Frequently asked questions

General questions on Adaptil® and Pheromones

What pheromone is in Adaptil?

The pheromone released in Adaptil is a synthetic copy of the pheromone secreted by a mother dog after birth to provide reassurance to her puppies.

Will Adaptil affect humans or other animals in my home?

No. Pheromones are species-specific so the canine pheromone in Adaptil is only detected by dogs and is not recognized by 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 effective for dogs of all ages.

Can I use Adaptil with a young puppy?

Yes, in fact we encourage you to start using Adaptil with your puppy as soon as he is adopted.  Adaptil is clinically proven* to help dogs adjust more quickly to their new homes and also helps them feel safe and secure to help increase their focus during training.  This helps them develop into well-adjusted and well-behaved adult dogs.

*Gaultier E, Bonnafous L, et al.  Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone in reducing stress associated with social isolation in newly adopted puppies.  The Veterinary Record, 2008, pp 73 – 80.

Gaultier E, Bonnafous L, et al. Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone in reducing behaviors associated with fear of unfamiliar people and new surroundings in newly adopted puppies. Veterinary Record, 2009, 164, 708-714. 

DePorter T, Landsberg G, Beck A, Evaluation of DAP diffuser vs. placebo for guide dogs completely the final stage of training program leading to graduation as a working guide with a visually impaired person.  

How long should I use Adaptil?

Since Adaptil is not a drug, it can be used as long as needed - even indefinitely. It has no contraindications and will not interfere with other drug or nutrition therapies.   

For puppies, Adaptil is recommended from when you adopt the puppy and through the critical phase of life where your puppy is learning and becoming socialized. This is usually 4-6 months.  

For other situations such as loneliness, you may need to keep an Adaptil Diffuser plugged in constantly.  

The Spray is a great option if your dog only experiences stress in certain situations and Adaptil is only needed sporadically such as for travel or veterinary exams. 

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

There are some situations where Adaptil may not be helpful or you may need additional therapies to solve problems.

1.  If the undesired behavior is not stress-related, Adaptil will have no effect.

2.  Some problem behaviors, such as over-excitement or hyperactivity, may be due to a lack of proper training or an unstimulating environment.

3.  Adaptil should never be used in case of aggression toward humans or other dogs.  In this situation consulting a veterinary behaviorist is strongly recommended.

4.  House-soiling can be due to a lack of toilet training or be a sign of a disease problem. It is always important to first consult a veterinarian to rule out potential medical issues that may be leading to an unwanted behavior.

Can I use Adaptil, Feliway® or Feliway® MultiCat in the same household at the same time?

Yes, the pheromones in each product are species-specific, so only cats will detect Feliway or Feliway MultiCat and only dogs will detect Adaptil.  

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 eyesight and/or hearing is also compromised. In such cases, Adaptil may help manage the stress your dog may be feeling.  Adaptil can be used concurrently with all types of medication and nutrition therapies. For best results, talk with your veterinarian about all your options.

Using Adaptil® Diffusers

Is the Adaptil diffuser safe?

Yes. The Adaptil diffuser device is constructed with self-extinguishing plastic materials and complies with UL-required standards.

We do recommend replacing the diffuser every six months if it is used continuously.  

Where should I plug in the Adaptil diffuser?

You should plug the Adaptil diffuser in the room where the dog spends most of its time. A diffuser covers an area up to 700 sq. ft, but must not be covered, placed behind a door or furniture, or obstructed in any way. Additionally, avoid placing the diffuser over a vent - as this may speed up the diffusion process and the refill may not last a full 30 days. More than one diffuser may be required in large or multi-story homes. We recommend replacing the diffuser (the electrical device) every 6 months for best results.

Why can't I plug the diffuser in behind furniture?

The oily vapor (carrying the pheromone) will rise in a column of warm air above the device. If this rising air is blocked (e.g., under a shelf, table, furniture), the oil may re-condense and leave a visible mark. Circulation of pheromone will be impaired, and the efficacy of the product cannot be guaranteed.

Should I unplug the Adaptil diffuser at night?

No. The diffuser should be left on continuously day and night. 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 diffuser last?

The diffuser should be checked monthly and replaced every six months to ensure optimum effect. 

