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Making it positive - Separation Anxiety Top Tip

Written by Adaptil, published on 16 April 2021

One of our top tips for dogs with separation anxiety is to provide them with something super tasty to keep them occupied and to build up a positive association with being alone. 

Using a filled Kong® or a LickiMat® are ideal for this. Including treats for these that are irresistible and provide a bit of variety can really help. Licking and chewing are also self-soothing for dogs so it can help with their anxieties.

We have compiled a list of some super tasty treats for your to try.

*Remember with any additional treats, you need to allow for this in their daily food allowance. Some of the suggestions are higher in fat and so ensure you use them occasionally. Also consider your dogs' sensitivities & intolerances.

A Kong and suitable fillings

Treat ideas:

  • Stock from fresh meat - pop the fresh stock (lots of dogs like chicken or beef stock) in the Kong. Use a bit of peanut butter at the bottom to stop it leaking and then freeze it. Go for fresh stock and avoid stock cubes, as they can contain high salt content.

  • Pâté - you can purchase dog versions or use the human alternative
  • Purée food -  meats, pumpkin or banana are good ideas
  • Peanut butter - there are lots of dog safe versions or you can buy a human but make sure it does  not contain an artificial sweetener ‘Xylitol’ as it is toxic for dogs. 
  • Yoghurt - fat free or greek yoghurt is a good option...why not mix a bit of banana in there
  • Dog friendly fruit & vegetables- cut up apples, bananas, berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, carrots & sweet potatoes
    • Never feed raisins, prunes or grapes
  • Cheese - cut up small cubes or you can use squeezy cheese
  • Squeezy kong paste 
  • Tinned Fish - tuna, sardines and mackerel in a tin are a yummy addition and also a source of omega-3
  • Their normal wet food - although this might not been the most exciting if they get it regularly

    Mix all these ingredients together, every layer is a new flavour for them and a reason to keep investigating. 

A lickimat with treats on

Extra tips! 

  • Do not always provide these when you leave the house as your dog will start to associate it. Some dogs can be so anxious about you leaving they won't even touch something irresistible! Give it to your dog at different times.
  • Freeze it! This works very well with Kongs, it helps the treats last longer, like a doggy ice cream. If you have a few Kongs, you can also stock the freezer up so you're always ready.
  • Don't leave your dog with any toy they get frustrated with as it will have the opposite effect
  • Put the higher fat treat at the end, it will encourage your dog to keep going to the ultimate treat at the end and will ensure you are not using too much. 

Helping your dog through separation anxiety takes time and needs a mixture of different tools and patience! If you are worried about your dog please speak to your vet or a local qualified behaviourist. 

ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser is your support tool for this journey, plug it in to leave your dog home alone with a ‘hug from their mum’ feeling...it's a comfort blanket with added science. Mini Schnazuer licking a kong



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