No guarantees but pheromones are proving a godsend for frustrated pet owners
Following on from last month's article about the use of pheromones in behaviour therapy for cats, this month will focus on the use of pheromones in behaviour therapy for dogs.
Adaptil (formerly known as DAP) is the product available for dogs – this month I will be giving you an overview of what behaviour problems Adaptil can help with.
Adaptil is based on the pheromone which puppies are exposed to from their mother.
The basic message that it gives is an increased feeling of safety and it appears to have a reassuring effect on the dogs.
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These effects can be used to our advantage in cases where anxiety or stress are predominant or as a preventative measure in situations where a dog is at greater risk of anxiety.
Examples of problems that Adaptil can help with include noise sensitivities, separation-related behaviour problems and it has also been proven to be very effective for car travel-related problem behaviours.
As a preventative measure, Adaptil can be used when settling a dog into a new home and has been very effectively used to reduce anxiety in puppy classes.
If you are getting a new dog or are in the process of moving house, it is definitely advisable to plug in a diffuser before bringing your pet home – this can really help your dog to settle in.
Adaptil comes in three different forms – spray, collar and a diffuser.
The product that is used will depend on the problem.
For anxiety outside the home or for car travel, a collar or the spray (which you can spray onto a bandanna) would be the preferred option.
When the problem is primarily based in the home or when using as a preventative measure when settling a new dog in, a diffuser would be the preferred choice.
To be truly effective, diffusers have to be plugged in at all times and must be accessible to the dog.
Some dogs like to snuggle up next to the diffuser and if the diffuser is plugged in behind an antique dresser, a determined dog could attempt to move the dresser!
Aside from this, if the diffuser is behind something, this is going to block the Adaptil from spreading into the dog's environment.
As pointed out in last month's article it's important to remember that pheromonatherapy is not a miracle cure.
The point of Adaptil is to bias the emotions of the dog in a more positive direction.
If you have any questions about pheromones or about your pet's behaviour you can find contact details via www.allearspetbehaviour.co.uk