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D.A.P Dog Appeasing Pheromone Treatment For Dogs With Separation Anxiety

Updated on October 13, 2009

It's a fact that as we have moved dogs with us into the modern age, many of them are beginning to suffer from increasingly human like complaints, including the dreaded separation anxiety. Canine separation anxiety is a terribly sad condition where the dog becomes highly distressed when the owner leaves and engages in one or more of a wide range of destructive and disruptive behaviours such as howling or barking, licking or chewing on itself, chewing on and destroying household fittings and furniture, and innapropriate urination and defecation, sometimes even on the owners bed (which is always fun to find).

People who own dogs with separation anxiety have a wide range of options availble to them to treat the problem. Crating the dog may help, but many find that the dog simply becomes highly distressed whilst in the crate and may even break out of it and possibly injure itself. For extreme separation anxiety there is the option of anti anxiety such as clomicalm, which acts in much the same way as Prozac works in humans, and must be treated in a similar fashion, weaning the dog on to it gradually, then waiting for at least two months to evaluate whether or not it has worked, and then weaning it slowly off. The medication alone does not help the dog, but it does let it calm down enough to undergo training for separation anxiety and put in place behaviours which stay with it once it comes off the medication. Some owners are understandably reluctant to put their dog on psychological medication however, which means that they are stuck with a dog that becomes quite distressed whenever they leave it alone.

What Is D.A.P?

D.A.P, or Dog Appeasing Pheromone is being hailed as a "miracle cure" by some people who have found that it is extremely effective in treating separation anxiety in dogs. Whilst I would not go quite as far as calling it a miracle cure, it may be a very useful aid in helping your dog deal with separation anxiety.

DAP is a synthetic formulation of a pheromone that a mother dog releases when she has puppies. This pheromone makes the puppies relax and feel safe around her. Scientists have managed to recreate this pheromone and put it in a spray form, a diffuser form, and even a collar form.

D.A.P can be particularly effective in treating seperation anxiety as it triggers memories of the safety and security of puppyhood in the dog's brain and, in many cases, calms it down. D.A.P can be equally as effective with adult dogs or puppies, and has a range of uses beyond simply treating seperation anxiety. It is also quite effective in calming down a generally anxious dog, in introducing a new puppy to your home, or in taking a dog that gets car sick on car trips.

Using D.A.P

The form of D.A.P you use will depend greatly on your lifestyle and needs. The spray is very good for using in cars or kennels, in places where there is no electricity. The problem with the spray tends to be that it needs to be reapplied on a regular basis (every one to two hours.) Ir you are indoors, then a diffuser plugged into the wall can treat a room with a steady stream of D.A.P, which saves the trouble of having to respray all the time. A D.A.P collar is once again, useful for times when you are out of the house, or out of the D.A.P treated room. If you don't want to purchase a D.A.P collar, spraying D.AP on a bandanna and tying it around your dog's neck also makes for a good short term pseudo D.A.P collar.

D.A.P Or Training?

I must point out that D.A.P is not a substitute for the gentle training that your dog will need in order to overcome separation anxiety entirely, but it may be enough to take that edge of wild panic from your dog's reaction, and allow him or her to absorb the lessons which you are trying to teach it. The classic treatment for seperation anxiety is to leave the dog alone for a short period of time, and then return, until the dog learns that you will always come back when you leave. Once the dog is calm for a minute or two, you can start lengthening how long you are away gradually until your dog becomes comfortable with being alone for long periods of time.


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    • profile image

      Joey Solice 

      10 years ago

      I have used a DAP collar on one of my collies who had separation anxiety and it really made him relaxed. So now we have been leaving him for short periods of time with the radio on and the two things combined have really worked. Great Article.....

    • Lanieniven profile image


      11 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      Good Hub ;-)


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