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Dog Chews and Separation Anxiety: Can Chewing Help?


Separation anxiety is a common issue among dogs, causing distress when they are left alone. This condition can lead to destructive behavior, excessive barking, and even self-injury. As a dog owner, finding effective ways to alleviate separation anxiety is crucial for your pet’s well-being. One potential solution that has gained popularity is providing dog chews. In this blog post, we will explore the connection between dog chews and separation anxiety and discuss whether chewing can help alleviate this problem.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in Dogs:

Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes anxious or stressed when separated from its owner or left alone. It can manifest in various ways, such as destructive chewing, excessive barking, urinating or defecating indoors, or attempts to escape. This condition can affect dogs of all ages and breeds, and its severity can vary from mild to severe.

The Connection Between Chewing and Anxiety:

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and it serves multiple purposes. It helps keep their teeth clean, provides mental stimulation, and can serve as an outlet for stress or anxiety. When dogs chew, it releases endorphins in their brain, which can help them feel more relaxed and content.

Can Chewing Help with Separation Anxiety?

While chewing alone may not completely resolve separation anxiety, it can be a valuable tool in managing and alleviating the symptoms. Here are some ways dog chews can help:

Redirecting Destructive Behavior: Dogs with separation anxiety often resort to destructive chewing as a coping mechanism. Providing appropriate dog chews can redirect their chewing behavior to more suitable items, such as durable chew toys or long-lasting treats. This can prevent them from damaging furniture, shoes, or other household items.

Mental Stimulation and Distraction: Chewing engages a dog’s mind and provides mental stimulation. By giving them a stimulating chew toy or treat, you can help divert their attention from your absence and keep them occupied, reducing their anxiety.

Calming Effect: As mentioned earlier, chewing releases endorphins that have a calming effect on dogs. The act of chewing can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, potentially easing separation anxiety symptoms.

Choosing the Right Chews:

When selecting dog chews for separation anxiety, it’s essential to consider a few factors:

Safety: Opt for high-quality, safe chews that are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits. Avoid chews that can splinter or pose a choking hazard.

Durability: Look for durable chews that can withstand aggressive chewing to ensure they last longer and keep your dog engaged.

Interactive Toys: Consider puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys that require your dog to work for the reward. These toys provide mental stimulation and can help keep your dog occupied during your absence.

Taste and Texture: Dogs have individual preferences, so experiment with different flavors and textures to find the chews that most effectively capture your dog’s interest.


While chewing alone may not be a magic cure for separation anxiety, it can certainly contribute to managing and alleviating its symptoms. Dog chews provide mental stimulation, distraction, and a sense of comfort for dogs dealing with separation anxiety. However, it’s important to remember that chewing should be used in conjunction with other behavioral modification techniques and training approaches to address separation anxiety comprehensively.

If your dog experiences severe separation anxiety or if the destructive behavior persists, it’s recommended to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who can provide personalized guidance and support. With patience, understanding, and the right tools, you can help your furry companion overcome separation anxiety and lead a happier, more relaxed life.

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