Dog calming collars are perfect if your dog suffers from stress or anxiety in certain situations. These collars use pheromones, essential oils or herbs, to help reduce fear and anxiety. Collars that use pheromones have been clinically proven to help dogs in a range of situations, including loud noises, separation anxiety, or when moving house.
We reviewed dozens of dog calming collars to identify the best of the best. We considered features such as the method of calming used, how long the collar lasts, and the options for different sizes of dogs.
The Sentry Calming Collar for Dogs combines pheromone technology with a soothing lavender and chamomile fragrance. This stood out as a clear winner, due to its use pheromones which have been clinically proven to help reduce anxiety in dogs. The pheromones are safely and effectively released from the collar for up to 30 days.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Calming Collars
|Best Overall||Sentry Calming Collar for Dogs
|Runner Up||Adaptil Calm On-The-Go Collar for Dogs||2.7|
|Best Budget Buy||NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Collar for Dogs||3.0|
|Best Calming Collar for Small Dogs||Beloved Pets Pheromone Calming Collar for Small Dogs||4.0|
|Best Calming Collar for Large Dogs||ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Collar||2.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Sentry Calming Collar for Dogs
The Sentry Calming Collar for Dogs uses a patent pending combination of synthetic pheromones, combined with the soothing scent of lavender and chamomile. The synthetic pheromones used are designed to mimic those given off by a lactating mother dog, providing soothing relief for anxious dogs, or those in stressful situations. Unlike products which diffuse pheromones into the atmosphere, pheromones released in this collar will always be where your dog is.
The Sentry Calming Collar for Dogs is designed to help your dog cope with the anxiety and fear that can be caused by loud noises, car journeys, and separation from their owners. It can also help with destructive behavior, and excessive barking. The manufacturers suggest that an improvement in behavior can usually be seen within as little as 2 weeks. The collar releases pheromones for up to 30 days,
Sentry Calming Collar for Dogs Key Features:
- Scientifically proven to modify stress-related behavior
- Works for up to 30 days
- Calming scent of lavender and chamomile
- Fits up to 23″ neck
Our Runner Up Pick: Adaptil Calm On-The-Go Collar for Dogs
The Adaptil Calm On-The-Go Collar for Dogs provides a clinically proven, drug-free solution to reducing signs of fear and anxiety in your dog. It can help reduce unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking, whining, and hiding. The collar is activated by your dog’s body heat, and releases pheromones which do not affect cats or humans.
Suitable for use indoors, outdoors, and when travelling, this collar can also help during stressful situations such as loud noises, house moves, and being left alone. The pheromones help by providing a strong signal of security and comfort which helps put your dog at ease. This collar lasts for 4 weeks, but should be removed during grooming, bathing or swimming.
Adaptil Calm On-The-Go Collar for Dogs Key Features:
- #1 brand used and recommended by veterinarians
- Available in 2 sizes: small to medium, and medium to large
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Clinically proven
Best Budget Pick: NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Collar for Dogs
The NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Collar for Dogs helps to alleviate the behavior problems in dogs which can be caused by anxiety around moving home, receiving visitors, or travelling. It can also help reduce fear around loud noises, or being left alone at home. The long-lasting delivery provides round-the-clock relief, wherever your dog goes.
This calming collar can help reduce the need for prescription medication to help deal with your dog’s anxiety. Instead, this collar provides a constant delivery of soothing maternal pheromones, designed to help your dog feel safe and secure.
NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Collar for Dogs Key Features:
- Sustained release of DAP pheromones
- Fits up to a 23″ neck
- New “fit and stay” design for ultimate security
- Works for up to 30 days
Best Calming Collar for Small Dogs Pick: Beloved Pets Pheromone Calming Collar for Small Dogs
If you’re the proud new owner of a small dog or puppy, the Beloved Pets Pheromone Calming Collar for Small Dogs can help them feel reassured. As well as improving a puppy’s adaptation to their new home, it may also reduce anxiety in small dogs. Situations such as thunderstorms or being left alone can be stressful for small dogs. By using this collar you can give your dog the best chance of feeling more safe and secure.
This collar only uses natural, non-addictive ingredients to help your pup out. It is designed to work up to 30-days, so you won’t need to worry about changing it as often as many other options. It’s also super fast acting, and should start working in as little as 15 minutes! Plus, it can be used by cats, which is great news if you also have a feline in tow.
Beloved Pets Pheromone Calming Collar for Small Dogs Key Features:
- Designed to reduce stress related behavior
- Lasts up to 30 days
- Suitable for puppies and small dogs
- Can be used by cats too
Best Calming Collar for Large Dogs Pick: ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Collar
The ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Collar is shown to be over 90% effective at reducing the symptoms of anxiety and other unwanted behaviors. These can include problem chewing, barking, trembling, fear of loud noises, separation anxiety, and fear of vet visits. The collar mimics the pheromones released by a nursing female dog, which helps your dog to feel calm and comfortable.
