- 1 Selection Of The Best Calming Dog Collars
- 2 Best Calming Dog Collar Buying Guide
- 2.1 Sizing
- 2.2 Material
- 2.3 Herbal Options
- 2.4 Pheromone Options
- 2.5 Sonic Options
- 2.6 Veterinarian Recommended
- 2.7 Handmade vs. Manufactured
- 2.8 Scented or Unscented
- 2.9 Activation
- 2.10 Safe to Use with Medication
- 2.11 Puppy Safe
- 2.12 All Day or Only Part of It?
- 2.13 Bulk Purchasing
- 2.14 Refillable
- 2.15 Throw-Away
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Sources
The best calming dog collar isn’t just for aggressive dogs. Some of the friendliest dogs struggle with anxiety.
A calming collar, and other calming methods, can make a world of difference for anxiety-ridden canines if they’re used in a proper fashion.
We’ve all known an anxious dog. Helping a pup with anxiety doesn’t always require them wearing a dog muzzle and a special dog harness, though. It could be as simple as having a dog crate in a bedroom so they have their own little “den” to feel safe in.
There are other ways to help, too. Training, with a dog training collar and a dog retractable leash could help them get over some of their fears. Even the most nervous dogs could use a dog agility tunnel with some support and dog treats.
For dogs that love outdoor spaces, you could help them get nervous energy out by swimming or running. Invest in a dog life jacket, a dog bicycle leash, and other tools so that they can run and play with ease. Just don’t forget your dog tag on their collar!
Most importantly, the best calming dog collar is a good investment. It can be on them anytime, be taken anywhere, and give them the confidence to enjoy what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.
Selection Of The Best Calming Dog Collars
Here are the best calming dog collars for most people according to Outlinist:
Best Calming Dog Collar Buying Guide
As with any dog collar, you want to be sure that the collar fits your dog well. You don’t want it to be too snug, but you also want to ensure that it’s not so loose that it falls off or is easily wrestled off.
Calming collars come in every size. You want to measure your dog’s neck all of the way around. That length, in inches, is going to help you to find your size. Look at the size chart from the collar maker and you’ll find the right size.
The best calming collar for dogs should be made out of durable, but comfortable material. Many of these collars are made from different types of resin. Certain herbal collars may also be made from fabric or nylon.
You can search around to see if you can find more traditional style collars that offer calming solutions, but there aren’t too many on the market to choose from.
Some of the calming collars you’ll find will have some very familiar scents; lavender, chamomile, and a number of other scents that humans often use for the same exact purpose.
When you’re using an herbal calming dog collar, you will need to be sure that you keep an eye on how strong the scent is. If you can smell it from the other side of the room then it’s likely overwhelming your dog. When an herbal collar doesn’t produce any aroma, then it’s time to replace it.
When you start looking for a calming collar, chances are that you’ll find a dog pheromone collar first. These are some of the most common types of calming collars out there, and they’ve been shown to be effective in scientific studies.
When you buy one of these, look at their pheromone concentration. The number will be between .2% and 6%. If you try one type and it doesn’t seem to work, then up the pheromone concentration – it’ll help with the effectiveness.
Like a dog whistle, sonic calming collars are unable to be heard by the human ear. But, dogs will be able to hear it, and that’s the point.
There are two purposes to a sonic collar: One, to distract the dog from whatever may be causing it anxiety, and second, the sound is supposed to be soothing, not piercing. These work for some dogs, but not for others. In rare cases, the sonic options can make the dog more nervous, so try this one out carefully.
Just like you’d look for vet approval when buying a flea treatment or a dog toothbrush and toothpaste, so too should you check for a vet seal of approval for a calming collar. While herbal collars are still being tested out, there are some that vets recommend regularly.
If you’re looking at pheromone collars instead, you’ll notice that the best ones have some sort of vet recommendation on them. Since pheromone collars are some of the most consistent relievers of anxiety for dogs, you want to look for that label because you know it should work pretty consistently.
Handmade vs. Manufactured
If you go the herbal route, you may find a handful of options that claim to be “handmade” or “hand tailored”. These usually require you to switch out the herbs every so often, so they can be handmade with no issues.
Manufactured are just as good, if not better, depending on your dog’s needs. Pheromone collars are always manufactured, so keep that in mind when you start searching the web for your dog’s anxiety collar.
Scented or Unscented
Dogs are incredibly sensitive to scent and calming collars depend on that in order to help dogs get calm or remain calm. But, in the case of pheromones, humans are unable to smell them.
Some pheromone collars also include an herbal scent, like lavender, in order to enhance the calming properties of the collar. In those cases, you may be able to get a whiff of it from time to time. If scents bother you at all, you want to look around for pheromone collars without additional scents.
Nowadays, when you buy a calming collar for dogs, you don’t need to worry about it “running out” of scent in the packaging. Many collars are built to maintain their scent when they’re in the packaging, unless they’re in there for months or years at a time.
Some pheromone collars also don’t give off their pheromones unless they are near a heat source such as a dog’s body. So, not only do they last longer in the packaging, but if you don’t leave it on the dog all of the time, it’ll last even longer.
