Do Calming Collars Work For Dogs?

There is nothing like the sound of thunder in the distance followed by rain. How about fireworks on the fourth of July? A few things that many of us enjoy. However, our four-legged canine companions may not share the same feelings about these things as we do. Some dogs get too anxious and afraid and end up under beds or in corners whining, crying, and shaking when they hear these loud things that we enjoy. Dogs can also suffer from anxiety over a move and even a new family member. It has been said that a good remedy for helping your dog with fear, anxiety, and bad behavior is a calming collar. But, do calming collars work for dogs?

A calming collar will work but it depends on the dog. The calming collar does not work on all dogs, so some dog owners will have to find an alternative tool for behaviors caused by stress and anxiety. There are two types of calming collars. A pheromone collar that releases pheromones and a natural aromatherapy collar that contains essentials oils and non-chemical ingredients. Both types of collars have been reported to work, with the pheromone being a favorite with dog owners and veterinarians because they have been proven to work quite well.  

Let’s dive into the calming collar. We will look at the two types of calming collars, and how effective they are and what behaviors they target, this will help you decide on the collar you think will best suit your dog.

Type of Calming Collars For Dogs

Pheromone Calming Collar For Dogs

The pheromone calming collar, also known as dog appeasing pheromone collar(DAP), is the preferred collar by dog owners and veterinarians. This collar contains pheromones that are created naturally by dogs and influences their behavior and physiology. 

The way the dog pheromone collar works is that it imitates the pheromone that a mother canine produces naturally that calms down and comforts her new puppies. As the dog warms up the collar, the pheromones will be released, and your dog will be more at ease and less stressed out. Dogs will remember this scent throughout their entire lives. So it makes sense that this collar would be preferred.

The pheromone collar is targets dogs with the following:

  • Separation Anxiety 
  • Noise phobias like thunder and fireworks
  • Helps with car travel sickness
  • General stress like visits to the vet
  • Assists with anxiety in new puppies
  • Kennel anxiety in shelter dogs
  • Excessive barking
  • Unwanted behavior

The dog appeasing pheromone collar has not been recorded to help with aggression in dogs. If your dog is aggressive, then you should contact your veterinarian as this type of behavior can be a symptom of a medical issue. However, the dog pheromone collar can help with many other stresses and fears your dog may have, and they have been proven to work.

These types of collars typically last for 30 days. 

If you have a dog that suffers from the conditions above, the dog pheromone collar may be the way to go. If you are looking for something that has some essential oils and natural ingredients, then you may want to check out the Aromatherapy calming dog collar that consists of dried herbs or essential oils.  

Natural Aromatherapy Calming Dog Collar 

The aromatherapy calming dog collar uses natural ingredients like essentials oils and dried herbs and does not contain any chemicals to calm your dog. This type of collar is not as popular as the dog appeasing pheromone collars, nor does it have the studies to back it up. However, there are plenty of dog owners that claim it has been effective.

Personal Experience with Natural Calming Dog Collars

I have used one of these collars on my dog Kiki. When I first got her, she was not a fan of car rides. She would always get sick in the car. So, I decided to make a homemade calming collar for her. I used a dog bandana that she received from her groomer. These things are great for making an aromatherapy collar for your dog! All I did was rub a little bit of lavender essential oil on it about an hour before our next car ride. I choose lavender because it is known to relieve stress and anxiety. I put the collar on Kiki and in the car we went. I’m happy to say that Kiki did not get sick in the car. Eventually, she was able to go on car rides without the calming collar. Now she loves going for car rides!

You may be wondering how long the collars last. Well, you can reuse your homemade one. All you have to do it wash it once the scent is gone. Most dry herb collars will last about three months, but it also depends on how long the collar stays on and is exposed to the air. If you use it for thunderstorms, you may get a year out of the collar, but make to store in a dark place when not in use.

If you are using essential oils, you may need to add oil every few weeks or depending on how much you use it. I find storing the collar in a ziplock and in a dark place works to preserve the scent. 

