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Frequently asked questions

General questions about Adaptil and pheromones

What pheromone is in Adaptil?

Adaptil is a synthetic replica of the natural Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P.) that mother dogs emit to comfort and reassure their puppies.

Will Adaptil affect humans or other animals in my home?

No. As pheromones are species-specific, the canine pheromone in Adaptil will affect only dogs and will have no effect on humans or other pets.

Is Adaptil as effective in adult dogs as it is in puppies?

Research has demonstrated that the reassuring properties of the Dog Appeasing Pheromone are still effective in adulthood.

Can I use Adaptil with a young puppy?

Yes. There is no minimum age for using Adaptil. Puppies are naturally exposed to pheromones from their mother and are able to recognize the pheromone in Adaptil from shortly after birth.

How long should I use Adaptil?

Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate treatment time, depending on the nature of the behaviour issue and other possible solutions. If your dog is undergoing behavioural therapy, your veterinarian or behaviour therapist may adapt the duration of use specifically to your dog’s needs. When Adaptil is used to help comfort a puppy during the socialization period, it is recommended to use it from the age of 2 months, for 2 to 3 consecutive months. For other uses, it may take some time before you see improvement, depending on the nature and severity of the problem. Some dogs may need a long term behavioural therapy program. When used to help manage separation-related problems, in complement to drugs and a behaviour modification program, the recommended duration of use is usually 3 to 6 months, plus at least one month after stabilization. In addition, for some indications or situations that occur frequently (e.g. thunderstorms, fireworks), regular use of Adaptil is recommended (during each thunderstorm season or firework events, for example) and should be anticipated, where possible. 

What type of behaviour problems will not be helped by Adaptil?

If the undesirable behaviour is not stress-related, Adaptil will have no effect. Some problem behaviours, such as over-excitement or hyperactivity, may be due to a lack of exercise or proper training. Some signs may also be due to an unstimulated environment. Adaptil should never be used in case of aggression towards humans or other dogs (even if some aggressive reactions can be fear-induced). Consulting a behaviourist is strongly recommended in these situations. House-soiling may be the result of stress, but can also be due to a lack of toilet training, or be a sign of a urinary tract disease problem. It is always important to first consult a veterinarian to rule out potential medical issues that may be leading to an unwanted behaviour.

Can I use Feliway and Adaptil in the same household at the same time?

Yes, the pheromones in each product are species-specific; the feline facial pheromone in Feliway will affect only cats and the dog appeasing pheromone in Adaptil will affect only dogs. 

Can I use Adaptil for my senior dog that is beginning to display signs of aging (cognitive dysfunction)?

Older dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction may also find it harder to cope with the normal challenges of life, especially if their eye sight and/or hearing are also compromised. In such cases, dogs may indeed benefit from Adaptil. This pheromone product, which can be used concurrently with all other types of medication, may help manage the stress and the altered sleep/wake cycles associated with a loss in cognitive ability. Adaptil is believed to be especially useful during the early phase of cognitive dysfunction treatment, while waiting for medicinal treatment to take effect. However, Adaptil will not treat the underlying problem and should only be used in conjunction with traditional treatments, and not as an alternative.

Using Adaptil Diffusers and Refills

Where should I plug in the Adaptil Diffuser?

Plug the diffuser in an open area where your dog spends most of its time.

Avoid placing the diffuser near open windows, air vents or under tables or shelves.

Each diffuser covers up to 70m² (750 ft²). More than one diffuser may be required in large or multi-floor homes.

Why should I avoid plugging in an Adaptil Diffuser under furniture?

A minimum of clear distance of 4 ft (1.20 m) should be left above and around the diffuser to ensure proper diffusion of pheromones. The warm, oil-based vapour that carries the active ingredients in Adaptil rises upward above the diffuser. This vapour may be blocked or may re-condense and leave a visible mark on surfaces above the diffuser if the diffuser is improperly placed.

Should I unplug the Adaptil Diffuser at night?

No. The Adaptil Diffuser should be left on continuously throughout day and night. Frequent unplugging will prevent the diffuser from working properly. Once plugged in, it can take up to 24 hours to effectively fill the environment with the pheromone. Efficacy was demonstrated in clinical trials with non-interrupted use of the diffuser allowing the dog to constantly perceive the pheromone’s signal. 

How long does the Adaptil Diffuser last?

The Adaptil Diffuser should be checked monthly and replaced after six months of use to ensure optimum effect. 

How long do the Adaptil Refills last?

