If you are looking for ways of easing dog thunderstorm anxiety, you may want to consider trying D.A.P. for dogs. In numerous studies, the D.A.P. pheromone has been shown to help dogs feel more calm and secure. In fact, it has been shown to reduce anxious behaviors by up to 85 percent. Want to know more? Read the following interview with Dr. Kyle Creech.
Easing Dog Thunderstorm Anxiety with D.A.P.
If your dog suffers from fear of loud noises or even general anxiety issues, D.A.P. for dogs may be the solution to this problem. Dogs with thunderstorm anxiety often exhibit distressing behaviors such as panting, pacing, hiding, barking and whining, or even destroying objects. With Fourth of July around the corner, you may be anticipating these behaviors with dread.
There are now products available to help with easing dog thunderstorm anxiety as well as anxiety from other sources. The key to this product's success is the D.A.P. pheromone that causes dogs to relax as they did as a puppy when the pheromone was released by their mother.
Recently, LoveToKnow was able to learn more about this product in an interview with Dr. Kyle Creech, veterinarian and brand manager at Ceva, the manufacturer of D.A.P. Dr. Creech answered important questions about D.A.P. for dogs and also provided some tips on how to help your dog with anxiety issues.
About D.A.P. for Dogs: An Interview with Dr. Kyle Creech
LTK: What is D.A.P.?
Dr. Creech: D.A.P. ® (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is a synthetic, pheromone-based product that naturally controls and manages erratic canine behavior associated with anxiety, fear and stress. Unlike medications that sedate dogs or cause negative side effects, D.A.P. mimics the natural pheromone released by a mother dog to calm and reassure her pups.
D.A.P. was developed by veterinarians at Ceva Animal Health. There are numerous studies to support the indications for D.A.P.
LTK: How does it work?
Dr. Creech: D.A.P. works by replicating the comforting pheromones of a mother dog. It helps alleviate fear and stress-related behaviors to calm and reassure our dogs.
D.A.P. can also effectively treat dogs that experience stress associated with separation anxiety, fear of travel, crating, boarding or grooming, veterinary visits, puppy socialization and new puppy transitioning.
LTK: Does the product stain or have an odor?
Dr. Creech: D.A.P. is species specific and there are no detectable odors associated with the product.
D.A.P. spray should not stain. However, because of the wide range of materials used in household furnishings, we advise you to test the product on a sample that is not easily visible prior to using. The diffuser should not be placed directly under or behind a piece of furniture that could prevent the diffusion of the product.
How D.A.P Pheromone Affects Your Dog
LTK: Can you overdose with D.A.P.?
Dr. Creech: There are no concerns with using the different forms of D.A.P. together. Using the plug-in diffuser in combination with the collar and/or spray is completely safe and may be recommended in certain cases.
D.A.P. is a clinically proven, safe and effective solution for behavior issues related to fear and anxiety. All behavior cases and dogs are different, so they respond to treatments differently. It is important that owners utilize behavior modification to maximize the effectiveness of D.A.P.
LTK: Will it make dogs sleepy or lethargic?
Dr. Creech: Unlike other prescription products, there are zero side effects related to using D.A.P. D.A.P. will allow your dog to relax when faced with new situations or environments.
LTK: Does a dog's age or gender matter?
Dr. Creech: D.A.P. mimics the pheromone released by the mother dog three to five days following birth to the puppies to calm and reassure the litter. It has been proven that the pheromone does have an effect on adult dogs. Gender and age do not play a role in the effectiveness of D.A.P.
LTK: Will D.A.P. "cure" an anxious dog?
Dr. Creech: D.A.P. will allow your dog to handle new and stressful environments, as well as allow him to be more comfortable when facing those same events in the future. It is important to remember that all cases and dogs are different.
LTK: D.A.P. comes in three forms - a spray, a collar and a diffuser. Which is most effective?
Dr. Creech: Each of the product forms can be used in treating different fears/anxieties; however all of the products should be used in conjunction with an overall behavior modification program recommended by a veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist. The three forms of D.A.P. offer different applications for different environments and situations. Consult with your veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist for which form would better suit your needs.
LTK: How long does the synthetic pheromone last?
Dr. Creech: The D.A.P. diffuser lasts for 30 days, and replaceable refills are available. It is recommended to replace the diffuser apparatus after six months for optimal function.
The D.A.P. collar also lasts 30 days, and it is important to place the collar tight around the neck (place one to two fingers between the collar and dogs skin) to allow the friction and body heat of the dog to stimulate the release of the pheromone. The collar should not get wet since the water molecules will prevent the release of the pheromone from the collar and likely reduce the effectiveness.
The D.A.P. spray is used for spot treatment with the effects lasting one and a half to two hours. The spray is typically used in combination with the diffuser and/or collar. Note: The spray should not be used directly on your dog.
LTK: How often should it be used to be effective?
Dr. Creech: D.A.P. should be used continuously to optimize the effectiveness. The diffuser should be plugged in for two to three months. For noise phobias it is recommended to plug it in two to three weeks prior to the noisy event. The collar should be worn at all time to maximize the effectiveness.
LTK: How else can someone reassure an anxious dog?
Dr. Creech: The owner should be careful not to reward unwanted behaviors by petting and reassuring the dog; the dog is likely to interpret this as praise for what they are doing at the time. Instead of a sympathetic voice, use a happy or playful voice as you direct the dog to other activities.
LTK: What is the best way to respond to an anxious or fearful dog?
Dr. Creech: Instead of reassuring the dog, the owner can try to distract the dog with playful activities or training with food during the noisy event. The owner can provide a safe haven for the dog to retreat to during the fearful event. This may be a crate or den-like set up that will allow the dog to feel more comfortable.
Tips for Anxious Dogs
Here are a few tips for easing dog thunderstorm anxiety.
- Distract your dog with fun activities or training with food.
- Provide your dog with a crate or other safe area to escape to.
- Don't reinforce unwanted behavior with petting and a sympathetic voice. Use a happy, playful tone to give your dog confidence.
- Familiarize your dog to loud noises by playing thunderstorm recordings softly and gradually increase the volume.
With a bit of patience, these tips and D.A.P. for dogs, your dog will gain confidence and may let go of his anxieties for good.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Dr. Kyle Creech for taking the time for this interview. To try D.A.P. for yourself, ask your veterinarian. He/She can tell you which form is best for you. It can also be purchased from 1800PetMeds and Amazon.com.