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6 Best Calming Collars for Dogs in 2024 – Reviews and Top Picks

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

6 Best Calming Collars for Dogs in 2024 – Reviews and Top Picks

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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portrait of a white and black Portuguese Water Dog wearing a collar

It isn’t uncommon for dogs to have anxiety problems. Many dogs suffer from anxiety, whether it comes from being alone or loud noises. While there are many steps you can take to counteract your dog’s anxiety, having a little bit of help is never a bad thing.

For disruptive anxiety that is not bad enough for prescription-strength medication, you may want to try calming collars. These collars are made with pheromones and herbs that may help calm your dog. Dogs react to these collars differently, and not every collar is made with the same stuff. Therefore, it may take a few tries to find a collar that works for your dog.

To help you on this quest, we’ve reviewed our favorite calming collars for dogs. These include various ingredients and styles, allowing you to choose the best option for your canine.

divider-pawA Glance at Our Top Picks (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar for Dogs Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar for Dogs
  • Low side effects
  • Synthetic pheromones
  • Great for chronic stress and anxiety
  • Best Value
    Second place
    ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs
  • Inexpensive
  • Pheromone-based
  • Constantly works
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Sentry Good Behavior Calming Collar for Dogs Sentry Good Behavior Calming Collar for Dogs
  • Includes pheromones and lavender
  • Fits most dogs
  • Includes three collars per pack
  • Budoci Dog Calming Collar Budoci Dog Calming Collar
  • Lasts 60 days
  • Waterproof
  • Includes pheromones
  • Premium Care Calming Collar for Dogs Premium Care Calming Collar for Dogs
  • Easy to use
  • Pheromones included
  • Pleasant smell
  • The 6 Best Calming Collars for Dogs

    1. Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar for Dogs – Best Overall

    Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar for Dogs

    Duration: 30 Days
    Ingredients: Natural Pheromones

    We particularly love Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar for Dogs because it includes synthesized hormones that dogs recognize. Simply put, these pheromones mirror that given off by nursing dogs to calm their puppies and make them sleepy, and these synthetic pheromones have a similar effect. They are only recognized by dogs, as well. You don’t have to worry about smelling them yourself.

    The odds of side effects with this collar are extremely low. Dogs tend to either have a good reaction to these pheromones or none at all. Therefore, this is a good option to try with your canine.

    We found this collar particularly useful for chronic stress, as the collar will stay with your dog constantly. However, the effects may not be strong enough for sudden triggers, such as fireworks. In this case, you may need something stronger.

    Once you open the collar’s package, the scent lasts for 30-days. For best results, it is recommended to change the collar every 4 weeks. While this is a bit shorter than average, we still find this the best overall calming collar for dogs.

    Pros
    • Low side effects
    • Synthetic pheromones
    • Great for chronic stress and anxiety
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Shorter lifespan than average

    2. ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs – Best Value

    ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs

    Duration: 30 days
    Ingredients: Pheromones

    Like our favorite collar, the ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs features pheromones to help calm your dog. These are the same pheromones given off by nursing mothers, which help keep their puppies quiet and calm. Therefore, the effect is often similar—even after your dog grows up. Plus, pheromones have a very low chance of side effects.

    For this reason, we often consider pheromone-based collars better than herb-based collars.

    We also like that this collar is less expensive than much of the competition—it is one of the cheapest options on the market. However, it works very similarly to more expensive options. For this reason, we consider it the best calming collar for dogs for the money.

    This collar releases pheromones for 30 days after it is opened. These pheromones are continuously released, as your dog is affected constantly. However, this collar cannot get wet, which can be a problem for some dog owners.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Pheromone-based
    • Constantly works
    • Easy sizing system
    Cons
    • Cannot get wet
    • Shorter duration

    3. Sentry Good Behavior Calming Collar for Dogs – Premium Choice

    Sentry Good Behavior Calming Collar for Dogs

    Duration: 90 days
    Ingredients: Pheromones + Lavender

    While the Sentry Good Behavior Calming Collar for Dogs is much more expensive than other options, one pack comes with three different collars. Therefore, you’re getting more for your money. Each collar only lasts 30 days. However, since you’re getting three, each pack lasts 90 days.

    Buying in bulk is great if you know your dog likes this collar. However, it can be an issue if you want to try a collar out. Spending more only to find out that your dog doesn’t actually like the collar can be a huge letdown.

    This collar works similarly to the other options we’ve discussed. It includes pheromones that mirror a nursing mother. Therefore, it can work to calm your dog pretty effectively. It also includes lavender, which may help as well. However, this lavender can be detected by a human nose, and it can get a bit strong.