An Adaptil Refill lasts for approximately 30 days. The rate of diffusion can be affected by variations in air flow, so it is recommended that it not be placed near a heating or return air vent or any open doors or windows.

Why isn’t the level of liquid in my Adaptil Diffuser going down?

The diffusion of liquid from the Adaptil Diffuser is a very slow process. Under normal conditions, it can be difficult to see any change in the Refill level over the first week of use. Slight variations will also occur depending on air turnover.

To make sure your diffuser is working properly, check that

- the wick is not broken

- the device is turned on at all times (sometimes an electrical outlet is controlled by a wall switch)

- the device is warm (the diffuser will naturally heat up while it's working)

- you are using the correct refill with the correct diffuser

Finally, try the device in a different electrical socket.

Do I need to change the diffuser refill even though the liquid has not completely run out?

Adaptil Diffusers are available with 30-day refills. Some 30-day refills may run for a little longer than 30 days due to differences in location, air turnover, etc. Remember that the device will never empty completely as the last few milliliters of liquid are not sufficiently in contact with the wick to allow the diffusion process. It is therefore recommended to replace the refill after 30 days, with or without a small amount of liquid remaining in the refill.

How long does it take to reach maximum diffusion in the environment when using an Adaptil Diffuser?

We recommend allowing several hours (ideally 24 hours) for the diffuser to be fully functional and ensure the optimum diffusion rate. This allows the wick to become fully impregnated and for Adaptil to be released into the room. However, for stressful events that can be anticipated, it’s recommended to plug in the Adaptil diffuser 2-3 days before the event.

How long should it take to see an effect on my dog with the Adaptil Diffuser?

The Adaptil Diffuser will be fully functioning within 24 hours of being plugged in. The effect on the dog will depend on the nature, extent and duration of the situation for which Adaptil is used. Some dogs and/or some indications will show signs of improvement in less than a week (as proven in clinical trials), whereas some will require one month to exhibit visible improvement. In any case, we advise continued use of Adaptil for at least one month before assessing its effectiveness. Finally, the effectiveness of Adaptil also depends on good implementation of environmental and behavioural modifications in conjunction with the pheromone use and setting proper expectations for the pet owner.  

Can I plug an Adaptil Diffuser in a room where there are caged birds?

Some caged birds are known to have sensitive respiratory systems (in particular Psittacines: parrots, budgerigar, etc.). Therefore, as a precaution, we recommend plugging in the diffuser in a different room.

Can I plug an Adaptil Diffuser in a room where there is an aquarium?

We recommend using the diffuser in a room that does not have an aquarium. If the dog spends most of his time in the room with the aquarium, we recommend using an outlet as far from the aquarium as possible. This is only as a precaution to avoid oily, diffused active ingredients settling on the surface of the water. The components themselves are not classified as toxic for the environment.

Is it safe to use an Adaptil Diffuser in my home if I am pregnant?

You may continue using your diffuser. According to the toxicological data on the components of our products, no particular risk is expected following inhalation of the pheromone products when used as recommended. Particularly with pregnant women, the available toxicological data on laboratory animal species show that neither a teratogenic nor fetotoxic effect has been associated with the use of an Adaptil Diffuser.  

As a precaution for sensitive people, it is not recommended to plug an Adaptil Diffuser in a non-ventilated room where people spend most of their time, and in particular not in bedrooms.

Can I use the Adaptil Diffuser simultaneously with an air-conditioner?

An Adaptil Diffuser can be used in a house or a vet clinic where there is an air-conditioner, provided that it is plugged away from the air-conditioner, vents, cold air returns, or exhaust fan.

What is the surface area covered by an Adaptil Diffuser?

One diffuser covers up to 70 m2 (750 sq. ft.). The recommendation is to plug the diffuser in the room where the dog will spend most of its time. However, in a multi-level house, only one diffuser located in a specific area of the home may not be enough to provide the desired effects on dogs, particularly in rooms that are distant from the diffuser or located on another level. Therefore, for a multi-level home, it may be more appropriate to place one diffuser per level for best results. Alternatively, and Adaptil Collar could be used.

Can Adaptil Refills be used with other plug-in diffuser systems?

Adaptil Refills should never be used with other non-Ceva diffusers and Adaptil Diffusers should never be used other non-Ceva refills. 

I bought a diffuser in another country, or online, and it doesn’t match with the local sockets of my country. What can I do?

