What is DAP (Adaptil) and How Does it Work?
You may have heard about DAP from a neighbor or seen the collars and plug-ins at your local pet store and wondered if the claims of calming stressed dogs were true. The short answer is, “Yes, DAP can work great for many dogs in multiple situations, though it may not be the answer for everyone.”
What are the Most Common Stressors for Dogs?
Dogs, like people, are prone to stressful situations. Some dogs feel stress upon meeting new people and other new dogs. Other dogs are fearful of fireworks and thunderstorms. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and have difficulty being left home alone. And many dogs and puppies are fearful when going to a new home.
In many of these situations, DAP can offer some much-needed relief.
What is DAP Exactly?
DAP, also known as Adaptil, is a synthetic pheromone that naturally helps reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. DAP comes in two basic varieties:
The plug-in has a liquid inside that, when warmed, emits a calming pheromone. It works like the plug-ins you use to make your room smell good.
DAP also comes in a collar. A dog’s body heat activates the pheromone, keeping the dog calm.
Both the plug-in and the collar typically last for 30 days.
What Is a Pheromone?
Pheromones are pretty awesome! They are chemical compounds that animals (yep, humans, too) produce and release into the environment. They are essentially the carriers of important information. And when other members of the species pick up on the pheromone, a behavioral response is triggered.
For instance, some pheromones signal reproductive status (“Oh yeah, I’m ready!”), some warn others to stay away, and others can act as an alarm signal to the group.
Then there are those “feel good” pheromones, called appeasing pheromones, that are released shortly after an animal gives birth.
DAP, short for Dog Appeasing Pheromone, is a synthetic version of the canine-appeasing pheromone. Right after a dog gives birth, she will release these appeasing pheromones near her nipples so when her puppies feed, they can feel calm and comforted. Throughout the first few weeks of life, these pheromones play a significant role in keeping the litter calm and content.
Why Use Pheromone Collars and Plug-Ins?
You’re never too old to need a little comfort. This is as true for our dogs as it is for us. While DAP is synthetic, it closely mimics the real thing, offering stressed or anxious dogs a sense of calm and comfort.
The plug-ins work great because the pheromones are always present in the atmosphere, which is helpful. After all, we can never be sure when a thunderstorm will occur or when someone may stop by.
The plug-ins are also great for those dogs that experience separation anxiety. The pheromones will help bring your dog some comfort even when you’re not home.
And when you bring a new puppy or dog home from the breeder or shelter, having the plug-ins pre-installed and sending pheromones into the air is very helpful. This can make the transition for everyone much smoother and more successful!
The DAP collars can work well when your dog must be boarded while you are traveling or if they must be hospitalized for a few days. The travel ability of these collars makes them an absolute Godsend during certain situations. They can help your pup face whatever stress comes their way.
If you have a pup who suffers from anxiety because of loud noises or storms, or a dog that is fearful of car rides, has separation anxiety or is new to your home and other pets, you may want to consider using DAP plug-ins and/or collars. DAP is sold over the counter, so no prescription is needed.
That being said, DAP is best used as part of a multi-pronged approach to dog anxiety. While the plug-in or collar may be all it takes for some dogs, most will require both behavioral and environmental modifications. Your pup may also require medications.
When using the plug-ins, place one or two in just one room of your house and put your pup’s bed or crate in there. If you have a big house, you will need many plug-ins to properly “saturate” your home’s air with enough pheromones to make a real difference. So choose a dedicated room to use as the “chill out” room and put the plug-ins in there.
DAP collars come in multiple sizes and are adjustable. You will still want to fit your dog correctly to ensure you get the right one for them.
And remember, with both the collars and plug-ins, you will need to replace them every 30 days.
As always, if you have any questions, you should check in with your vet and even a dog trainer you’ve worked with and trust. And, as with most things in life, it may take a bit of time before you see positive changes, so be patient.
A Pet Insurance Plan Can Bring Calm Into Your Own Life
It’s hard to see our fur babies fearful and stressed. Add to that the stress caused when we receive those unexpected vet bills that are hundreds or even thousands of dollars that we may not be prepared to pay.
A pet insurance plan can bring calm and comfort into your life when your pup is facing an unexpected illness or injury. Plans start as little as $10 a month; some will even reimburse you for up to 90% of the vet bill.
If you could use a little financial stress relief right about now, get a free quote from one of the many pet insurance providers available. And breathe easy knowing your pup is always protected.
- Adaptil Spray Retrieved from: https://www.drugs.com/vet/adaptil-spray.html
- “A Review Of Adaptil For Anxious Dogs,” Retrieved from: https://www.walkervillevet.com.au/blog/adaptil-dap-review/
- “Adaptil For Dogs: Usage, Side Effects & Efficiency, “Retrieved from: https://worlddogfinder.com/blog/dog-product-reviews/adaptil-for-dogs