Once you have correctly fitted the calming collar, you can cut away any excess collar. The body heat of your dog will activate the calming pheromones to provide maximum effect. This collar can also be used for situations such as kenneling or boarding, when your dog is exposed to a new and unfamiliar environment which may cause them anxiety.
ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Collar Key Features:
- Fits up to a 24″ neck
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Natural and drug-free
- Lasts for up to 4 weeks
Who Should Buy a Dog Calming Collar?
There’s many situations in life that can be stressful for dogs. If your beloved pet is displaying signs of anxiety or stress, it can be a good idea to invest in a dog calming collar to help them deal with their fear and anxiety of certain situations.
If your dog is nervous in certain situations, such as when they are left home alone, or exposed to loud noises like fireworks, they may well benefit from wearing a calming collar. If you know your dog is going to be going through a stressful situation, such as moving house, or bringing your new baby home from hospital, using a calming collar beforehand as well as during the event, can help reduce your dog’s anxiety.
Dog calming collars which use pheromones have been clinically proven to help with a wide range of issues, including soothing puppies recently separated from their mothers, treating separation anxiety when their owners leave the house, and reducing stress when visiting a vet.
Important Features to Consider
Dog calming collars should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting the best dog calming collar for your needs:
- Fit and size. Make sure any dog calming collar you select will fit your dog’s neck. Most manufacturer’s provide collars in a range of sizes, so select the one closest to your dogs neck size in inches. If in doubt, select the next size up as any excess collar can be cut off with scissors.
- Method of calming. Dog calming collars use a variety of different methods to help calm your dog. These are pheromones, herbal blends, and essential oils. You may find your dog responds to one better than another. Some collars combine two methods, such as pheromones and essential oils in one collar. The pheromones used in calming collars have been clinically proven to help reduce stress responses in dogs, but no similar studies have been carried out for essential oils or herbs.
- Longevity. The majority of dog calming collars last around 4 weeks. This will be reduced if your dog swims in the collar, or you give them a bath. Be sure to keep track of when you fitted the collar, so you can replace it on time.
- Scented or unscented. Pheromones are species-specific, so if you select a dog calming collar that uses only pheromones, there will be no smell. Some collars combine the use of pheromones with essential oils, which can smell strong on initial application of the collar, and will become less apparent over time. If you are sensitive to strong smells, you may prefer an unscented, pheromone-only collar.
- Percentage of pheromone. If you select a calming collar which uses pheromones, make sure you consider the concentration used. The majority of collars use a a low percentage of around 0.02%. Some people may find that this isn’t high enough to have a noticeable effect. Other collars use a higher percentage of between 4 – 6%, and these may be more effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog calming collar and how does it work?
Dog calming collars usually contain chemicals known as pheromones, which are a type of chemical that helps members of the same species to communicate. Sometimes calming collars also contain essential oils or herbal blends.
A synthetic version of the pheromone released by a mother dog has been developed, known as Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP). It’s this which is contained within dog calming collars. The pheromone helps your dog to feel both secure and more calm, which can help reduce unwanted or destructive behaviors.
How long do dog calming collars last?
Most dog calming collars will last up to 4 weeks. Individual manufacturers will state how long their collars last in online descriptions and on packaging, so check these to make sure. Remember to remove the collar before bathing your dog, or if they go swimming while out on a walk. Be sure to replace it once your dog is dry.
What are signs of stress in a dog?
The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) suggests there’s 10 common indicators of stress to look out for in your dog:
- Nose and lip licking
- Reduction in appetite
- Tail tucked or lowered
- Ears pulled or pinned back
- Hiding, or cowering
- Shaking and trembling
- Whining, howling, or barking
If you see your dog exhibiting any of these signs, try to consider what may be triggering this behavior, and use a calming collar to help minimize these signs.
How can you tell if your dog is nervous or aggressive?
While nervousness and aggression are two different things, a nervous dog can become aggressive if the trigger for their anxiety is not removed.
The ASPCA advise that the majority of dogs will give a warning before escalating aggressive behavior. As dog owners, it’s our responsibility to recognize these signs early, and take action to either remove the dog from the situation, or help them calm down. For example, a dog may become stiff and rigid, before growling. This is the dog giving two clear warning signs. If both these signals are ignored, they may snap or bite.
Dog calming collars are very effective and reducing stress caused by nervousness, but the pheromones used in them won’t help reduce aggression if your dog is already prone to that behavior. We recommend getting your dog checked out for potential underlying medical conditions as well, if that’s the case for you.