Adaptil Diffusers are equipped with plugs that are compatible with the local electric systems of the country from which they have been purchased. Conversely, a Canadian diffuser cannot be used in a European country, due to the voltage difference. They should never be used with an adapter or a voltage converter as it may lead to serious safety issues. Please check before use that your diffuser has the appropriate plug to be used in your country.

How can I tell if my Adaptil Diffuser is turned on or working?

When the diffuser is plugged into an outlet, the diffuser head will be warm to the touch.

Is the Adaptil Diffuser head warm to the touch when plugged in?

The Adaptil Diffuser will be warm to the touch when plugged in.

Can I use an Adaptil Diffuser while leaving the windows open, in particular in the summer?

Usage with open windows and doors may result in diffusion at a faster rate and the product may not last the expected 30 days. In such a case, a different diffuser location should be considered within the house, targeting the area where the dog spends most of its time.

Are the Adaptil Refills recyclable?

Yes. The Adaptil Refills are made of recyclable plastic material (PET).

Are Adaptil Diffusers safe?

Yes. The Adaptil Diffuser is constructed with self-extinguishing plastic materials and complies with the International Electro technical commission (IEC), European (EN) and UL required standards.

If the diffuser device is used continuously, we recommend that it is replaced after 6 months of use for best results.

Using Adaptil Collars

How does the Adaptil Collar work?

The Adaptil Collar is body heat activated, meaning that when the collar is in contact with the dog’s skin, the dog’s body temperature warms the collar and promotes the diffusion of the pheromone into the local environment. As a result, the Adaptil Collar should be placed snugly on the dog’s neck to ensure proper contact.

How quickly does the Adaptil Collar begin to diffuse once fitted on a dog?

The Adaptil Collar begins diffusing the pheromone once the collar reaches the dog’s body temperature. Be sure to adjust the collar properly to obtain a proper fit and check regularly to ensure the collar has not loosened over time, or that it is becoming too tight on a growing puppy. The most common reason Adaptil Collar users see a decrease in efficacy is that the collar is too loose and is not being warmed enough by the dog’s body heat.

How long will an Adaptil Collar be effective?

An Adaptil Collar will be effective for up to 4 weeks. After this time, according to your veterinarian’s recommendation, you may need to replace the collar.

Can I use an Adaptil Collar together with other collars or bandanas?

While other collars will not impair the effectiveness of Adaptil Collar, it is important to ensure that the Adaptil Collar remains in close contact with the skin and is not covered by the other collar or bandana. If the Adaptil Collar is covered or is not in continuous contact with the dog’s skin, the release of the pheromone may be compromised and the positive effect on your dog reduced.

Is the Adaptil Collar a quick-release design?

No. However, in case of significant tension applied to the collar, the buckle would not hold and the collar would fall off. This is the reason why a lead should never be fixed to the Adaptil Collar.

What if my dog gets wet while wearing an Adaptil Collar (swim, bath, shampoo)?

The Adaptil Collar will not work while wet, but the collar efficacy will not be affected and returns immediately once the dog and the collar are dry. However there are different situations: If your dog swims in a lake or in the ocean this will not affect the collar’s pheromone content. As soon as the collar dries, the pheromone can diffuse again. If your dog swims in a swimming pool, the chlorinated chemicals from the pool can react with the Adaptil pheromone and impair its ability to diffuse effectively. It’s recommended to remove the Adaptil collar from your dog before swimming in a chlorinated pool. If your dog will be shampooed, either at home or at the groomers, it’s recommended to remove the collar before washing your dog as the shampoo can remove the pheromones from the surface of the collar. Replace the collar once your dog is dry.

Does my dog have to wear the Adaptil Collar all the time for it to be effective?

Once your dog is wearing a collar, he should continue to wear it for the full 4 weeks for the best results. Some conditions may require a longer period of usage, with collar replacement after 4 weeks.

Can I use a large Adaptil Collar on my small dog and cut it down to size? Will it be too strong?

The large collar contains the same concentration of pheromone as the small collar (5% pheromone) but it is sized differently in regards to its length and width. The small/medium Adaptil Collar is more convenient for puppies and small breed adult dogs, as it is narrower in width, the adjustment notches are spaced more closely together, and they extend further down the collar to accommodate for very small neck sizes.  These features allow for a much more appropriate fit.

Can I use the Adaptil Collar intermittently, or only when needed?

