How do pet-calming plug-ins work?

Question from Sara Newman  

Pet-calming plug-ins work by releasing pheromones, chemical substances that our pets release naturally. These are odourless and therefore undetectable to humans, but our pets are able to sniff them out easily. Cats release pheromones from various parts of their body (including their cheeks and paws) to either remind them an object is familiar and safe, send other cats a message to keep out of their territory or to calm their kittens. Meanwhile, dogs release pheromones from their mammary glands to help their puppies feel secure. Plug-ins replicate these pheromones to provide comfort to our pets, helping to relax them and prevent any unwanted behaviours.

Answered by Jo Stass for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 120 

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