30 day refill vials are available for the diffuser. 

How long do the Adaptil refills last?

Adaptil refill vials last for 30 days.  The diffuser (the electrical unit) should be checked monthly and replaced every six months.

It's important to replace the refill after 30 days, even if there is a small amount of liquid in the vial.  The wick doesn't completely touch the bottom and rarely does it completely empty. Use the sticker on the refill vial to mark your calendar when it is time to change your refill.

The diffusers have changed recently - can I use any refill with any diffuser?

Refills are not compatible with the previous diffusers.  In order to make sure you have the right refill for the right diffuser, look at the picture of the diffuser on the refill box for guidance.  

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

The diffusion of the liquid from the Adaptil diffuser is a very slow process. In normal conditions of use, it can be very difficult to see any change to the level in the device over the first week of use. Slight variations will occur depending on air turnover. To make sure your diffuser is working properly, check that the wick on the refill vial is not broken and that the diffuser is plugged into a working outlet.

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

The refill vial 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 four weeks, with or without a small amount of liquid remaining in the refill.

How long does it take for the diffuser to spread Adaptil throughout the area?

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 two to three days before the event so your dog can experience the calming pheromones prior to the stress event.

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

The Adaptil diffuser takes approximately 24 hours to totally infuse a room with pheromones.  The effect on the dog will depend on the nature, extent, and duration of the problem for which Adaptil is used.

Some dogs will show signs of improvement in less than a week (as proven in clinical trials*), whereas for some situations, results can be seen after 28 days*. 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 behavioral modifications in conjunction with the pheromone use (please see recommended form and duration-of-use table on the pack insert).  

*Data on file.

Can I plug in 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 in an Adaptil diffuser in a room where there is 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. 

I’m pregnant. Can I use an Adaptil diffuser? Should I stop using it?

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. 

Can I use the pheromone diffuser simultaneously with an air-conditioner?

Yes, an Adaptil diffuser can be used in a house (or a vet clinic) where there is an air-conditioner, provided that it is not plugged in near the air-conditioner, vents, cold air returns, or exhaust fans.

Being near additional air-flow may accelerate the diffusion process and the refill vial may not last a full 30 days.

Do the Adaptil refills fit other brands of diffuser systems?

No. The Adaptil refills should never be used with another brand of diffuser.  Conversely, the Adaptil diffuser should never be used with a different brand of refill.  

The solvent in the Adaptil refills is made to diffuse at the temperature of the Adaptil diffuser.  Other brands of diffusers have different heating elements. 

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 come with plugs that fit with the local electric systems of the country they were purchased from. For example, a U.S. diffuser cannot be used in a European country due to the voltage difference. Diffusers should never be used with an adapter or a voltage converter, as it may lead to serious safety issues. 

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

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

Can I use the diffuser while leaving the windows open, particularly in the summer? Will that affect the efficacy?

Usage with open windows or heavy air flow may result in diffusion at a faster rate. The product may not last the full 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.  Alternatively, you can use the Adaptil Collar or Adaptil Spray products.

Are the refills recyclable?

No, the refill vials are not recyclable at this time. 

Using Adaptil® Collar

How does the Adaptil collar work?

When the Adaptil collar comes into 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. Therefore, the Adaptil collar should be fitted snugly on the dog’s neck to ensure proper contact - with no more than a two finger width between the neck and the collar.

How quickly does the collar start to diffuse once on a dog?

The Adaptil Collar begins diffusing the pheromone immediately upon being fitted to your dog. Be sure to adjust the collar properly, and check regularly to ensure a proper fit (in particular with growing puppies). 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 does the collar last?

The Adaptil collar is effective for four weeks when used as directed.  Please mark your calendar to remind you to replace the collar after four weeks.  A good time to replace the collar is when you administer your monthly Vectra® 3D flea, tick and mosquito protection product.

Can I use the Adaptil collar together with other collars or bandanas?

Yes other collars will not impair the effectiveness of the Adaptil collar, however it is important to ensure that the Adaptil collar remains in close contact with the skin. If the Adaptil collar 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 Adaptil collar a quick-release design?

No, however, if significant tension was applied to the collar the buckle would not hold, and the collar would fall off. For this reason, a leash should never be affixed to the Adaptil collar.

