Separation anxiety, changes in routine, new people and fear of certain noises, all bring stress to your dog.
Stress in turn can bring about all kinds of undesirable behavior problems.
Some of which can be changed with behavior modification training and others are so deeply in-grained you feel like you are hitting a stone wall coping with the behavior.
Well, there just might be something in my magic black bag that may help you eliminate some of the stress in your dog’s life and thereby make your life a little easier.
There is a product called D. A. P™. (Dog Appeasement Pheromone) that was developed by a group of veterinarians that helps puppies and dogs feel safe and secure.
It seems that “mommy dogs” are able, after giving birth to their puppies, to manufacture a pheromone that makes the puppies feel safe and secure.
What is a Pheromone?
Wikipedia says: A pheromone is any chemical or set of chemicals produced by a living organism that transmits a message to other members of the same species.
In the case of the mother dog, it is a scent that tells the “kids” all is well.
Now how will this help you alleviate some of your dog’s stress?
The scent, which only the dog can smell, provides a calming effect, possibly reminding the dog of its puppy days. This product comes in two convenient ways, a spray or a diffuser you plug into the wall.
D. A. P. ™ as it is known has been clinically tested and has been proven to work on improving stress driven behaviors at least by 85 percent. In some dogs the improvement was greater and in some less. This is not a magic formula, but an aid in helping to reduce stress under certain conditions along with behavior modification training.
Under what circumstances does it work best?
What are the best ways to use this product?
In my opinion the diffuser would be my first choice. You plug it in and let the room absorb the scent.
When using the diffuser there are two things to remember. The scent drifts downward, it does not rise like heat. So unless you have a very small dog, plugging it in the usual floor type outlets is rather useless. You need to use outlets that are higher up so the scent drifts down. One diffuser will work fine in about 600 square feet, the average room will need two. They will last 4 weeks before you need to refill.
Granted the initial cost to purchase the diffuser and scent may seem high, but the refills are much cheaper.
The amount of time you will have to spend using the diffuser will depend on the behavior you are trying to help.
Dogs who have a fear of fireworks will naturally need it during those times there are fireworks in your area.
Thunderstorms are unpredictable and if you are a working person, it is best during the stormy season to leave it plugged in on the days storms are possible.
Separation anxiety needs you to be working with behavior modification training and using the diffuser as an aid.
If your dog is not comfortable around new people and you are expecting company it is best to plug in the diffuser an hour or two before your company is to arrive.
If you are grooming your dog at home it is also a good idea to plug in the diffuser an hour or two before you start the grooming procedure.
The spray is fine to use in your car for trips to the vet and other car rides if your dog is not happy in the car.
Car usage is a little “iffy” as it will depend on if the windows are open, the air on and actual weather conditions that affect the inside of the car.
Can you smell the scent?
The dog can, but you cannot.
Is it like a sedative or drug?
No, it is just a familiar scent that the puppy or dog finds comforting.
Is it harmful to humans? No, it is not harmful to humans or children or other animals.
However, it should not be used in a room with birds, as birds are sensitive to many odors.
It can be used in association with Feliway for cats with no problem, as one scent is apparent to the dog and the other to the cat.
As with all things this is not a 100 percent effective tool.
A dog’s behavior demands owner participation to correct whatever is wrong.
Just as there are no magic pills to help us lose weight, without effort on our part, there are no cures for a dog’s bad habits with out re-training and your participation.
D. A. P. ™ can be found at most pet stores and on the Internet, it is worth a try, if you only use it to calm your dog during storms or fireworks.
Just a word of caution, if you have a new dog, that to your knowledge has not yet experienced fireworks or a thunderstorm, be a good pet parent and stay with your pet during its first exposure to see how it behaves.
Behavior modification training and other ideas to help you and your pet achieve a better relationship can be found on my web site and blog, please come and visit me at http://www.cats-and-dogs-on-the-web.com