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What are the benefits of dog pheromone collars

Table of Contents

In studies, 90% of dogs exhibited reduced anxiety with pheromone collars, showing improvements in behaviour such as less barking and enhanced calmness during storms.

Effectiveness of Pheromone Collars in the Real World

Dog owners are usually in search of a technique to help ease the unrest of their irritable animals. Different means have been introduced, with one of them being relatively simple and non-invasive, namely a pheromone collar. According to VetBabble , these devices are aimed at comfort, as “They replicate the pheromones the mother dog produces to give her pup a sense of well-being and comfort”. While many dog owners would claim they saw the effect, the real situation with the effectiveness of pheromone collars should be considered from a scientific perspective and expert opinion.

Opinion of Dog Owners

I myself attended to an anxious rescue dog and thus have observed the change in his behavior after using a pheromone collar. Previously, he used to cling to me during any fireworks, to start frantic barking or to try to slip away during walks to find a safe place. After a few weeks, I noticed changes when he let me make myself a listener to him for the first time and then could walk freely outside with confidence. Regarding the position of other dog owners, opinions differ significantly, with many reports of the absence of effect, meaning an increase in stress without improvement of symptoms. However, there was also a serious part of people who noticed a change in their dogs behavior and an almost complete reduction in anxiety symptoms. Variety may be due to the individual characteristics of dogs who may be insensitive to pheromones.

Opinion of Experts

Many veterinary behaviorists and researchers conducted studies examining the effectiveness of pheromones and products that may contain them, including pheromone collars. But only some of them succeed, and the results are not one hundred percent effective. According to International Cat Care , “research studies suggest that pheromone therapy can result in reduced stress-related behaviours in dogs, particularly in controlled environments “. At the same time, the expert opinion is that these collars diffidently work and their effectiveness is greatly enhanced if combined with other aids for behavioral modification.

pheromone collars

pheromone collars

To sum up, the use of pheromone collars can potentially help alleviate the anxiety of dogs. It may be proved by the mix of personal experience and the opinions of experts and some studies. However, it should still be considered a last resort option and used in conjunction with other basic behavioral modification strategies. So, the decision to buy such a collar should be approached only after consulting with a veterinarian following the formulation of a general management plan.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pheromone Collar

Size and Fit for Different Breeds and Their Comfort

If you are looking to select a pheromone collar, you should remember that there are multiple aspects to consider instead of simply taking one off the shelf. There are several things to consider, including the most appropriate size and style of the accessory and the life span and maintenance requirements of the product. In addition, you should always ensure that the selected item is safe for your pet. Let us take a more detailed look at the above-mentioned characteristics.

The correct size and fit of a pheromone collar are the primary factors affecting the comfort of your or cat and the effectiveness of the accessory. Pheromone collars come in numerous sizes to accommodate the variety of breeds and sizes of dogs and cats, from tiny Chihuahuas or Siamese cats to huge Great Danes or Maine Coons. However, all pheromone collars must be tight enough to ensure close contact of the accessory with the neck. A rule of thumb is to ensure that two fingers would snugly fit between the neck and the collar, preventing the latter from being too tight or too loose. In this case, the collar will help eliminate the risks of discomfort and neck irritation, while still effectively releasing pheromones in the close vicinity of the respective dog’s or cat’s nose and face. However, substitution of the corresponding size by larger or smaller collars will not bring proportional benefits. Using a pet’s actual size is the best option. Be sure to always refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart. If you are buying a collar for a puppy that is still growing, consider additional size issues.

Collar Life and Maintenance

The lifespan and maintenance of the product are the second most important factors when selecting a pheromone collar. Most pheromone collars are designed to last for about six weeks, although some specialized collars might have variable lifespans. Preventing oversaturation with pheromones is one of the most common reasons for the finite collar life. Therefore, you should keep track of the replacement schedule and ensure continuous support for your pet. Most pheromone collars are low-maintenance, but be sure to still check them from time to time, especially if your or cat is very active and spends long hours outdoors. Cleaning the collar and ensuring there are no visible signs of wear and tear will prevent skin issues and prolong the life of the product.