Safe to Use with Medication
There are many dog owners who make the choice to put their anxious pup on medication so that they can thrive and enjoy their lives in a much healthier way.
If you’re considering the use of a calming collar alongside of medication (which can be very effective), be sure that you talk with your vet. They can let you know what ingredients you will want to avoid and which types of ingredients that you can use without any sort of concern.
Not all collars are made alike, and some collars are not meant for puppies. Not only are they the wrong size, but some of them are just too strong in terms of scent. Pheromone collars are perfect for them, however.
Puppies are also prone to chewing, and depending on how the herbs are dispensed in the collar, you could end up with a sick puppy if they take off their collar and chew on it. You’re much better off waiting until they get older to try refillable options.
All Day or Only Part of It?
As you explore your options for the best calming aid for dogs with separation anxiety, you may be trying to sort out whether or not there are partial-day or all-day options.
Many pheromone options can be used all day, but they will not last as long as they would have had you taken it off from time to time. Herbal options can also be used all day, but if you get a handmade cloth option, you’re better off taking it off at night for their safety.
Buying in bulk almost always saves money, and many of these collars are available in packages of at least 2, if not more. Since you’ll be changing them rather regularly, it’s not a bad idea to stock up one or two.
Keep in mind, though, that most collars will lose their effectiveness after a few months, so don’t go overboard and buy 50. Label the collars you do buy properly and use them in the order that you bought them. Otherwise, you may end up with a couple of ineffective ones.
You’ve seen us mention “refillable herbal options” a couple of times, but they definitely are not as common as the throw-away collars you see at the store.
With these, you’ll get a small packet or container with the herb and/or pheromones (less common) that your dog will be using. Then, there’s a small pocket that you put it into. It’s that easy, and the collar will last a lot longer than the throw-away options.
Throw-away collars are exactly what they sound like. They usually look similar to flea and tick collars, and when their expiration date hits, you can go ahead and toss it. You then replace it with a new one. Most of the collars that you’re going to find will last somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks.
The longest amount of time that the best calming dog collar will last around is 3 months or so; as a result, you’ll only have to change it out on a quarterly basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my dog is anxious?
Does your dog start trembling around others when you’re walking them on their dog leash? Do they start to get nippy on the dog grooming table? Or maybe they get really freaked out every single time there’s a loud noise?
Most dogs make it pretty clear that they’re nervous. Pinned back ears, tail between their legs, cowering and crawling are all signs of distress and anxiety. And, if they’re like that all of the time, they may have an anxiety issue.
Which pheromones are released from a calming collar?
Based on studies, the best pheromone for dogs is referred to as DAP – the “Dog Appeasing Pheromone”. This is what you’ll find in almost every single pheromone calming collar on the market.
DAP is a synthetic pheromone that is an exact replica of the pheromones that are released from the puppies’ mom when she’s feeding them. This is supposed to keep the puppies calm during feeding, and helps them to relax and settle down when they’re done. Because of their olfactory memory, dogs will recognize this and react appropriately.
How can I make a calming collar last longer?
There are a handful of ways that you can make a calming collar last a bit longer. Keep it in the packaging as long as possible – the packaging is meant to help maintain it. The moment you open that packaging, the lifespan starts to shorten.
If you use a heat-activated collar, don’t keep it on your dog 24/7 if you can help it. When it’s not on your dog, it won’t activate and will, therefore, last longer.
Is a calming collar a permanent solution?
Many people are curious as to “how does a dog calming collar work” and then wonder if it’s meant to be a permanent solution to their dog’s anxiety. They work really well on some dogs; not so well on others.
Some dogs need medication, however, and your vet is the only one who can let you know whether or not it’s gotten to that point. Be sure to take video of your dog during anxiety episodes so you can work with your vet on the best solution.
What other options are out there for anxious dogs?
Thankfully, there are a lot of different options that can work if your anxious dog isn’t reacting to medicine or calming collars. You can invest in a dog anxiety jacket or dog recovery suit, both of which give the “gentle squeeze” sensation, which can help calm them down.
While you’re searching for solutions, keep an eye out for the best calming treats for hyper dogs. You can also find dog shampoo that has calming scents similar to what you find in the best calming dog collars.
- Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) for ameliorating separation-related behavioral signs in hospitalized dogs, National Institutes of Health, Apr 5, 2010
- Study: 'Nuisance-barking' dogs respond best to citronella spray collars, Cornell University, Jun 6, 1996
- Dog appeasing pheromone, Wikipedia
- Pet Pheromone Products for Behavior Problems: Do They Work?, WebMD Pets, Jun 23, 2010
- Dog-appeasing pheromone collars reduce sound-induced fear and anxiety in beagle dogs: a placebo-controlled study, National Institutes of Health, Aug 26, 2015
- Dog collar, Wikipedia
- Stress-free Travel with Pets, Veterinary Medicine at Illinois, Jul 7, 2015
- Calming dogs with a pheromone collar, YouTube, Jan 15, 2015
- Separation anxiety in dogs, Wikipedia
- How Do Calming Dog and Cat Pheromones Work?, petMD