Thunderstorms, fireworks, loud noises—our dogs get flustered by the many chaotic nuisances encountered in our everyday world. As pet parents, we want to comfort our precious pups. Luckily, dog supplies that have dog appeasing pheromones offer a holistic option that can help to relieve dog anxiety symptoms and calm your dog when they’re feeling anxious or afraid.
What Are Dog Appeasing Pheromones?
Dog appeasing pheromones, or DAP for short, naturally help calm down nervous dogs and reduce separation anxiety in dogs. Pheromones are chemicals that are released from the body to invoke a behavioral or social stimulation. DAP, in particular, is secreted when a mother dog is lactating and feeding her puppies. The purpose of DAP is to calm puppy anxiety, which helps to make feeding time less stressful and frantic.
Scientists have been able to isolate DAP and create a synthetic version that can be used by pet parents to recreate the tranquilizing effect. DAP products are typically used to ease puppies into their new homes. The familiar maternal pheromone helps reduce dog anxiety symptoms and has been shown to help with potty training and reduce crying at night.
What Are They Used For?
The positive response doesn’t just stop with puppy anxiety, though. For adult dogs, DAP can help to ease common anxieties, such as separation anxiety in dogs, sound aversions and anxieties associated with plane or car trips. DAP has also shown to be effective in non-traditional ways, including helping aggressive dogs feel less anxious and shelter dogs feel less stressed. Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, explains, “DAP works well for dogs with chronic, low levels of anxiety, or in combination with other therapies such as anti-anxiety medications or ThunderShirts to reduce higher levels of anxiety or fear. In my practice, we use it in the treatment area, exam rooms and waiting room to reduce hospital related stress.”
How Do They Work?
So, how does this natural chemical we can’t see or smell work? Between a dog’s nose and mouth, they have something called the vomeronasal organ (also known as the Jacobson’s organ) that detects pheromones through different receptors. These receptors communicate with the brain, causing a behavioral response to take place. Don’t worry, though—dog pheromones are only detected by other dogs and don’t affect us or our non-canine pets!
Administering the Dog Appeasing Pheromone
Convenient and easy, DAP collars, like Sentry’s Calming Collar, are commonly used to relax nervous dogs and reduce dog anxiety symptoms. There’s nothing you need to do other than put it on your best friend and let the dog collar work its magic. The close proximity and portability means that the DAP is able to continually release the calming pheromones for your dog. So no matter where your four-legged pal roams, he’ll be in calm spirits!
Another convenient option for multi-pet homes is the Adaptil diffuser. DAP diffusers simply plug into the wall and you’re good to go! They’re made for individual room coverage up to around 500 square feet and only need to be replenished once per month with a convenient 30-day Adaptil refill bottle. The DAP diffuser should be placed where your pet spends most of his time. It may be good to keep it where your buddy’s crate is or near his favorite napping spot.
If you need something more portable and on-the-go, check out DAP sprays like ThunderEase. These sprays are great for car travel, going to the vet and for new or unknown experiences your dog may go through. Simply spray your pup’s possessions, such as a crate or bed, and the effect will work quickly and last for several hours. This is not meant to be sprayed directly on your dog, and you should wait several minutes before letting your dog interact with sprayed items, so that the pheromone has time to settle and start working.
So, whether you’re dealing with separation anxiety in dogs or a scary thunderstorm, DAP can be a great way to reduce anxiety symptoms in dogs and help your pup feel happy and relaxed.