Safety and Potential Hazards

Finally, never buy a pheromone collar without closely scrutinizing the accessory for possible hazards for your or cat. While pheromone collars are best worn consistently, they might still pose a risk of choking or strangulation if they get stuck in something. If you are concerned about this risk, you should either buy a collar with a breakaway feature or a collar with a safety release mechanism instead. In addition, the materials of the collar are also very important. Be sure to avoid any classes or metals that might be harmful for your pet, such as allergens or other potentially hazardous chemicals. Finally, be sure to systematically check your or cat’s behavior and overall physical condition when they are wearing a new phoromone collar for the first time. If there was some negative reaction and your pet is uncomfortable, remove the collar and consult a vet immediately. Such cases are extremely rare, but you should be prepared for them. Overall, selecting a pheromone collar for your or cat is a thoughtful process requiring careful consideration of numerous factors.

pheromone collars

pheromone collars

Alternatives and Complementary Solutions

A holistic approach often produces the best results in anxiety management in dogs. Although pheromone collars are valuable tools that help soothe anxious pets, incorporating other strategies could improve their effectiveness. In this section, I will outline several alternatives and complementary solutions, such as the use of anti-anxiety medications, behavioural training, and other anxiety management products.

The Use of the Collar with Other Anti-Anxiety Medications

Supplementing pheromone collars with anti-anxiety medications might provide additional support for the pets that exhibit severe symptoms. However, it is essential to consult a veterinary professional before starting the new drug to ensure the appropriateness of the treatment for the particular pet. According to Dodman , anti-anxiety drugs could be classified into two classes, specifically SSRIs and benzodiazepines. The veterinarian might recommend a trial period to monitor the dog’s response to the combined therapy, making necessary dosage adjustments to achieve the best effect.

Educational and Behavioral Skills

Training is an essential element in addressing anxiety in pets. Various behavioral skills, primarily related to positive and negative reinforcement, desensitization, and counter-conditioning, are considered to be an effective means to control anxiety in dogs . Earlier studies highlight the importance of engaging a professional dog handler or even a veterinary behaviorist to receive high-quality service and adopt specific skills. The veterinary specialist could enroll the pet in the training sessions focused on imparting calmness and confidence. Dogs often feel anxious in specific scenarios, and teaching them how to behave in these circumstances could empower the animal to address their anxiety better. Regular training could also help consolidate the desired behavior and reduce anxiety over time.

Other Products for Anxiety Management

Besides pheromone collars, several other products could be employed in anxiety management. Anxiety wraps and vests designed to provide gentle pressure to the pet’s body and mimic the sensation of being held could be particularly useful during thunderstorms or fireworks . Calming supplements and chews often contain L-Theanine, chamomile, and valerian root that were reported to have a relaxing effect . Interactive games and puzzles for the dog can also help the pet focus and can be a suitable means for addressing anxiety, especially in dogs that exhibit the symptoms of separation anxiety when left alone. A combination of these solutions could be used in addressing anxiety in dogs, having a holistic effect on these conditions, and providing a comprehensive approach.

Conclusion: Assessing the Effect on My Dog’s Anxiety

The most important step to take after you have introduced the pheromone collar to the dog is to monitor its effect. I have described in the previous sections how you can do this, what aspects you should pay attention to and whether these signals may indicate that the pheromone collar works on your dog. If you have kept detailed notes of your dog’s behaviour before and after putting a pheromone collar on it, you can now approach the question of whether it was effective in a detailed and empirical way. However, you should allow for a few weeks of observation at the very least, as changes in behaviour might be gradual and hard to notice immediately.

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After the pheromone collar has been on your dog for a while, one of the next steps is to ascertain the overall cost-benefit ratio to the pet owner and leave some general final comments on the effectiveness of a pheromone collar for dogs. When doing so, make sure to take a look at the other anxiety-controlling strategies and their benefits and detriments.

The Benefits of a Pheromone Collar

Let us hypothesise that the collar indeed works and has a noticeable effect on the dog. It would mean that the pet owner’s investment has been worthwhile because many pheromone collars, including the one I used in this review, do not cost too much money. The expenditure, in this case, is not higher compared to the cost of preventing anxiety with regular trips to the vet or buying new shoes and furniture every month.

The Detriments of a Pheromone Collar

However, if you determine that the pheromone collar has not effectuated any significant changes in your dog’s behaviour, you should consider whether the therapy was worth it. Many types of pheromone neckbands do not cost much money, but even the cheapest options cost more than simply replacing your personal items and reupholstering your furniture. Furthermore, the psychological benefits of seeing a dog act calm and content far outweigh the expenses of taking it to the vet. If you find that there is no effect, and it is confirmed through additional analyses, anxiety attacks can be handled by cheaper means. Thus, you should keep a close eye on your observations and see whether the benefits outweigh the expenses and make notes on your conclusions on this matter.

Finally, it is time to part with the device and give some general recommendations and future advice based on the journey.

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