Our Guide to Choosing a Calming Treatment

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Calming products can be a fantastic addition source of supporting during stressful times. Our pets can experience anxiety when faced with unfamiliar surroundings or loud and busy environments. Such as visiting the vets, moving home, firework season and when there are changes in the household.

There is no one-size-fix-all when it comes to calming products and some may not work for individual animals. There are 3 main types of calming product available; Herbal, Hormonal and Pheromone.

Understanding the difference between calming products is essential for finding the right one for your pet. 


Herbal, Hormonal or Pheromone

Calming products are NOT designed to sedate instead they help pets settle and feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Feeling more secure and confident helps them better process and deal with changes around them. There are three main categories of calming support products available, each working in their own individual way to help reduce anxiety.


Herbal calming products work via aromatherapy principles, so use an array of herbs and natural essential oils to help pets feel more settled and attentive in their environment.

The blend of essential oils in herbal products work alongside the relaxation pathways within the pet’s nervous system, in turn calming the nerves of anxious or stressed pets. This helps relax animals and allows them to focus.

Herbal calming products are often not specific to one species and instead will aid a wide variety of animals from dogs and cats to rabbits and reptiles.


Pheromones (chemical messages) are naturally used by pets to communicate with each other and themselves. Mothers use pheromones to communicate with and soothe their puppies/kittens. 

Pheromone calming products use exact synthetic copies of these messages to communicate feelings of safety, security, and reassurance in pets. This helps pets become more focused and much calmer in their environment and can help pets accept new environments easier.

Pheromone products are typically a great choice for anyone moving house with their pet, as they communicate to the animal they have been there before and that it is a safe place to be.


Hormonal calming products are found as dietary supplements which help to naturally increase the amount of Serotonin (mood stabilising substance) in the body.

Serotonin is produced by the body naturally from nutrients in the diet; these nutrients are the basis for hormonal products, giving the body the raw ingredients to produce more. Serotonin is also crucial in the release of other substances that make pets feel happy and rewarded.

There are three questions to consider when choosing a product that can help narrow down your search.


How quickly does your pet need support?

Some products have an immediate beneficial effect such as herbal sprays and spot-ons. Whereas some, typically hormonal products, will need a loading period, and may not be fully beneficial for a few hours/days or weeks. Always plan for situations or scenarios that may cause your pet anxiety and put a calming support product in place before the pet becomes stressed.


How long does your pet need support?

Pheromone and herbal diffusers are designed to provide long-term support. These will provide continual support for up to 4 weeks, perfect for helping pets make that transition to their new home.


Which pet is it for?

Hormonal and pheromone-based products are species specific, so you should ensure you choose the correct product for your individual pet. Herbal diffusers and sprays are often supportive for multiple animals. Making these the best option if you have a multi species household. 

For further help choosing a calming treatment, head over to your local Pets Corner store.