Scientists have studied different types of anxiety treatments and found calming collars for dogs to be extremely effective at reducing fear and anxiety. There are different types of calming dog collars: some use pheromones, and others use natural essentials oils and aromatherapy.
How Do Calming Collars for Dogs Actually Work?
A dog calming collar is designed to soothe anxiety and fear regardless of the source. How effective the collar will be in different situations depends entirely on the animal.
There are two types of calming collars for dogs. Aromatherapy dog collars are natural and do not use any chemicals to calm dogs; they are also less popular and haven't been studied well, but many pet owners are finding that a few have been very effective. Our first pick below is a natural calming collar for dogs with an herb composition.
A pheromone collar for dogs (or DAP collar, Dog Appeasing Pheromone collar) is the most popular choice. Most veterinarians use and recommend them, and unlike natural collars, they've been scientifically proven to work (Landsberg, 2015; Gaultier, 2008).
Research of pheromones and how they affect animals have been previously conducted (Liberles, 2014). We know today that pheromones, which are natural chemical substances produced by the dogs themselves, affect their physiology and behavior.
Dog pheromone collars simply mimic the pheromone release that a mother dog naturally produces to calm down her puppies. All canines will recognize this throughout their lives because that's how all mammals are wired.
Below are some of the best calming collars for dogs that we've tried, reviewed and ranked in the order of effectiveness, ingredients used and their price tag:
|Calm Me Down - Calming Collars for Dog Anxiety -...||$36.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Sergeant's Vetscription Settle Down Pheromone...||$11.53||Buy on Amazon|
|Adaptil Calm On-The-Go-Collar (Small) - Constant...||$11.93||Buy on Amazon|
|SENTRY Calming Collar for Dogs, Up to 23-Inch...||$44.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Effectiveness of a Dog Calming Collar
We currently don't have any conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of aromatherapy-based calming collars for dogs, but anecdotal evidence is there and many pet owners and veterinarians report great results with some of them.
A dog pheromone collar has a stronger backing to it. Based on canine pheromone studies and DAP collar studies, a pheromone collar for dogs was developed to mimic the animal's natural release of hormones. Today, there's a large number of research on how effective Dog Appeasing Pheromones are for helping canines deal with anxiety and fear.
For example, these calming dog collars have been proven to:
- Help with kenneling anxiety in shelter dogs (Tod et al. 2005)
- Relieve stress in dogs during vet visits (Siracusa et al. 2010)
- Help with nausea and other car travel problems in dogs (Estelles et al. 2006)
- Treat separation anxiety in dogs (Gaultier et al. 2005)
- Reducing fear and anxiety in puppies during training (Denenberg et al. 2008)
- Treat anxiety of isolated or newly adopted puppies (Gaultier et al. 2008)
- Relieve stress and fear in dogs during fireworks (Sheppard et al. 2003)
These are just some of the examples of scientific literature behind the effectiveness of pheromone collar for dogs, with many more studies available. It's quite clear that using Dog Appeasing Pheromones is an effective way to help deal with anxiety in pets, regardless of what the cause of anxiety really is.
Why the Bad Dog Calming Collar Reviews?
If you talk to some pet owners, or take a look at pheromone dog collar reviews from the below mentioned products (e.g. an average Amazon review rating is 3/5), you'll notice a pattern. So how can that be if there's a large number of research showing the effectiveness of these collars?
The reason is because the effectiveness of Dog Appeasing Pheromones, and thereby any type of calming collar for dogs, will depend entirely on the animal. Some dogs react well to them and will be highly affected, while others will experience only mild effects or none at all. There's no way to know other than to try and observe the effects for at least 1 month. You may also need to try several different options until you find what works.
The bottom line on the evidence of anxiety treatments for dogs is that Dog Appeasing Pheromones are one of the very few treatments currently proven to work, and the best calming collar for dogs may be the cheapest option for pet owners. There are other ways such as anxiety vests (which have been studied but the evidence is still not there) as well as more intrusive options like anxiety medication (which can have more side effects).
How to Choose the Best Dog Calming Collar for Your Pet
When trying to pick the best calming collar for dogs, decide between the all-natural approach (aromatherapy and natural oils based dog calming collar) or pheromone collar for dogs. The below list contains the most effective best calming collars for dogs including herbal ones and pheromone based collars.
For aromatherapy dog calming collar, pay attention to how long the collar will last (3 months longevity is top of the line) and what type of herbs have been used to make up the collar. The product's page will have all those details.
For dog pheromone collar, you want to take a look at the longevity as well, but most importantly, pay attention the DAP composition in the ingredients list. This number shows how much Dog Appeasing Pheromone is used, thereby how effective it will be. The higher the number, the stronger the pheromone mimic release.