It is advised to leave the collar around the dog’s neck at all times for 4 weeks once opened. Your dog will benefit by constantly being exposed to the pheromone. If you remove the collar, the pheromone will still be released but at a lower rate (even when kept at a low temperature (i.e. in the refrigerator) and the efficiency of the collar may be affected. The 4 week efficacy cannot be ascertained.

In addition, for best results, the Adaptil® collar should be worn continuously (as proven by clinical trials).

There are other forms of Adaptil® which are more suitable for intermittent use such as the Adaptil® Spray.

Will other dogs in the house be affected by an Adaptil Collar, if it is worn by only one dog?

When the pheromone is diffused in the immediate vicinity of the dog wearing the Adaptil Collar, other dogs may detect the pheromone from the collar worn by the treated dog and display some interest and modified behaviour towards this dog. Because of the beneficial effects of the appeasing pheromone on dogs with and without behaviour problems, it may be helpful for all dogs in the household to wear an Adaptil Collar at the same time. Alternatively, the Adaptil Diffuser may be a good solution for multi-dog households.

How do I fit an Adaptil Collar?

Place a finger in the plastic loop situated in the inside of the collar close to the buckle. Using this loop pull the thin plastic to uncoil the collar. Fasten the collar. Place over our dogs head to tie loosely around the neck. Tighten the collar to fit snugly with your dog’s skin. You should be able to place no more than 2 fingers between collar and dog’s skin. For long haired dogs, ensure that the hair is parted and excess fur is not gathered under the collar. Ensure the collar is fixed inside the buckle. Cut off the excess portion of the collar.

*Note regarding puppies: as the puppy grows, it’s important to regularly adjust the fit of the collar.

Is there any latex in the Adaptil Collar?

No, there is no latex in our collar. The Adaptil plastic matrix is made of a mixture of synthetic plastic components, similar to most plastic collars made for dogs.

Does the efficiency of the Adaptil Collar diffusion change if I have a short- versus long-haired dog?

Adaptil Collar diffusion has been assessed in a study on 70 dogs. No significant difference on pheromone diffusion has been observed between different dog hair lengths (long, medium, short). It is important to ensure a proper fit.  For some long haired dogs it may be necessary to part the hair at the location of the neck where the collar will be fit, and ensure that no excess fur is stuck underneath the collar.

Is the plastic used in the Adaptil Collar recyclable?

No. The used Adaptil Collar should be thrown away in the normal garbage.


What if my dog has a reaction to the Adaptil Collar?

If signs of skin irritation or allergy appear, remove the collar and use an alternate form of Adaptil (Diffuser and Refill or Spray). 

Do not use Adaptil Collars on dogs with extensive skin lesions.

Using Adaptil Spray

How do I use Adaptil Spray?

Always apply Adaptil Spray to an object or surface. Do not spray the air and do not spray your dog.

  • Apply 8 pumps of Adaptil Spray to the desired object or surface (car, crate, bedding, bandana, table for medical examination, etc.)
  • Wait 15 minutes before introducing your dog to the applied area
  • Reapply Adaptil Spray every 4 to 5 hours, as needed

When should I use Adaptil Spray?

Use Adaptil Spray any time you want to reassure your dog or provide a little extra support.

Adaptil Spray is ideal for:

  • Travel
  • Vet visits
  • Grooming
  • Kennel stays
  • Visitors
  • Dog parks
  • Adoption
  • Moving to a new home
  • Training
  • Fireworks
  • Thunderstorms
  • New environments
  • New introductions

Each application of Adaptil Spray lasts 4 to 5 hours. It can be used alone or in combination with an Adaptil Diffuser and Refill or an Adaptil Collar for constant calming and comfort.

Should I apply Adaptil Spray directly on my dog?

Adaptil Spray should not be applied directly on your dog.

Always apply Adaptil Spray to an object or surface. Do not spray the air and do not spray your dog.

How long will it take for Adaptil Spray to have an effect on the dog? How long will the effect last for?

Adaptil Spray is proven to have an almost immediate effect, lasting 4 to 5 hours.

How long will my bottle of Adaptil Spray last?

Based on our recommendation of 8 to 10 pumps of spray per application:

  • Each 20 mL bottle of Adaptil Spray contains +/- 16 applications
  • Each 60 mL bottle of Adaptil Spray contains +/- 50 applications

Is the Adaptil Spray bottle recyclable?

Yes. The Adaptil Spray bottles are made of recyclable material.

Does Adaptil Spray stain?

Adaptil Spray is an alcohol-based product and should not stain.

We recommend testing on an inconspicuous area if you have any concerns.