    Pros
    • Includes pheromones and lavender
    • Fits most dogs
    • Includes three collars per pack
    • Pleasant scent
    Cons
    • Scent can be overwhelming to some people
    • Expensive

    4. Budoci Dog Calming Collar

    Budoci Dog Calming Collar

    Duration: 60 days
    Ingredients: Pheromone + Essential Oils

    Our favorite feature of the Budoci Dog Calming Collar is that it lasts up to 60 days. If you’ve been reading our article thus far, you’ll notice this is a bit longer than most other calming collars. It isn’t particularly expensive, either, so it can help you save a bit of money.

    With that said, the collar may work best if it is refreshed more often. Therefore, you may want to consider changing it monthly for dogs that are particularly anxious or stressed.

    Like most collars, this one does include pheromones. However, it also includes a range of essential oils. Essential oils aren’t necessarily as safe as pheromones. While most dogs don’t react to them, they can irritate some, so this brand isn’t necessarily the best option for dogs with lots of allergies or sensitive skin.

    This collar is completely waterproof, which is a surprisingly rare feature. Once it is on, it can help calm your dog in rain and sunshine.

    Pros
    • Lasts 60 days
    • Waterproof
    • Straightforward to use
    • Includes pheromones
    Cons
    • Includes essential oils
    • Works best when changed monthly

    5. Premium Care Calming Collar for Dogs

    Premium Care Calming Collar for Dogs

    Duration: 60 days
    Ingredients: Pheromones, Citronella, Lavender

    The most effective ingredient in the Premium Care Calming Collar for Dogs is the pheromones. As you’d expect, these pheromones can help calm your dog, as they resemble the pheromones released by mother dogs when nursing their puppies. Even as adults, these pheromones tend to calm dogs down and fight stress.

    However, there are other ingredients in this collar, too. For instance, citronella and lavender both take center stage. These are detected by humans, and some may not like the smell. There is also limited research on how they affect dogs, so they may mostly provide a placebo effect.

    Either way, these collars do last a long time. According to the company, they can last for up to 60 days. However, we expect that they work better if changed more regularly. Luckily, the collar is easy to use and comes in one size. You simply cut off the excess for smaller dogs.

    Pros
    • Easy to use
    • Pheromones included
    • Pleasant smell
    Cons
    • Essential oils included
    • Smell may be too strong for some humans

    6. Gentify Calming Collar for Dogs

    Gentify Calming Collar for Dogs

    Duration: 60 Days
    Ingredients: Pheromones & Lavender Essential Oil

    The Gentify Calming Collar for Dog works extremely similarly to the other pheromone collars on this list. The pheromones do the heavy lifting of calming your dog. However, just for good measure, this collar also includes an essential oil blend, which includes a great deal of lavender. While this may help calm your dog in some situations, many users reported that the scent was too much for them.

    Because this collar includes essential oil, it can irritate. While it is generally pretty safe, it isn’t as safe as essential oil-free options.

    This collar advertises a continuous effect of up to 60 days. However, like other collars, the effects decline slowly after a few weeks of wear. Therefore, for maximum effectiveness, you’ll want to change the collar more often.

    Pros
    • 60-day lifespan
    • Inexpensive
    • Pheromones included
    Cons
    • Essential oils included
    • Wears off before the suggested lifespan

    divider-dog

    Buyer’s Guide : How to Pick the Best Calming Dog Collar

    At first glance, choosing a calming collar for your dog may seem pretty simple. However, it is often anything but simple. These collars are relatively new inventions, so they tend to differ greatly. There isn’t yet an industry standard that most collars follow.

    Furthermore, the differences aren’t always labeled very well. A collar may say that it lasts for 60 days. However, what the box doesn’t say is that the effects begin declining at 30 days.

    We’ll discuss all of these details below to help you choose the best collar for your canine.

    a labrador dog wearing a collar
    Image By: tookapic, Pixabay

    Do Calming Collars for Dogs Actually Work?

    One of the biggest concerns about these collars is often that they seem a bit “scammy.” Many pet parents are very suspicious of a collar that claims to calm their pets almost instantaneously. That sounds a bit too good to be true.

    However, there is much research backing up these collars. For the most part, these collars work because of pheromones. These pheromones are recognized by dogs and only dogs. Humans can’t even detect them, so many quality collars will appear completely odorless to us.

    To calm dogs, these collars contain pheromones that mirror those given off by mother dogs. These pheromones influence behavior, which makes them an effective tool against anxiety and stress. The pheromones released by most of these collars are called dog appeasing pheromones because they make dogs “happy.”

    However, different collars will have different concentrations. Some may even use different synthetic forms of the pheromone. You can see the pheromone percentage on most packages, though this isn’t always the case.

    While these collars haven’t been studied extensively, the research that has come out is promising. For instance, researchers found that these collars may help socialization, reduce separation anxiety, and reduce fear.

    But What About Essential Oils?

    You’ll probably notice that most collars we reviewed include essential oils of some sort. These essential oils are often advertised as calming dogs and come in recognizable scents like lavender. However, there isn’t any evidence that these essential oils work on dogs as intended. (As a side note, some essential oils are toxic to dogs, so essential oils for people and animals are different.)