Majority of pheromone dog collars use low concentration levels (average 0.02%) and they aren't that effective. Today, most veterinarians will recommend Adaptil dog calming collar (or anything close), because they have the highest DAP composition of 4-6%. Most of the best calming dog collars with DAP last no longer than 4 weeks.
Remember that you need to find a proper fit once you choose a good calming collar for a dog. Picking the right size and making sure it fits properly is vital to how effective a pet calming collar will be on your pooch.
How to Use a Dog Calming Collar
Once you've picked the best dog calming collar for your dog, and you found the right fit, the actual use of it is very simple and straightforward.
Directions for use:
- Take out the dog calming collar out of its original packaging and remove everything from it (all tabs, etc.)
- Bend the buckle in half between the holes in the buckle.
- Wrap the calming collar around your dog's neck and then feed it through the holes.
- The collar must feel a little loose to allow for movement around the dog's neck (again, see the above linked guide on how to fit a dog collar properly).
- That's it. Remember to wash your hands afterwards.
Below are the six picks of top rated calming collars for dogs that we liked the most.
The Best Calming Collar for Dogs Brands
1Calm Me Down Calming Pet Collar
by Herbal Calming Collars
Find it on Amazon | Unavailable on Chewy
Composition: Herb blend
Longevity: 3+ months
The first dog calming collar that we found worth the mention is the all-natural, aromatherapy based option with herbs. This handcrafted blue bandana collar from Herbal Calming Collars may look like a chic fashion item, but it actually is a nerve-soothing accessory for anxious dogs. Special herbs were selected for their calming and stress-relieving properties and the blend was preserved by drying.
Since it is styled as a collar, the pet stays in contact with it for the maximum time. The cotton covering material was fashioned into a bowlike collar with a black clasp in the center, and filled with the aromatic blend. There are 15 different colors and prints to choose from and five different sizes to fit dogs from extra-small to extra-large.
- Filled with a dried blend of...
- Calms dogs, big or small
- Reduces fear from loud noises,...
- Helps with excessive barking,...
- Handcrafted in the USA
If you've already tried pheromone dog collars before and were disappointed, then this may be the best calming collar for dogs in your household. There are no oils, essences, or synthetic medicines added to the collar, just plain dried herbs. This is a good dog calming collar for those who wish for the most natural method of pacifying frazzled nerves.
The efficacy of it lasts for approx. 3 months. Our pets were somewhat relaxed through thunderstorms and a visit to the vet. If you don’t let it go wet and keep it in a sealed plastic bag when not in use, this collar could last even longer and being potent. Our dogs also smell like calming tea, and weren't complaining about that.
2ADAPTIL D.A.P Collar
One of the well-known brand names among best calming collar for dogs on our list is also often vet recommended. Its effectiveness and a lower concentration of DAP (just 2.5%) means it's somewhere in between the strongest products and less invasive ones, which could be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on an individual dog.
Dogs that have had a difficult life – such as abused dogs, street dogs, and those rescued from shelters – often show aggressive behavior and other stress-related issues that they may have developed through years of trauma and stress. The introduction of Adaptil DAP will greatly ease their transition to a happier life, which is actually when this specific collar is recommended by veterinarians.
- Vet Recommended: Adaptil is...
- DRUG Free SOLUTION: The collar...
- CLINICALLY Proven: May be used...
- FOR Small Dogs: Fits necks up...
- 100 percent Satisfaction...
The Adaptil calming dog collar mimics the natural pheromone released by mother dogs while nurturing their puppies and this exudes a sense of security. The pheromone-releasing quality of this collar remains potent up to 4 weeks. It is recommended for treating dogs with stress-related issues, especially when they are expected to encounter changes in their surroundings.
Since this pheromone-releasing accessory is designed as a collar, it works closer to the dog and does its job uninterrupted for about a month. By merely having our test dog wear the collar, the animal was better able to adapt to social situation in a dog park, which before was nothing short of impossible.
Note that for some dog owners, the improvement may only be apparent after a month of continuous use. If there's no signs of betterment, the collar is likely ineffective for your particular pet (as is the case with most other best dog calming collars). In most cases, it's expected to work quicker, and help dogs to peacefully ride in cars, make them more sociable, and less frightened of strange faces and sounds. Also note that the collar is long and may need to be cut to fit most dogs’ neck and still have a few inches to spare.
3Vetscription Settle Down Collar
by Sergeant's Pet Products
Find it on Amazon | Unavailable on Chewy
Composition: DAP 6.00%
Longevity: 4 weeks
As our third best calming collar for dogs pick, this DAP collar is the cheapest option you can find. It also has the highest concentration of DAP of all dog calming collars mentioned here. Sergeant’s collar, just like other pheromone dog collars, will be modifying behavior of stress-related origins and is somewhat effective at it.
This collar contains pheromones slowly released over 30 days. The lavender chamomile scent adds to the overall soothing and calming effect of the collar. The collar itself is long enough for a 23-inch neck circumference with a few extra inches to spare.