Conclusion

Calming collars can be a great tool for assisting in unwanted bad behavior, stress, and anxiety due to loud noises. The calming collar with pheromones is highly recommended since it has been proven to work by veterinarians and dog owners. The natural aromatherapy collar is second. These collars are filled with dried herb or essential oils, and do not contain any chemicals. It is up to you do decide which one will help you and your dog the most.

Please remember that these collars will not work on every dog. It really depends on the dog. Once you have selected which type of collar will use, try it for a month. If it does not help your dog, then go for the other one. If both collars do not help, there are other ways you can help your dog, such as stress sweaters and vests just to name a few.

Good luck with your collars. Let us know by leaving a comment if calming collars have worked for your dog or not. We would love hear from you!

If you are not sure where to start, take a look below. We have some great recommendations for you and your dog! 

Sentry HC Good Behavior Pheromone Dog Calming Collar

Releases pheromones for up to 30 days
Scientifically proven
Assists with fear of loud noises, barking and separation anxiety
Easy to use

If your dog is suffering from anxiety due to loud noises, fear, bad behavior, and barking, this is the calming collar for your dog!

This dog calming collar helps with stress and anxiety triggered by car ridges, fireworks, separation, and new, unfamiliar situations. These collars last up to 30 days, can be used on dogs of all ages, and can fit up to a 23-inch neck.

Benefits

  • Releases pheromones for up to 30 days with lavender and chamomile scent that relaxes and calms your dog down
  • Assists with behavior issues caused by stress like new family members, visits to the vet, car rides, and thunderstorms
  • Uses pheromones that are proven to help with anxiety, fear, excessive barking, chewing, and jumping.

Precautions

Always take off the collar before using any dog shampoo on your dog. Once the dog’s coat is thoroughly dried, you can place the collar back on. If your dog has any lesions, do not use the collar. This calming collar is for animal use only and not meant to be used on humans. Sentry Calming Collar for dogs is not a pharmaceutical product.

Adaptil Calming Adjustable Dog Collar

Activated by body heat
Clinically proven to work by veterinarians
Lasts up to four weeks
Gives comfort to dogs during stressful situations

The Adaptil calming adjustable dog collar is a great collar to use to calm down your dog. Clinically proven to work and recommended by veterinarians, this collar works to help put your dog at ease during stressful situations like thunderstorms and veterinarian visits. This is a great tool to help calm down your dog without using drugs or supplements. This collar must be kept in close contact with your dog’s skin for the best results, so keep this collar on for at least 30 days. 

Key Benefits

  • The calming collar is activated by body heat to release a calming pheromone to comfort your dog and keep it relaxed.
  • Ideal for adoption, puppy socialization, training, traveling, crating, kenneling, or boarding.
  • It also helps with loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks, separation anxiety, or any stress-triggering situations.
  • Puppy/small fits necks up to 14.7 inches and medium/large fits necks up to 24.6 inches.
  • Each collar lasts up to four weeks; for best results, keep the collar on continuously.

Precautions

This collar should not be used on a dog’s neck that has legions. Do not attach a leash to the calming collar.

ThunderEase Calming Collar

Easy to use
Eases stress associated with behaviors like barking, chewing
Calms dogs while at the veterinarian, boarding and kenneling
Does not contain any antidepressants or sedatives

Put your dog at ease with the Thunderease calming collar. It has been tested to be over 90% effective for reducing stress in dogs that are linked to barking, chewing, shaking, and other anxious behaviors. The calming collar releases pheromones similar to what the dog’s mother would release to calm down her dog and make it feel safe and comfortable. This collar does not use any antidepressants or sedatives and therefore, does not cause any harmful side effects.

