The best calming dog collar
No one wants to watch their furry BFF shake in fear or cower in the corner every time there is a thunderstorm or scheduled vet visit. While it may be difficult to find the exact source of your dog's anxiety, there are a number of tools available that can help manage it. Calming dog collars are one possible solution.
These disposable collars release calming pheromones, which are clinically proven to help soothe anxious dogs. Effectiveness varies from dog to dog, but the affordability of these nonmedicinal collars certainly makes them worth a try. Our guide below has all the information and recommendations you'll need to find the most effective collar to calm your nervous pup. If you want something with a solid reputation, then our top pick, the Adaptil Calm-On-the-Go collar, might be the one for you.
Considerations when choosing calming dog collars
Since the pheromones used in calming dog collars are all natural, they can be used in conjunction with any of your dog's other medications as well. In some cases, these natural collars can even reduce the need for any existing anxiety medications your dog may be taking. But you should consult your vet before pausing or reducing medication.
Diffusers that release calming pheromones into the air are also available. However, these diffusers do not target your dog as directly as the collars do. When used correctly, calming dog collars can be effective for weeks or even months, and they're obviously portable.
Signs of anxiety
There are a number of behavioral patterns that may suggest your dog is struggling with anxiety. If you notice any of the following symptoms, consult your vet to see if a calming dog collar will help or if you should take another route: excessive barking, cowering or hiding, bathroom accidents indoors, tail between the legs, shaking, crying, loss of appetite, and pinned ears, among others.
What are pheromones?
Pheromones are chemical substances produced by animals. They are designed to affect the mood and behavior of other animals in the same species who breathe them in. Calming collars use synthetic pheromones that replicate the smell of a lactating female dog. These are referred to as Dog-Appeasing Pheromones (DAP). DAP is specific to dogs, so the calming collars won't affect other animals or humans in your home.
Pheromone levels in calming dog collars range from 0.2% to as high as 6%. If you find a low-level collar is not making a difference in your dog, try increasing the dosage slightly.
It is not uncommon to find calming dog collars with other natural, soothing ingredients. Lavender and chamomile are popular choices, but other herbal blends can be found as well. However, if you are sensitive to scent, lavender and chamomile collars could be too overpowering.
Sizing and material
Calming dog collars are designed to be used alongside your dog's normal collar. While these soft collars -- sometimes fabric, sometimes plastic -- come in a variety of sizes, they can often be cut to size as well. Remember that you should not attach any leashes or dog tags to the calming collar.
Keep collars in their sealed packaging until you are ready to use them. This will help to preserve their pheromones.
Remove the collar before bath time. Calming collars are not waterproof and need to remain dry to continue working.
Consider using a calming collar on a new puppy. Even if they aren't particularly anxious, a calming collar can help your puppy adjust to their new home.
Calming dog collar prices
Calming dog collars will cost anywhere from $12 to $25, depending on the size and brand name. Generally speaking, smaller collars tend to cost less, and buying in bulk is usually the most economical choice.
Q. Are pet pheromone collars safe to use?
A. There have been no reports of bad reactions or harmful side effects as a result of using calming dog collars. Since they are nonmedicinal, these collars are safe to use in conjunction with other medications as well.
Q. What type of stress will these collars relieve?
A. Calming dog collars can help to relieve a number of different types of stress. Whether the issue is getting used to a new environment, separation anxiety, thunderstorms, or visiting the vet, calming collars are designed to tackle most general and situational-based stressors.
Calming dog collars we recommend
Best of the best: Adaptil Calm-On-the-Go
Our take: This calming collar from a veterinary-recommended top brand has just the right dosage of DAP for most dogs.
What we like: Collar works quickly, with some owners noticing drastic improvements early on. Comes from a reliable brand that pet owners trust.
What we dislike: As with all pheromone collars, not all dogs will respond.
Best bang for your buck: Sentry Calming Collar For Dogs
Our take: Each collar in this value-priced pack works to calm your pup for up to 90 days.
What we like: Includes three collars for a quality price. Collars come individually wrapped to preserve their pheromones.
What we dislike: Lavender scent may be too overpowering for some dog owners.
Choice 3: Thunder Ease Calming Dog Collar
Our take: High dosage of pheromones keeps anxious dogs calm for up to four weeks.
What we like: A 5% DAP is strong enough to provide relief to even the most anxious dog. The collar is quite large at 24.5 inches.
What we dislike: Collar felt slightly stiffer than some, but was still easy to put on.
Amber Van Wort is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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