Are There Side-Effects to Adaptil Collars?

If you are an owner of a dog who has been suffering from emotional issues such as anxiety, you might already be familiar with the company called Adaptil. If not, you definitely need to learn more about it. Why? Because Adaptil makes collars that could help your pup deal with stressful situations.

How these dog collars work is that they are laced with pheromones that should act on your pup as stress relievers. In dog worlds, smells mean a lot. Considering that dogs have several hundred times more smell receptors than humans, it’s not surprising that they use different smells as a means of communication. For example, the mother dog releases certain pheromones that give the baby dogs a signal that everything is okay.

Adaptil collars are using basically the same principle. They come with pheromones that tell your pup that everything is under control. And the result is that the dog will stay calm in stressful situations. What’s so great is that it’s always with them. The pheromones are inside the collar, meaning that he’s always going to get a share of them while wearing it. So, if he gets in a stressful situation, he’ll be ready to face it.

That wouldn’t be the case with other pheromone-based products, like a diffuser spray for example. You would need to use such a product on him, but you can’t predict when a stressful situation is going to occur. With Adaptil stress-reduction collars, you are not required to be on a watch all the time. But, because these collars release pheromones all the time, the question that pet owners often ask is how much pheromone is too much? Can Adaptil collars change your pup’s personality?

Can a Pheromone Collar Affect His Mood and Personality?

The simple answer is yes. At least temporarily… But, worry not, it won’t turn your lovely dog into a Cujo. It can only have positive effects. The biggest risk here is that your dog won’t react to it. But, if he does, he is likely to become calmer and more relaxed. Of course, this won’t turn him into a slug, it will just make him a happier puppy when dealing with stressful situations.

But, even if it affects his mood, you can be sure there won’t be any major changes. Adaptil collar just doesn’t have the power to turn a sad and emotionally troubled dog into a happy puppy overnight. For such a thing to be achieved, you will need to invest much more time and energy.

Of course, we’re not saying that it won’t work, but you can bet it won’t work too well unless the root of his anxiety isn’t removed. Speaking of potential causes of dog anxiety, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Change of living environment
  • Loud noises
  • Separation from his mother
  • Separation from his previous owner
  • Social anxiety
  • Travel anxiety
  • Bad experiences with other animals
  • Bad experiences with humans
  • Certain physical issues
  • Certain diseases

The good news is that most of the things from the list above can be treated through several different methods, including medication. But, all of those methods come with, at least some, side-effects. Unlike Adaptil collars…

Potential Side Effects of Adaptil Collars

First of all, Adaptil collars are not medications. So, your pup can’t take too much of It. And neither can you. Dog pheromones don’t work on humans, it is a proven fact! That said, the worst thing that could happen as a result of the use of Adaptil collars is that it stops working well on your dog. It may work great on him, keeping him calm and relaxed at first, only to stop working after a while.

In most cases, the reason why this happens has nothing to do with the collar. It has to do with you not being able to tackle the cause of his anxiety. Look at it this way – if the pheromone collar is telling him that everything is okay, but the cause of his fears is still there, your pup will stop trusting the pheromones.

That said, finding the cause of your pup’s anxiety is of utmost importance. Once you manage to deal with it, he won’t need the collar anymore. But, until the root of his anxiety is tackled, Adaptil collar can keep him calm. And the best thing is that even when the issue is over, you can leave the collar on him as there are literally no side-effects of using dog pheromone products.

Because of this fact, using such products is the preferred choice of many dog owners. Rather than risking the health of their four-legged friend by putting him on dangerous drug regimens, many dog owners choose the safer option instead.

Actually, the biggest worry you can possibly have about Adaptil collars is whether they are comfortable enough for your pup. Forget about pheromones, issues that these collars can include have nothing to do with them. These issues are related to the size of the collar.

Is It Comfortable for Your Dog?

Same as any other type of dog collar, the Adaptil collar you get for your dog needs to be the right size. Otherwise, the chance is that it won’t be too comfy for him. Actually, a collar that’s too tight can cause a variety of problems, including hairless, skin irritations, neck pain, through ache, breathing problems, and so on.

Obviously, the solution is to buy the best dog collar, which fits him perfectly. You won’t have any problems to do it if you buy the collar in your local pet shop, where you can test it on him. But, what if you’re buying an Adaptil collar for your pup online?

The solution to this problem is pretty simple – all you got to do is measure your dog’s neck and choose accordingly. You don’t even have to measure it too precisely because Adaptil collars are adjustable. Of course, you can’t buy any on random, because each of them has their own size range. Some are suitable for dogs of smaller breeds like Chihuahuas or Pomeranians; others are made for dogs of larger sizes, e.g., English Mastiffs and Great Danes.

The rule of thumb for picking the right size of an Adaptil collar is that if you’re not sure about the size, always go for the bigger one. Why is this a wise idea? Because these collars are not meant to be used for walking him on a leash, so even if it’s a little bit looser than expected, it really isn’t a big deal. Even if it slips off him, it won’t matter too much. In that case, all you got to do is put it back on him.

Alternatives to Adaptil Collars

One of the best things about Adaptil collars is that you can leave them on your dog all the time, without having to worry it would cause some side-effects, potentially compromising his mental, emotional, or even his physical health. Keeping the collar on him would mean that he would receive pheromone signals that everything is in perfect order all the time. But, he could get used to it too much so the collar wouldn’t be able to calm him down in a stressful situation. That’s why a good piece of advice is to take it off when he’s in a safe and stress-free environment.

For instance, when your pup is with you in your room, having a great time playing around, there really is no reason to use a pheromone collar on him. But, if you’re going on a trip, for example, for which you need to leave him in a pet hotel, helping him get through this experience could be done through the use of an Adaptil collar.

Sure, you can use other pet products with pheromones for the same purpose, not only Adaptil collars. The same company manufactures pheromone sprays that have basically the same effect on dogs. The problem with this is that the spray might not be as long-lasting as a pheromone collar.


Apart from pheromone-based products, there are many other potential solutions to dog anxiety. However, which method is the best is almost impossible to say. The reason is that it all depends on the type of anxiety problem your pup has, as well as how severe the problem is.

Sometimes, pheromone products cannot do a very good job at calming down a scared dog. In some cases, medication is the only possible solution. Unfortunately, unlike Adaptil collars, most anxiety drugs do come with some side-effects, some of which can be pretty serious.

This is why the best advice we can give you when it comes to helping your dog deal with anxiety is to ask a professional vet for advice. After all, they’re the ones who spent years at college, learning about these sorts of things. That said, the veterinarian is the one who will be able to judge what’s the best choice for your pup, may it be an Adaptil collar or some more radical solution.

Author Bio:

David Huner is a dog trainer looking to expand his knowledge on everything dog-related. Apart from learning new stuff on an everyday basis, David also likes sharing his knowledge with the world. That’s why he’s started his own blog named Pet Training Tip, where he shares his pet training tips and tricks.

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