10 Gifts for the Sensitive Pup: Toys and Treats to Build Your Dog’s Confidence

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If your dog or a dog you know suffers from anxiety, these are the best gifts to choose from. Not only will humans be happy that their dog can calm down a bit, the dog will be much happier, too!

Many of these companies sent us free samples to test out the products, but our reviews and recommendations are still 100% true.

As always, we prioritize companies and products that are environmentally friendly.

These gifts are specially curated to help build your pup’s confidence and independence.

Price key (approximate):

  • $ = around or under $20
  • $$ = $21-50
  • $$$ = $50-100
  • $$$$ = $100-200
  • $$$$$ = $200 +

 Trixie Activity Board

Help your sensitive dog learn to problem-solve independently with this puzzle toy. The Trixie Activity Board is perfect for the intermediate dog gamer who is ready to take their puzzling to the next level.

  • Key features:
    • Unique board design that requires dogs to lift pieces straight out, so they can’t get knocked over, you pup will have to get clever to find their favorite treats.
    • Non-slip bottom to keep the board from sliding away while your dog is playing and is dishwasher safe.
  • Price: $

Find it on Chewy.

2. Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound

For dogs that love a challenge, the Nina Ottosson collection by Outward Hound has enough different puzzle toys to get your dog busy forever! Nina Ottosson’s philosophy is that a busy mind and body equal a happy pet! 

All toys are designed to require unique mental and physical manipulation to solve. Keep your dog busy for hours with these durable, colorful, and fun toys! 

Find the whole collection on Chewy. Most are under $20.

*Check out our full list of the best puzzle toys on the market!

3. (Book): The Best Dog Tricks on the Planet: 

This book is filled with 106 Amazing Things Your Dog Can Do on Command! If you are looking to up you and your dog’s game check this out. 

Whether to impress friends at the next party or to have an activity to bond with your dog and keep them mentally and physically engaged, this book is filled with fun and unique tricks everyone (including your dog) will love!

Find it on Amazon for under $20.
*For more great training books, check out our favorite list here!

4. Lick Lick Distraction Mat

The perfect way to dispense spreadable treats, the Lick Lick Mat is designed to calm dogs in stressful situations or just give them a fun distraction.

Repetitive licking has been shown to release endorphins in your dog and help them become calm. It also acts as a natural tongue scraper to help with the build up of bad breath causing bacteria.

  • Key features:
    • Dishwasher safe.
    • Can be frozen to make “cool” treats.
    • Made with food-safe TPE.
    • Non-slip back keeps the mat in place.
  • Price: $

Find it on Chewy.

 5. Relax + Roll Calming Pet Chews

My dog is a frequent flyer and I know the toll it can take on him. I hate the idea of giving him any type of drug before we get on a flight, but I don’t want him to be shivering and nervous the whole time.

The Anxious Pet has developed a product to help with just this kind of situation. An all-natural pet treat that uses gentle ingredients to calm your dog. 

  • Key features:
    • Packed with things like chamomile, melatonin, acetyl-L carnitine, and ginger root to help ease your pet’s anxiety in all types of situations.
    • Free of fillers as well as artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors.
    • Easily chewable treats.
    • CBD option that is great for dogs that also suffer from pain.
  • Price: $$

Whether they are scared of going to the vet, loud noises, or have trouble sleeping, this treat can make a big difference in how our dog feels.

Find it on The Anxious Pet and take a look at the CBD version as well!

6. Thunder Shirt

Many dogs that struggle with loud noises or other stressful situations find a Thundershirt comforting.

  • Key features:
    • Gently hugs your dog to alleviate over-excitement, anxiety, and fear.
    • Helps with negative behaviors like jumping, barking, and inappropriate marking.
    • Soft material.
    • Machine washable.
    • Comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
  • Price: $$

Find it on Chewy.

7. Homemade Stress Busting Treats

If you are maybe looking to save some money but still give your dog a yummy treat to ease anxiety, try out this recipe.

It contains calming ingredients that you can probably find in your own pantry!

8. The Cautious Canine – How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears by Patricia McConnell, PhD.

Fear shouldn’t rule you or your dog’s life. Learn how to overcome fears of all kinds, from the vacuum to strangers, through desensitization and counterconditioning.

Create a plan to keep from becoming overwhelmed and to help you and your dog stay on track.

Find it on Amazon for under $10.

9. Does My Dog Need Prozac? Musings and Sound Advice on Living With a Shy, Anxious, Fearful or Reactive Dog by Debbie Jacobs 

Living with a fearful, anxious, or shy dog can be exhausting. Never knowing if you can bring your dog because you don’t know how they will react is the last thing you want to worry about.

This book will give you advice in an understanding and empathetic way. Though no substitute for advice from an actual trainer, this book is a great place to start.

Find it on Amazon for under $20.

10. SMART PET LOVE Snuggle Puppy

When you aren’t on the market to get another dog, try this furry friend to keep your dog company. The Snuggle Puppy is a behavioral aid toy that helps reduce separation anxiety, whining, and loneliness in dogs naturally. 

  • Key features:
    • Simulated heartbeat to ease anxiety
    • Physical warmth pack to keep your dog feeling snuggled and cozy. 
    • Four different dog styles to choose from.
  • Price: $$

Find it on Chewy.

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