What if my dog gets wet while wearing the collar (swim, bath, shampoo)? Will it still work?

The Adaptil collar will not work while wet, but the efficacy returns immediately once the dog and the collar are dry. However, for dogs that swim regularly and have to be rinsed or washed afterwards, it’s better to remove the Adaptil collar if some soap is used when washing the dog. Please note, that removing the collar frequently may weaken the collar’s buckle. In this case, using another form of Adaptil (diffuser or spray) may be more appropriate for convenience and efficacy. If your dog swims in a swimming pool, the chlorinated chemicals from the pool will react with the Adaptil pheromone ingredient. It’s recommended to remove the Adaptil collar from your dog before it swims in a chlorinated pool. If you shampoo your dog (or at the groomer), it’s recommended that the collar be removed before washing your dog, as the cleaning detergent will remove the pheromones from the collar’s surface. Replace the collar once your dog is dry.

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

You can resize the collar to fit your smaller dog. The large collar contains the same concentration of pheromone as the small collar (5% pheromone) but is just sized differently with regard to its length and width. However, note that the Puppy/Small Adaptil collar is more convenient for puppies and small-breed adult dogs, as it is thinner in width.

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 one month, once the collar package is 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 (e.g., in the refrigerator), and it is impossible to quantify how long the collar will release pheromones.  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.

*Data on file.

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

Dogs in close proximity to the collar-wearing dog may detect the pheromones, but they will not receive the full benefit of the calming pheromones.  

If you have more than one dog in the house, an Adaptil diffuser would be a good solution for all of your dogs in your household to receive the benefits of Adaptil.   

How do I fit an Adaptil collar?

Place a finger in the plastic loop situated on the inside of the collar close to the buckle. Using this loop pull the thin plastic to uncoil the collar and discard the piece with the loop. Place collar around your dog's neck and tighten the collar to fit snugly next to your dog’s skin. You should be able to place no more than two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. Ensure that 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 of the plastic collars made for dogs.

Will the Adaptil collar work as well with a 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 hair lengths (long, medium, short) of dogs. The main issue is ensuring that the collar is fitted appropriately to the dog.

Is the plastic recyclable for the collar?

No. The Adaptil collar should be thrown away with the regular trash.

Using Adaptil® Spray

How do I use Adaptil spray?

Spray 8-10 pumps of Adaptil 15 minutes before the dog is introduced into the sprayed environment (bedding, car, carrier, bandana, kennel, table for medical examination or care, or at the groomer, etc.). Effects last approximately 4-5 hours, although each animal will respond differently. Re-apply as needed. Adaptil spray can be applied directly on bedding, inside crates, indoor kennels, or in the car, but be sure to apply without the dog in the area (particularly inside the carrier or crate). Adaptil spray should not be sprayed directly on animals or near an animal’s face.

When should I use Adaptil spray?

The Adaptil spray offers the same pheromone as the diffuser and collar, but in a different device.  The spray is perfect for short-term or intermittent use.  It is also ideal for situations where you need the immediate calming effects such as traveling or vet visits. You can use Adaptil spray in combination with the Adaptil diffuser or collar to provide optimal results.

Should the Adaptil spray be sprayed directly onto the dog?

No. The Adaptil spray should never be applied directly onto a dog. 

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

Adaptil spray is proven* to have a very fast effect, and in most cases will last 4-5 hours. Re-apply after this time according to the situation for which Adaptil Spray is used. Please remember to allow the object which has been sprayed (cushion, bandana, kennel, etc.) to dry for at least 15 minutes to allow evaporation of the alcoholic solvent, before introducing the dog.

*Mills DS, Ramos D, et al. A triple blind placebo-controlled investigation into the assessment of the effect of Dog Appeasing Pheromone on anxiety related behavior of problem dogs in the veterinary clinic.  Appl Anim Behav Sci, 2006; 98, 114-126.

How many applications are in a bottle?

Each 20 mL bottle delivers about 16 applications (~8 sprays use) and each 60 mL bottle delivers about 50 applications (~8 sprays use).

Is the Adaptil spray bottle recyclable?

Yes. Both the glass and the plastic bottles are recyclable.