Best Calming Dog Collars

Updated April 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
128 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best calming dog collars

Last Updated April 2019

Seeing your furbaby shaking with anxiety is heartbreaking, and it can be destructive if your dog decides to chew on the furniture out of fear. Some dogs are terrified of natural events like thunderstorms, while others might have a fear of the vet or riding in the car. It can sometimes be hard to know what your dog is fearful of if it occasionally displays general signs of anxiety.

Since we can’t reason with our pets, and distracting them with treats or retraining with positive experiences can only go so far, so it’s a good idea to look for additional tools in the arsenal against fearfulness. The calming collar is one such tool.

The calming collar is infused with pheromones to help soothe and assuage your pup. These pheromones are clinically proven to help ease or solve the problem, and while not all dogs will react in the same way, these collars are a valuable nonmedical resource that might help your situation.

We at BestReviews have looked at these products and included our findings in this buying guide. We’ve also included some of our favorite calming dog collars for your consideration.

A 2005 study showed that puppies in a training class who wore pheromone collars were later found to have fewer behavioral problems and were more sociable.

Key considerations

Drug-free

The use of a calming collar can help avoid or cut down on the amount of medication needed for an anxious dog. The pheromones used are natural, so there’s no worry about affecting other medications your dog might be taking or exacerbating any existing ailments. Even older or unwell dogs can use these collars without any issues.

Targeted use

There are diffusers available that aim to provide the same effect, but these release the pheromones into the atmosphere, which doesn’t target the dog. The collar will always be where your dog is. If used properly, most collars are effective for about a month.

Strong solution

This odorless collar contains 2.5% DAP for effective calming. While a few people saw results within a week, others noted that it takes a while to see a change, so it’s advisable to stick with it. Some customers also found that using the collar with a diffuser or in conjunction with the brand’s bedding spray increased results.

 

Calming dog collar features

Pheromones

A pheromone is a chemical substance produced by an animal that can affect the behavior, mood, or physiology of others of the same species who smell it. (For instance, pheromones are often used in perfumes in the belief that they help make the wearer attractive to others.) In calming collars, the pheromones replicate those produced by a lactating female dog, which helps your dog feel soothed and nurtured. This “dog appeasing pheromone” (DAP) is released from the collar with the help of the dog’s body heat. DAP is unique to dogs, so it can’t be detected by people and won’t affect other animals in the house, such as cats. Other dogs might pick up the scent, but since there are no ill effects from the therapy, that shouldn’t be a concern.

Concentration: The percentage of the pheromone in a calming collar is generally .02%, but others are 2.5% or as much as 6%. Increasing the strength might be more effective, or your dog might need to detect more of the pheromone in order for it to work, so see which one works best for your dog.

EXPERT TIP

Pheromone products are best used in conjunction with behavior modification. Giving your pet the emotional help it needs can greatly improve results.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other ingredients

Some collars are also infused with ingredients that are known to be calming, such as camomile or lavender. These have a noticeable scent that may or may not be appealing to all dogs or owners. Other collars use herbal blends to simulate the pheromones rather than synthetic ingredients. There aren’t any studies that show the effectiveness of these scents or herbals, however.

Material and size

Calming dog collars are made of a soft material or pliable plastic and are designed to be used in conjunction with a regular collar. You should not attach a leash or tags to a calming dog collar. Some of these collars come in a choice of sizes, while others are a standard fit, but all of them can be cut to fit. If your dog is between sizes, always buy a larger collar and trim off any excess.

Calming dog collar prices

Smaller sizes start at $12. Large collars and premium brands can cost as much as $25. Buying the collars in packs of three lowers the price per collar and is more economical in the long run.

CAUTION

Never ignore signs of anxiety in a dog. First, rule out any medical issues. If the anxiety goes unchecked, it can lead to aggressive behavior, which will be much more difficult to deal with.

Tips

  • Consider a calming collar for a new puppy. Even if your puppy seems pretty chill, the mom pheromones will be an extra boost to help your new pet settle into your home.
  • Add a calming collar to other treatments. Because calming collars aren’t medicinal, you can add them to any prescribed calming medication you’re giving your dog. You can also use them in conjunction with pheromone sprays, as well as other non-medicinal treatments, such as aromatherapy.
  • Remove the collar before bathing your dog. The calming collar is not waterproof, so it should be removed before bathing, grooming, or swimming in order to keep it working.
  • Keep the pheromone collars in their sealed pouch. Only take one out when you’re ready to use it.
  • Make sure the collar is fitted correctly. It should be snug and not too loose. Read the included instructions carefully to determine the correct fit.
  • Try a diffuser or spray. If you don’t see any results after your dog has worn the collar for a few weeks, add a diffuser or spray to boost the effect. Or you can try a different brand of collar, which could have a different strength or blend. However, some dogs are what veterinarians call “nonresponders.” In these cases, the collars won’t work at all. You can try aromatherapy collars, or consult your vet for a medicinal route.

Dog pheromone collars are not effective at dealing with aggression problems. Consult a vet or professional animal behavioral specialist immediately to prevent a tragedy in these cases.

Pleasant scent

This veterinarian-recommended best seller comes infused with .02% pheromone content, as well as lavender and chamomile for an additional feeling of zen that humans can also detect. Customers consistently see an improvement in their dogs.

 

Other products we considered

Sergeant’s Vetscription Settle Down Collar gets good marks for it’s strong pheromone content (6%), and some users reports good results with highly problematic dogs. It has a strong lavender scent, though, which may not be to everyone’s taste. If you want to go thoroughly aromatherapeutic, the Herbal Calming Collars Calm Me Down bandana-style collar is not only 100% natural and handcrafted in the US but also comes in a dapper little bow-tie design. You can choose from 14 colors and patterns. The padded collar is filled with dried herbs, so there’s no pheromone content. Users rave about the pleasant smell and long-term effectiveness (up to four months) even for thunder-phobic dogs, rating it more highly than most pheromone-based collars.

Signs of anxiety in dogs include licking the nose and lips, excessive yawning, panting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or vomiting, tucked tail, pinned ears, trembling, whining, howling, hiding or cowering, chewing and scratching at themselves or other objects, soiling inside the house, and excessive barking.

FAQ

Q. Are pet pheromone products safe?
A.
There have been no reports of any side effects or bad reactions to the calming pheromones. They’re also species specific, so they won’t affect people or other types of pets like cats in the home. Other dogs in the house might actually benefit from the pheromones as well. The collars are safe for older or sick pets because using one doesn’t stress them further. You can also use one of these collars if your dog is using other medications, including flea and tick control.

Q. How do I know whether my pet is anxious or in fact sick?
A.
Check with a veterinarian as soon as your dog starts displaying any behavioral problems, since many of the symptoms can have underlying medical causes. Never assume the actions of your dog are strictly behavioral.

Q. What kinds of stress will this treat?
A.
Dog pheromone products are used for general stress like separation anxiety, meeting new people or dogs, noise phobias like thunderstorms or fireworks, or when traveling. They’re also useful for occasional stressful situations, such as going to the groomers or vet – or when you bring out the vacuum cleaner! They’re also useful for life changes like introducing a new baby or moving to a new house. Animal shelters often use them to help calm stressed dogs, too.

Q. How quickly do these collars work?
A.
Results are not instant, and they vary according to each dog, but it usually takes about one to two weeks.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey