Dogs - ADAPTIL® - FAQ's

Frequently asked questions

Please visit our official Adaptil website for additional information

What pheromone is in ADAPTIL®?

The pheromone released in ADAPTIL® is identical in nature to the Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P) secreted by a mother dog from 3-5 days after the puppy’s birth to provide reassurance to the puppies.

Will ADAPTIL® affect humans or other animals in my home?

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

Which ADAPTIL® should I use for my dog(s)? ADAPTIL®Spray, ADAPTIL®Diffuser, ADAPTIL® Collar or a combination?

You will find guidelines on outlining the most appropriate formulation according to your situation. If you are concerned please seek advice from your veterinary practice.

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 able to perceive pheromones in the environment and respond accordingly. Puppies are naturally exposed to the dog appeasing pheromone from shortly after birth.

How long should I use ADAPTIL® ?

Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate treatment time, depending on the nature of the behavior issue and other possible solutions. If your dog is undergoing behavioral therapy, your veterinarian or behavior 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 behavioral therapy program.

When used to help manage separation-related problems, in complement to drugs and a behavior 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.

Please refer to to see the minimum recommended time for use.

What type of behavior problems will not be helped by ADAPTIL®?

If the undesired behavior is not stress-related, ADAPTIL® will have no effect.

Some problem behaviors, such as over-excitement or hyperactivity, may be due to a lack of 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 behaviorist is strongly recommended, in any case.

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 behavior.

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 (Feliway®) will affect only cats and the dog appeasing pheromone (ADAPTIL®) will affect only dogs. 

Can I use ADAPTIL® for my senior dog that is beginning to display signs of ageing (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 is 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

Is the ADAPTIL® Diffuser safe?

Yes. The Adaptil® Diffuser device is constructed with self-extinguishing plastic materials and complies with the International Electro technical commission (IEC), European (EN) and UL required standards. However, if the diffuser is used continuously, we recommend that it is changed every 6 months (or after every 6 refills) for the best results.

Where should I plug in ADAPTIL® Diffuser?

You should plug ADAPTIL® Diffuser in the room where the dogs spend most of their time. A diffuser covers an area up to 70m² (750 sq ft), but must not be covered, placed behind a door or underneath furniture. More than one diffuser may be required in large or multi-floor homes.

Why should I not plug in ADAPTIL® Diffuser under furniture?

The oily vapour (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. ADAPTIL® Diffuser should NOT be plugged under any furniture or object protruding from the wall (minimum clear distance above diffuser = 1,20 m (4 ft)).

Should I switch off the diffuser at night?

No - the diffuser should be left on continuously throughout day and night. Frequent unplugging will prevent the diffuser from working properly. 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 do the Diffuser last?

The diffuser should be checked monthly and replaced every six months (or after every 6 refills) to ensure optimum effect.

How long do the Adaptil® refills last?

Adaptil® refills last up to 30-days, when plugged-in continuously (24/7).

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 of levels in the device 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 all the time (sometimes an electrical outlet is controlled by a wall switch)

Also, make sure you are not using your Adaptil® refill with the wrong diffuser (white shell-shape).   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 (48 mℓ). Some refills may run for a little longer than 4 weeks due to differences in location, air turnover, etc so you may get slightly more than 4 weeks. But 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 4 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 2-3 days before the event.

Can I plug the diffuser in a multi-socket/multi-plug?

No. The diffuser should be plugged into an outlet of its own. The pheromone sits in a solvent; as it warms it rises through the air. Another device may block the flow of the pheromone upward. It should not be plugged in a multi-socket/multi-plug, with an adaptor or an extension lead.

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 plugging in. The effect on the dog will depend on the nature, extent and duration of the problem 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 behavioral modifications in conjunction with the pheromone use (please see recommended form and duration of use table on the pack insert) 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?

As with any in-home diffuser, 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.

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. 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. 

However, as a precaution for sensitive people, it is not recommended  to plug ADAPTIL® diffuser in a non-ventilated room where people spend most of their time, and in particular not in bedrooms.

Can I use the pheromone 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 (in particular for a multi-level house)?

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 too distant from the diffuser or located on another level. Therefore, for a multi-level house, it may be more appropriate to use one diffuser per level for best results or another option would be to use an Adaptil® Collar.

