DAP Could Help Keep Your Dog Calm and Relaxed
How to reduce stress and keep a dog quiet and calm are topics I have received many questions from worried owners about. Their lively, boisterous, energetic dogs have had to undergo Immiticide treatment after a positive test for adult heartworms and now having to keep them quiet and confined for their own safety is causing major problems.
As explained in my heartworm aftercare article, it is imperative to keep the dog very calm and quiet after treatment, whilst the Immiticide does its job and the worms get killed, broken up into smaller pieces and expelled from the heart and the arteries where they have lodged. If the pet gets excited, running, jumping or playing , or stressed or distressed enough to raise the heart rate, this could result in the dead bits of worm being expelled too quickly and causing a blockage in the pulmonary artery – which could result in a pulmonary embolism and might even prove fatal.
It is no wonder then, that pet owners are trying to do all they can to keep an otherwise active and lively dog quiet at this time. There is a lot of advice about crating a dog (see our article on this topic). However, whilst this might solve the immediate problem of how to restrict physical activity, it does nothing to address the stress or distress that being confined in this way might cause for your dog.
Reduce Stress Naturally
After powerful medication, it is also not surprising that owners do not want to subject their dogs to further sedatives or other medicines to keep them quiet. However, there are many positive reports in forums and on some other sites about pet owners having good results from using DAP products for their pet at this time.
What is DAP?
DAP is actually an acronym for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It is a natural substance that nursing bitches secrete in their milk and which works to make little puppies feel safe, secure and comforted during the first few weeks of life. As such, it is a totally natural substance and only works on dogs – so any other animal you might have (including cats), will not be affected.
This pheromone is available in collars, diffusers and sprays made by CEVA under the brand name Adaptil ™. I already knew about the benefits of another pheromone product they make, the Feliway Diffuser for cats which I wrote about on HubPages some time ago, so I wrote to Elizabeth Hodgkins at CEVA, to ask her about the benefits for dogs of using Adaptil products to help calm them and keep them as stress-free as possible after heartworm treatment. She said:
“Adaptil pheromone can be very helpful in providing the confined dog with a sense of well-being that is often not part of a restricted environment, such as a carrier or crate. Adaptil communicates to the dog that the security and safety that was so much a part of the first few weeks of its life with its mother are once again a real part of its circumstances, no matter how stressful and limited those circumstances might be.”
This short YouTube video explains how Adaptil ™ works
So, I guess, using Adaptil ™ products for your dog is like giving him the comfort he got from his Mom and acts like a ‘security blanket’ for his senses, making him feel safe and calm. It is already well-documented that these products can be used to help dogs in situations they find stressful like around the time of Fireworks celebrations, big family gatherings, lots of loud noise, or even car journeys. These products are not expensive and well worth a try. Especially as you have the reassurance of knowing that they contain a natural substance which will not have any adverse affect on your dog or any other member of the family.
Adaptil ™ collars last for four weeks and it is interesting to know that these are used on every single dog in kennels at The Dogs’ Trust and Blue Cross (information from Adaptil ™ website). You can use these on your dog all the time or, if you know your dog is going to be exposed to a stressful situation, put a collar on him 24 hours in advance. The collar needs to fit snugly against the skin of your dog’s neck, so once you have it correctly adjusted, you can trim off any excess material from the end of the collar.
|Medium to Large Dogs||Puppies and small dogs|
The Adaptil ™ diffuser plugs into an electric socket and emits the canine appeasing pheromone over an area of 50 to 70 square meters. This makes it ideal if your dog has to be confined to a crate or kennel indoors as it works constantly to make this area feel like a safe haven for your pet.
Each diffuser lasts for four weeks and refills are available to save money as the same unit can have up to five refills before you need to start out with a new diffuser again.
Adaptil Diffuser and Refills
The Adaptil ™ spray is not designed to be used on your dog but can be used on his bedding, in his crate or kennel or in your car. You should never spray it onto your dog or near his face. This is a short acting solution and might be useful for transporting your dog to the vet in the car or for the first time he goes in his crate. Just spray around 8-10 pumps of the spray where it is needed around 15 minutes before you need to put the dog there. It works for up to around three hours so you can replenish if necessary.
Adaptil Spray Packs
|Single Pack||Triple Pack|
If you have personal experience of using a DAP diffuser, collar or spray after your dog’s treatment (or in other situations), please leave your comment below as this will be of great help to other readers.