Key Benefits 

  • Medication free ingredients so that your dog does not suffer from unwanted side effects
  • Durable with a long-lasting formula. This collar will work continuously for 30 days while releasing the calming pheromones that keep your dog calm
  • Assists with anxiety during car rides, air travel and moving to a new home
  • Calms dogs while at the veterinarian, boarding and kenneling
  • Eases stress associated with behaviors like barking, chewing, urinating in places where the dog should not be urinating

Precautions 

  • ThunderEase is in no way a veterinary medical product. Keep this product away from children. This product is not meant for human use. 
  • Calm Paws Calming Dog Collar- With Essential Oils
  • Unlike other dog appeasing pheromone collars, this collar uses essential oils instead of pheromones. 

Calm Paws Calming Dog Collar

Calm Paws Calming Dog Collar
Calm Paws Calming Dog Collar

Premium essential oil blends
Drug free
Easy to use
Lasts for 30 days

Try something that is natural for calming your dog. The Calm Paws Calming Dog collar uses premium essential oil blends, that soothe your anxious dog. This collar is easy to apply to your dog’s neck, so no fussing over putting this collar on! Some collars can be very tricky, and cause frustration for you and your dog. Your dog will have day and night support with this fantastic calming collar. This collar can help assist with anxious behaviors such as barking, jumping, restlessness just to name a few.

The Calm Paws Calming collar lasts for up to 30 days, keeping your dog calm and happy the entire time day and night! If you are looking for a natural way, then this is the collar for you!

Key Benefits

  • Calming collar releases natural oil extracts that are well known for their calming properties.
  • Made with a premium blend of essential oils, including lavender oil extracted from the fields of France.
  • Patented design aids stress-related behaviors like marking, excessive barking, restlessness and jumping.
  • Perfect for everyday use to provide calming support all day and night wherever you go.
  • Lasts up to 30 days and fits necks up to 20-inches. Just cut off the excess for smaller dogs.

Precautions

  • The collar should not be used for the dog leash
  • Do not use on dogs known to have sensitivities to essential oil products. It contains Eucalyptol, Alpha-Pinene X. May produce an allergic reaction
  • Harmful to aquatic life with prolonged exposure. It contains natural-based ingredients: in rare cases, it may cause allergic reactions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dog Calming Collars Safe?

For the most part dog, calming collars are safe. The pheromone collars use pheromones that dogs create naturally, and the dry herb and essential oils collars use natural ingredients. However, since most of these are derived from plants, it is recommended that you ask your veterinarian for a list of plants that are safe to use for your dog. Some plants are toxic to dogs, and you want to make sure you stay away from those. 

If you find that your dog’s skin looks irritated or showing signs of allergies like watery eyes and sneezing, then stop using the collar and bring your dog into to see the veterinarian.

Do Calming Collars Really Work for Dogs?

Calming collars do work for dogs. However, it depends entirely on the dog. There will be some dogs that have a positive reaction and will genuinely help the dog. On the other side, it will have mild to no effect. There really is no way to tell if the collar will work for your dog, other than giving them a try for a minimum of one month.   

If you find that the collars do not work, there are other products you can try like medications, anxiety vests, and sweaters, just to name a few.

How Long Does It Take For A Calming Collar To Work?

Typically a calming collar takes about seven days to start working. That is what Adaptil says about their calming collar. Clinical studies have proved that this collar takes about seven days. However, not all collars will start to work in seven days. It is best to keep the collar on for a month for the best results. If you are going to go with a pheromone release collar than Adaptil is the better choice since it is recommended by veterinarians and has proven to work.

Are Calming Collars Good For All Dog Breeds?

Calming collars are good for all dog breeds of any age. So if you have a ten-year-old German Shepherd that gets anxious on visits to the vet, then you can most definitely try calming collar. But sometimes a calming collar will not work, and it has nothing to do with the breed or age of the dog, but strictly on the dog its self. It is recommended to keep the collar on your dog for a full month, to give it a chance to work and keep your dog calm during stressful situations.

Bibliography

  • 1.Google Scholar-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4602264/
  • 2.American Kennel Club-https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/soothing-anxious-dogs-without-medication/
  • 3.The Complete Guide To Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care. Gary Weitzman DVM, MPH, CAWA. 
  • 4.NCBI (National Center For Biotechnology Information)- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2839826/

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