us be proactive in their mobility rather than reactive.”

15

A sound machine for dogs who are sensitive to household noises

Humans use white noise machines all the time for help falling asleep, and they can also help dogs stay calm. Julie Burgess, a certified dog trainer with Senior Tail Waggers, says this noise machine an help drown out noises that are stressful to dogs. “Use a sound machine because anxious/fearful dogs are hypersensitive to everyday household sounds, like doors opening and closing,” says Burgess. “Disguising everyday noises with the sound of a stream of running water or rain can help keep your dog calm.”

16

This sturdy chew ring that will keep your pup busy

Burgess recommends this Mutty chew ring to help keep anxious dogs occupied. Made from a durable rubber, the toy is sturdy enough to withstand hardcore chewers. “Providing something for your dog to chew on often lessens their worry, because they aren't as fearful when their mouths are busy,” says Burgess. “You can also use this toy to play fetch or tug of war. Playing with your fearful dog is a surefire way to boost their confidence and make them happier.”

17

A trio of lick mats that comes with a cleaning brush

Lick mats are a great tool to keep anxious dogs busy for a long period of time. Burgess recommends this set of three lick mats, and likes to spread them with bananas, yogurt, canned dog food, or other soft, spreadable treats. “Place... in the freezer for a few minutes to extend the mat's use and then offer them to your dog. Yummy spreadable treats are a great way to keep your dog's mind and body occupied,” says Burgess. I know from personal experience that lick mats can be a pain to clean, and this one comes with its own handy brush.

18

This bowl that slows down mealtime for rapid eaters

Fearful dogs eat faster “because they're always on guard,” says Burgess, and this slow feeder bowl helps ease the gulp. With bone-shaped ridges inside it, this bowl creates obstacles for your dog to eat around so they don’t wolf down the food in seconds. “Inspire your dog to eat at a leisurely pace, and help their digestive system process the food at a natural pace,” Burgess adds.

19

These essential oils that can help your dog rest

Zoologist and animal behavior expert Charli Burbidge, who co-founded petz.uk, says that these essential oils can be used in a diffuser to create a calm atmosphere for your dog (not for consumption or topical application). “After a dog's full play day at the park, these two scents have helped level out pups' energy levels while maximizing resting periods,” says Burbidge.

20

This waterproof car seat cover with a vent for circulation

Protect both your car and your pup with this Active Pets seat cover. It hangs over the seat to keep car interiors from getting dirty, and keep pups from climbing to the front. Burbidge recommends this one in particular because it has a vented mesh window that allows air conditioning to circulate through the car and keep your dog cool. “To alleviate heavy panting or squirmish behavior in the back seat, use this car seat cover to give your dog a sense of security. The padded walls prevent injury from sliding and falling on the car floor,” says Burbidge.

21

These cushioned stairs that help pups with joint pain

If your furry friend has trouble getting on or off the couch or bed, try these cushioned pet stairs that give them a leg up. Made from a lightweight foam with a removable cover, these stairs allow your dog to gently climb up and down without jumping, which can be hard on their joints. Says Burbidge, “Long-term joint pain adds to daily anxiety to your dog. Imagine having constant strain in your legs each time you walk to the bathroom or head to the kitchen!”

22

These hemp-free relaxation squares flavored with peanut butter

For a tasty treat that will help relax your pup, Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, and Animal Health & Behavior Expert at Camp Bow Wow, recommends these Heavenly Hounds relaxation squares. Flavored with peanut butter, these treats contain passion flower, valerian root, and other (hemp-, wheat-, soy-, and corn-free) ingredients that help pups relax when stressed out.

23

A calming flavor infusion that contains chamomile & melatonin

Askeland also recommends this calming liquid supplement for anxious dogs, which “contains ingredients such as L-theanine and chamomile that can help keep a pup relaxed during periods of stress.” The chicken-flavored supplement also contains fish oil, melatonin, valerian root, and ashwagandha, which promotes focus and relaxation from external stressors.

24

This collar that emits calming pheromones

This Sentry calming collar “contains pheromones that can help soothe some dogs and ease their anxiety,” says Askeland. The collar, which lasts 30 days, can be worn along with a regular collar and can help with fears of loud noises, excessive barking, and other behaviors indicative of stress in a dog.

25

This basket muzzle to help train fearful dogs

Monica Laura, AKC CGC Evaluator and trainer for Dogo app, says, “For dogs that are fearful of people or even other dogs, I like to use the basket muzzle in combination with positive reinforcement and distance training.” Laura is a fan of this humanized basket muzzle (that also has a removable slow feeder pad), because it allows “the dog to have free movement of their head and mouth to pant, drink, vocalize and accept food.”

26

This front control harness for dogs who pull on walks

For dogs that tend to be yank-happy when on the leash, Laura recommends this front control harness, which helps train pullers to walk more comfortably. It’s easy to put on and take off, and also comes with an adjustable dog leash. One reviewer shares, “My puppy is very energetic and was really pulling us hard on walks. Using this harness helped cut that down a lot.”

27

A hemp oil that can be used with both dogs & cats

Sometimes your furry friend has anxiety and stress in addition to physical pain. This pet hemp oil, which is another recommendation from Laura, can help calm down a stressed pet as well as help relieve chronic pain. The oil helps provide relief from arthritis, joint issues, and other ailments, and reviewers especially like it for their senior pets.

28

These calming chews that are made from hemp seed

Laura also recommends these calming chews, which contain all kinds of ingredients to help relax your pup, including L-Tryptophan, melatonin, chamomile, and hemp seed. Use them during thunderstorms, trips to the groomer, or other stressful situations. One fan writes, “Our corgi barks at everything, and can be reactive. We gave her this and she was so calm and relaxed.”

29

The compression shirt that keeps dogs calm during storms & more

As its name indicates, the ThunderShirt was designed to keep dogs calm during loud storms, as well as other stressful events. The shirt applies pressure to a dog’s body which helps calm them down, similar to the way we swaddle an infant. “I appreciate the compression method utilized to release calming endorphins in the dog,” says Laura, and it helps “especially if put on just before a stressful situation.”

30

This stuffed animal with a heartbeat to remind dogs of snuggling with mom

Some anxious dogs benefit from a snuggle puppy, a stuffed animal with a realistic heartbeat that helps soothe. The heartbeat “has been shown to be comforting to anxious dogs because it reminds them of their puppyhood, snuggled next to their mother and littermates,” says Dr. Chyrle Bonk, veterinarian and part of the vet team at Pet Keen. You can also add a heat pack to create an even more comforting experience.