Do the Adaptil® refills fit other plug-in diffuser systems?

No. The Adaptil® refills should never be used with another plug-in device nor the Adaptil® plug-in with a different kind of refill. This is clearly stated on the box of the products.

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 have been bought from. For example, a US 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.

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

Usage with open windows and doors 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.

How do you dispose of the Adaptil® diffuser plug-in device after use?

Our plug-in devices are not recyclable so you should just dispose of them in your normal garbage can.

Are the Adaptil® refills recyclable?

Yes. The Ceva pheromone refills are made of recyclable plastic material (PET).

If your refill is empty, you can dispose of it in your recyclable waste collection point, in accordance with your local regulation.

Otherwise, please dispose of it at a special hazardous waste collection point.

Using ADAPTIL Collar

How does the ADAPTIL® Collar work?

When the ADAPTIL® Collar comes 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 snuggly on the dog’s neck to ensure proper contact.

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 will the collar be effective?

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

Can I use 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 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 the collar (swim, bath, shampoo)? Is it still effective?

The Adaptil® Collar will not work whilst 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 effect the collar’s pheromone content.

As soon as the collar dries, the pheromone can diffuse again. 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 however 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 swimming in a chlorinated pool.

-       If you shampoo your dog (or at the groomer), it’s recommended removing the collar 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.

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 30 days for the best efficacy. Some conditions may require a longer period of usage, and collar replacement after 30 days.

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 in regards to its length and width. However, note that the small/medium Adaptil® Collar is more convenient for small breed puppies and 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 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 (it is impossible to quantify how long the collar will remain effective). 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 without behavior problems may detect the pheromone from the collar worn by the treated dog and display some interest and modified behavior towards this dog.

Because of the beneficial effects of the appeasing pheromone on dogs with and without behavior 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
  • 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 some latex in 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 plastic collars made for dogs.

Does the efficiency of 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). The main issue is ensuring the collar is fitted appropriately to the dog.

Is the plastic recyclable for the collar?

No. Adaptil® Collar should be thrown away in the normal rubbish.

Using ADAPTIL® Spray

How do I use ADAPTIL® Spray?

Spray 8 to 10 pumps of ADAPTIL® 15 minutes before the dog is introduced into the sprayed environment (bedding, car, carrier, kennel, table for medical examination or care, or at the groomer, etc.). Effects should last approximately 4 to 5 hours, although each animal will respond differently. Reapply after this time or if you notice a reduced effect. 

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 to be sprayed (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?

ADAPTIL® Spray helps puppies and adult dogs in situations they may find worrisome or which make them apprehensive:

-          Traveling, vet visits, visits to the groomer

-          other challenging situations (adoption, moving house, new member of the family, staying in a kennel, staying alone at home, fireworks, thunderstorm, training), in combination with ADAPTIL® Diffuser or ADAPTIL® Collar to provide optimal results.

ADAPTIL® Spray can also be used under direction from a veterinarian or behaviorist and alongside behavioral therapy to help in the management of clinical behavior problems such as separation-related problems, noise sensitivities, etc.

ADAPTIL® Spray is not recommended for use in cases of hyperactivity or aggression.

Can Adaptil® Spray be used directly onto the dog?

No, Adaptil® 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 for?

Adaptil® Spray is proven to have an almost immediate effect, lasting 4 to 5 hours. Renew application after this time according to the situation for which Adaptil® Spray is used. Please remember to leave the object which has been sprayed (cushion, kennel…) to dry for at least 15 minutes to allow the alcoholic solvent evaporation, before introducing the dog to the area.

How many times can I use the spray?

Each 60 mℓ bottle delivers about 50 applications (8 sprays / application), depending on the indication for use.

Why are there new warnings on the spray boxes?

New warnings are linked to new mandatory Regulatory Standards, requiring a detailed description of the possible risks in order to ensure the consumer’s safety. However, Ceva pheromone products have a good safety record and consumers have been using them for almost 20 years.

Is the Adaptil® spray bottle recyclable?

Yes. The Ceva pheromone spray bottle is made of recyclable plastic material, thus once empty, you can dispose of it in your recyclable waste collection point, in accordance with your local regulation. Otherwise, please dispose of it in your special waste collection point.

Last update: 11/06/2020

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