The best dog calming plug-in for anxious pups

Our pick of the best plug-in pheromone diffusers for nervous dogs.

best dog calming plug-in

by Ellen Kinsey |

Dogs are so precious, and as owners, we always want them to feel safe and loved. However, certain factors such as separation anxiety, loud noises, past trauma, phobias, illness or injuries can make your pet feel uncomfortable.

If your furry friend struggles with separation anxiety, aggression, stress while travelling or out of the house, it can be challenging to know what we can do to help them.

There are certain remedies and plugins that claim to help calm stressed pets, but how do they work, and what are the best ones to use?

Do calming plug-ins work?

Pheromone diffusers for anxious pets have received positive testimonies from cat and dog owners, some even saying their pet is entirely different after using a calming plug-in. Studies have shown that pheromone diffusers help calm anxious dogs and cats in certain circumstances.

So what are pheromones anyway? Pheromones are chemicals released naturally by dogs and cats that act as imperceptible communication. Calming pheromones are emitted by the mother to calm and reassure her litter and calming diffusers and sprays mimick the natural calming neurotransmitter called GABA, to calm their nerves.

This tricks the fired up nerve cell into thinking it is getting a calming message from the brain. Scents are also known to have a calming effect on humans, such as lavender or jasmine.

Plug-in diffusers function in the same way as plug-in air fresheners. The plug-in creates low-level heat underneath the pheromone liquid, which emits a lasting release of the synthetic pheromones to create a calming effect in the surroundings.

Without further ado, here are our pick of the best calming plug-ins for dogs that are backed up by real and positive reviews:

The best dog calming plug-ins and sprays for dogs:

ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser with 30 day refill

ADAPTIL Calm Home 30 Day Starter Kit, 48ml

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ADAPTIL is a clinically proven dog behavioural product backed by over 25 years of science and research into animal welfare. This diffuser contains a synthetic copy of the dog appeasing pheromone, which a mother naturally emits to calm and reassure her litter. This helps adult dogs to destress and feel safe.

Review: "Fantastic product. Bought this for my lab as I couldn't handle her crying and scratching at the door every time I went out or mainly to bed. Since I have bought this it has not just changed my dog's life but it has given me a life without worry."

"Whoever has made this, I would honestly love to shake their hands. Since I have got this, my dog now feels so much calmer in herself. She is a totally different dog. I have had her for five years now, and you would honestly think that she was a different dog."

Pet Remedy Natural De-Stress and Calming Plug-In Diffuser, 40 ml

Pet Remedy Natural De-Stress and Calming Plug-In Diffuser, 40 ml

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This diffuser is ideal for pets, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and more. Just plug in and let the de-stressing properties slow release into the environment. It is made with a blend of essential oils, including valerian, vetivert, basil sweet, and sage.

Review: "This product was amazing from the day I plugged it in! My Siberian husky would destroy the house whilst I was at work every day without fail regardless of what I left her to chew, eat or play with. I plugged this bad boy in and have come home every day since to not one thing touched and a happy girl asleep with the cat on the sofa."

"Even the cats are more chilled and loving. I can smell it slightly, but it's a nice smell and not at all offensive. I would highly recommend trying this plugin."

Pet Remedy Calming Spray 200ml

Pet Remedy Calming Spray 200ml

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Pets at Home

Like the Pet Remedy diffuser, this spray contains Valerian essential oil blended with Vetiver, Sweet Basil and Sage to calm your four-legged friend. The spray works by mimicking the natural calming neurotransmitter called GABA to soothe your pooch's nerves.

Review: "I was pleasantly surprised to find it quite effective on my dog. I spray it on his harness and bedding. He is much calmer when I use it"

ADAPTIL Calm Transport Spray

ADAPTIL Calm Transport Spray

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This works in the same way as the ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser and is a great solution to help your dog stay calm and adapt at home in situations like staying alone or in the car.

Review: "I was very surprised at the effectiveness of this spray. Have an 8-month-old lurcher, and we are her sixth home in 8 months, so think she associates car journeys with abandonment. I tried this spray after reading reviews. The only problem now is I cannot get her OUT of the car !!! So I truly think it has made a big difference."

Understanding dog behaviour and body language

It is good to keep an eye on your dog's behaviours to see what could make them anxious or feel threatened.

This infographic from the RSPCA is a helpful guide for reading your dog's body language and what their behaviours mean:

RSPCA dog behaviours

What to do if your dog is anxious?

If your dog is displaying signs of anxiety, you should first reach out to your vet to identify the trigger for the stress and rule out if it is an underlying health problem.

Once you have contacted your vet and are reassured that there aren't any health conditions to be aware of, then diffusers and plug-ins are a great way to try to calm their nerves.

While we might not be able to cure their fear the way we’d like to, we can invest in remedies that help keep them calm and reassure them that everything will be alright.

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