REVIEW: Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs

Anxiety in dogs is a surprisingly common occurrence and whilst it can be very challenging and sometimes downright heart-wrenching to deal with, there are drug-free products available that can help manage mild to moderate cases, as well as compliment existing anxiety treatment plans. For some, Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs is one of them. 

REVIEW: Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs - Does it work? Pros/Cons, Adaptil products and other calming aids for anxious dogs. German Shepherd Puppy. Image by Kseniia Shikhova via Unsplash.

Image by Kseniia Shikhova via Unsplash.

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What is Adaptil Calming Spray and who is it for?

Adaptil Calming Spray is a synthetic pheromone spray for dogs of all ages that helps to soothe mild to moderate anxiety and/or fear in dogs during times of stress.

Important: If your dog suffers from EXTREME anxiety, fear, or stress (to the point of self-harm, they are putting themselves in danger or your lives are being significantly impacted by your dog’s anxiety on a regular basis), we highly recommend contacting a Veterinary Behaviourist in the first instance, as there may be a medical condition at play that they will subsequently be able to develop a treatment plan for.

How Adaptil Calming Spray works:

Adaptil Calming Spray replicates the soothing “dog appeasing pheromones” mother dogs emit and use to communicate with their puppies. These pheromones help to provide comfort and security in challenging situations, in turn helping to reduce signs of stress and anxiety.

How and when to use Adaptil Calming Spray:

Adaptil Calming Spray can be used in recurring situations like being left home alone or for specific situations like vet visits or travel and is safe for everyday use.

To use, simply spray 4-5 squirts of Adaptil Calming Spray onto your dog’s bedding or crate (or wherever they will be) approx. 15 minutes BEFORE a stressful situation is going to occur. For example, 15 minutes before you intend to travel or intend on leaving for work (essentially, 15 minutes before any situation that is triggering for your dog).

Allow the spray to dry for a few minutes before permitting your dog to return to the area you just sprayed (this allows the alcohol in the spray to dissipate).

Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs - feat.  ADAPTIL Spray 60 mL – Calms & Comforts Dogs During Travel, Veterinary Visits and Stressful Events - The Original D.A.P. Dog Appeasing Pheromone Spray, 60ml - Packaging May Vary

Image via Adaptil/Amazon


In our personal experience, Adaptil works best if you use it before your dog starts to exhibit signs of stress or anxiety i.e. when they are still calm.

TOP TIP: Spray a couple of squirts of Adaptil onto a doggy bandana and allow it to dry before attaching to your dog’s collar. That way they will have it with them wherever they go. Alternatively, you might like to consider an Adaptil Calm on-the-go Collar instead (it lasts for up to 4 weeks – but don’t get it wet!).

Adaptil Calming Spray Pros

  • Adaptil is clinically proven to help reduce signs of stress and fear in dogs of all ages.
  • Adaptil is a drug-free alternative to prescription anxiety medication.
  • Adaptil helps to build your dog’s confidence by keeping them calmer for longer.
  • Adaptil is used and recommended by Vets worldwide.
  • Adaptil is safe for everyday use.

Adaptil Calming Spray Cons

  • Adaptil does not work for all dogs, and especially not for those with extreme cases .
  • Adaptil spray only lasts for approx. 3-4 hours before reapplication is required.
  • Adaptil is not as effective if your dog is already exhibiting signs of stress or is already in a panicked state.
  • Adaptil can get expensive if you are using it everyday.

Final thoughts:

Having used Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs on my stressy Spaniels at home and also on dogs in a shelter environment when working in kennels, I can confidently say that when this product works, it’s simply AMAZING, however, when it doesn’t, it’s a little disheartening.

Adaptil is not a miracle cure and unfortunately doesn’t work for all dogs, especially not those with extreme cases of fear/anxiety or for dogs with significant existing behavioral issues – only a professional Veterinary Behaviorist can help with this. 

It is however, definitely worth a shot if your dog suffers from mild to moderate anxiety or has only just begun exhibiting symptoms. Just don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work for you – there are lots of other options out there and avenues to explore, calming aids like Adaptil are just one of many.

Where to buy:

Other dog calming aids you might like to consider:

Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs - feat.  Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment - Gray (Medium)

Patented design applies gentle, constant pressure to calm anxiety, fear and over-excitement. Similar to swaddling and infant. Vet and trainer recommended.

Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs - feat.  ADAPTIL Dog Calming Pheromone Diffuser, 30 Day Starter Kit (48 mL)

Similar to Adaptil Spray but in diffuser form. Covers up to 700 square feet. Lasts for 4 weeks before a new vial is needed. Great for dog rooms and spaces.

Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs - feat.  ADAPTIL Calming Pheromone Collar for Dogs, Medium/Large

Similar to Adaptil Spray but in collar form. Constant calming and comfort. Lasts for up to 4 weeks. Great for on-the-go and outdoors. Should not be worn when swimming or when being bathed/shampooed.

Adaptil Calming Spray for Dogs - feat.  Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs with Anxiety and Stress - 170 Dog Calming Treats - Storms, Barking, Separation - Valerian Root - Melatonin - Hemp Oil - Dog Anxiety Relief - Made in USA | Soft Chews

Edible stress relieving treats. Key ingredients include hemp (oil and powder), valerian root, chamomile extract and passion flower. Natural calming aid.

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