Despite their often happy-go-lucky personalities, dogs are not immune to stress and anxiety. Whether it's due to separation anxiety, loud noises, or a major change in their environment (such as traveling, moving to a new home, the addition of a new person or pet, or visitors stopping by), stress can cause dogs to bark and act out. Fortunately, the best calming collars for dogs are a great, drug-free option for helping dogs to calm down.
According to Dr. Jamie Richardson, Medical Chief of Staff at the New York City-based Small Door Veterinary clinic, calming collars work in a similar way as aromatherapy candles. “Calming collars give off a synthetic version of the pheromone that's released by a lactating female dog's breast tissue called the dog appeasing pheromone, or DAP," Dr. Richardson explains. "The collars release DAP into the air, and when your dog breathes this in, it helps them feel more secure and calm."
However, Dr. Richardson notes that calming collars are not right for every situation. "For more serious behavioral issues, such as fear-based aggression or other behavioral problems, calming collars can be a great aid along with behavioral modification techniques and pharmaceutical interventions.”
A few important things to consider before you get your pup a calming collar: Per indications on the products listed below, these are not a replacement for a regular collar and should not be attached to a leash. They also should not be used on dogs with skin lesions in the neck area. In addition, while not substantiated, some reviewers have claimed that their dogs had a possible allergic reaction to wearing one, so it's a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before using a calming collar.