    Therefore, while these may have an effect, we don’t know. We do know that some can be irritating to dogs with sensitive skin.

    For these reasons, we do not recommend collars solely based on essential oils. There just isn’t any evidence that these will work. However, there are quite a few collars that include pheromones and essential oils. This double-pronged approach does contain pheromones, so we do know that they will be at least somewhat helpful.

    Features to Consider

    When choosing a calming dog collar, there are quite a few features you may want to keep in mind. On top of the ingredients you need to consider, you’ll also have to look at things like fit. Let’s take a look at some of these features.

    Longevity

    You’ll need to regularly change any calming collar you purchase, whether it contains pheromones or essential oils. However, the longevity of each collar does differ a bit. Some don’t last very long, while others last quite a long time. Needing to change the collar often will lead to you spending more money over time, and it can get quite annoying too.

    However, the listed duration isn’t always correct. While some collars may advertise that they work up to 60 days, that doesn’t mean they are equally effective across those 60 days. Usually, the pheromone concentration begins to decline before that.

    Sometimes, collars list the effectiveness as how long it takes for all the pheromones to run out. Others list longevity as the time until the effects start declining.

    Therefore, a 60-day and a 30-day collar may last the same time.

    brown dog wearing collar
    Image By: Blue Bird, Pexels

    Proper Fit

    A collar that doesn’t stay on won’t be very helpful. Therefore, the collar must fit. Not only is this important for your dog’s comfort, but it can also be a vital safety consideration. A collar that is too big can get hung on things more easily or allow the dog to gnaw on it.

    Thankfully, most of these collars are extremely adjustable. Often, they are made out of a silicone material that can be cut, which allows you to trim off the excess. However, those that don’t often have sizing charts and different sizes available. Be sure to measure your dog’s neck and follow the manufacturer’s sizing instructions.

    DAP Concentration

    As we’ve stated, different collars have different concentrations of the dog appeasing pheromone. As you’d expect, a higher concentration often means more effectiveness. However, this isn’t always the case, as quality and longevity should also be considered. (A potent collar won’t be helpful if the pheromone rubs off in a few days.)

    Usually, the concentration is found on the packaging or in the description.

    Smell

    Many collars include essential oils, which are detectable by humans. In this case, you will notice that the collar smells like lavender or whatever other oil is used. Sometimes, this scent isn’t strong and tends to wear off quickly. However, at other times, it can be extremely strong and even cause headaches in those susceptible.

    Not everyone will care much about what the collar smells like. However, for those who don’t like strong smells, what the collar smells like can be important.

    close up of a beagle dog wearing a black collar
    Image Credit: gerardosan, Pixabay

    Do Calming Collars for Dogs Have Side Effects?

    It depends on the collar. Generally, those with pheromones do not have a particularly high risk of side effects. There aren’t any known side effects of pheromones, so these collars are extremely safe. However, these collars can make dogs much calmer (and lazy), though this is the point of the collar. For dogs that are obese or overweight, this can be an issue. It’s recommended to ensure that your dog continues to get the right amount of exercise when wearing these collars.

    Essential oils can be a bit more troublesome as they can be more irritating. Some dogs react to the lavender and chamomile essential oils used on many collars, so you may want to choose a pheromone-only option if your canine has sensitive skin.

    Of course, collars can also cause skin irritation due to physical abrasions. However, you can prevent this by sizing your dog’s collar well. Still, some collars are rougher than others, which can cause skin issues even if your dog doesn’t react to the ingredients.

    How Long Does It Take for a Dog Calming Collar to Work?

    Technically, the pheromones should start working as soon as they come in contact with your dog. Your dog only needs to smell these pheromones for their behavior to shift. However, it may take as long as a week for this shift to occur. For this reason, you’ll often know if the collar is going to work or not after a week of use.

    However, there is no reason to put this collar on your dog before a potentially stressful event. If you purchase the collar for a particular event, placing it on your dog the day before is often long enough for the effects to begin.

    Once you put the collar on, it is recommended that you leave the collar on. These collars are meant to stay on your dog constantly—not be taken on and off.

    Dogs will relapse after the collar runs out of pheromones or if it is removed. Sometimes, their behaviors can become worse for a bit as they re-adjust to not having a collar. If the collar works, we don’t recommend stopping use unless the stressful event has passed.

    divider-pawConclusion

    Calming dog collars can adjust a dog’s behavior if it is driven by stress and anxiety. Science backs the use of pheromone-based collars, which we have suggested throughout this article.

    Our favorite calming collar for dogs is the Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar for Dogs. This collar only includes pheromones, so you don’t have to worry about essential oils. It also isn’t incredibly expensive, and the company is well-established.

    As a budget option, we also liked the ThunderEase Calming Collar for Dogs. This collar is much less expensive than other options.

    Hopefully, one of the calming collars on this list fits your needs.


    Featured Image Credit: Lynda McFaul, Shutterstock

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