- Pet calming collar
- Pheromone collar
- Calms dogs and puppies
- Lavender scent
- Long lasting
If worn continuously, this popular dog calming collar will help normalize a pup's reaction to usual stress triggers, and it works to provide a reassuring atmosphere for the dog. The dogs recognize the pheromone produced by the collar and associate it with the memory they have of natural pheromones produced by their mother. With that sensation, insecure dogs feel more protected and less shaken by loud noises.
Foster homes and new homes for adopted puppies can cause untold anxieties to animals. In the absence of a protective mother, Sergeant’s pheromone dog collar is a very humane substitute that small puppies sense right away. In animal shelters in particular, this has been an effective corrector of constant chewing on paws, incessant barking, nervousness, and the like.
4Sentry Calming Collar
by SENTRY Pet Care
Sentry is a very well-known brand in the pet health care market, but their pheromone dog collar isn't their best product. Ranking only as the fourth best calming collar for dogs on our list, this DAP collar has a minuscule 0.02% DAP composition. That said, it's currently the most popular and best-selling dog calming collar on Amazon and Chewy, with a large number of reviews.
Through the Good Behavior Pheromone technology, this collar was developed to release pheromones similar to those naturally released by mother dogs as they nurture their puppies. The controlled release is sustained over 30 days, which is the approximate time that the collar stays effective.
- CALMING COLLAR FOR DOGS:...
- HAPPIER LESS STRESSFUL LIVES:...
- IMPROVED BEHAVIOR: Calming...
- 30 DAY COLLAR: One calming...
- SAFE AND EFFECTIVE: Calming...
The Sentry's calming collar has a lavender chamomile scent, which adds a soothing effect, too. It's made of a stretchy material and it has a buckle that fastens to a good fit. Because of low DAP concentration, it can still be used as part of a holistic behavior-modification program. It's a more popular choice among dog trainers. When properly used, this helps resolve anxiety-related issues. This collar lessened stress in dogs and increased the chance of success of behavioral interventions.
Most dogs relax within a period of 1-4 weeks with this collar. Excessive barking, chewing, whining, trembling, and other indications of anxiety are visibly lessened. Other than for training, it's also a popular choice for thunderstorm or fireworks anxiety in dogs.
524/7 Canine Calming Pheromone Collar
Nurturecalm 24/7 Calming Pheromone Collar is an option you may want to consider if for whatever reason none of the above worked. It's slightly more expensive than a few other brands, and it has a low DAP concentration. According to the company, this dog calming collar works round the clock to help anxious dogs settle down but there's actually nothing new in its design we haven't seen in other collars.
Obviously, unlike plug-in pheromone diffusers, the pheromone collar stays on the dog wherever it goes, and this makes the collar more effective. The Naturecalm collar comfortably fits dog necks of up to 28 inches in circumference. Like the natural dog pheromone that dogs associate with the nurturing they experienced from their mothers, this pheromone calms and reassures them through stressful situations.
- Brand 1 no unit
Nurturecalm calming collar did in fact help to lessen stress and modify the behavior of our dog. We also liked that it can be paired with and work alongside anxiety vests. We have to caution though that the collar must be kept dry always and is very sensitive to water. When bathing the dog, it must be removed to prolong its effectiveness. This is a drawback when going outdoors with a potential for rain.
We suggest that the Nurturecalm calming dog collar is kept as a more close fit around the dog’s neck but not too tight. One finger (not the usual two) must easily slip between the collar and the dog’s skin. It removed their edginess, and therapy has become easier to carry out in tested dogs.
6Calming Collar for Dogs, Adjustable
Find it on Amazon | Unavailable on Chewy
Composition: DAP 5.00%
Longevity: 4 weeks
The newest addition to our list of best dog calming collars for dogs is another DAP collar with 1% of appeasing pheromones concentration and other ingredients. Like the others, the Fedciory dog collar was designed to replicate mother dog's pheromones, and it works similar to others. In fact, some veterinarians are beginning to recommend this one, however, we believe this being a new product, it'll take time for it to prove itself.
- Calming collar for dogs: vet...
- 30 days fast & continuous...
- Safe & effective & : Made from...
- Adjustable & flexible size:...
- 100% satisfaction : We are so...
Only one size of this calming dog collar is available, but it's adjustable and is highly flexible in that area, measuring at 25.59 inches (65 cm) in length. After reaching out, we've confirmed that the collar is in fact highly recommended by veterinarians and dog trainers to help control the stress responses of dogs. When dogs continue to feel threatened, their continual stress-triggered responses become a habit, and may eventually become full-blown behavioral problems as the dogs grow older.
The collar worked within about a day's use in our tested dog; however, other pet owners report different times – anywhere from one hour's effectiveness, to 1 week and to no effectiveness at all (as observed in every other calming collar for dogs due to how animals react to pheromones).