Tag Archives: D.A.P.

Signs of anxiety in your dog

Earlier this week, I took a call from a dog owner interested in what dog massage could do to assist her dog in managing its anxiety.   As we talked, I could see that the dog was manifesting some of the typical signs of anxiety.  These include:

  • excessive panting
  • restlessness
  • a change to elimination habits
  • self-mutilation, often leading to problems such as lick granuloma
  • depression
  • change in personality, sometimes leading to aggression when the dog is highly stressed
  • trembling
  • reduction in coat condition, and general signs of being unwell

Our dogs often show similar symptoms to us when major stress is an issue; however they can’t talk about it like we can.   It is up to us as dog owners to pick up on the changes in our dogs and be open minded to figure out the causes.

Luckily, this owner knows what started the problem and so we are already halfway there to designing a treatment regime for her dog.

Massage therapy is useful for dogs suffering from anxiety because I can help calm the nervous system, giving the dog a ‘time out.’  I will also show dog owners useful acupressure points to assist with calming and we will work together on a regime that helps the dog to overcome its fears.  Anxiety problems rarely develop overnight, and so it takes a bit of time to help the dog recover.

For acute conditions of stress and anxiety, I’ve previously reviewed D.A.P.  Read that item here.

D.A.P. for stressed dogs

D.A.P.™ (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is a great product for dogs who are having problems managing stress.

A pheromone is a natural chemical that animals, especially mammals, secrete which can have an effect on behaviour or development of animals of their species.  D.A.P. is the pheromone that bitches secrete when they have puppies and are lactating.  Within 3-5 days of giving birth, the bitch secretes this pheromone and it has a calming effect on her puppies.

Scientists have isolated this chemical compound and re-created it in the lab, creating the D.A.P. product.   I can speak from experience that this product helps to manage temporary behavioural and anxiety problems.   Things like separation anxiety, the anxiety brought on by a change of home,  having to go to a boarding kennel, or fear of thunderstorms are all situations where D.A.P. can be used.

8-10 sprays of the product (pictured)  are recommended, to be sprayed in the dog’s environment 15 minutes before they are introduced to it.   D.A.P. is also available in a plug-in diffuser that consistently delivers it to the environment.  There is a slight alcohol smell when you first spray the product, this quickly disappears.

You can buy D.A.P. from veterinarians; shop around for the best price!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand