Fear and anxiety in response to a fireworks, thunder and gunshots is a significant behavior concern of dog owners. Treatment is often delayed until responses are extreme. Many dogs show at least one sign of fear when exposed to noises, such as fireworks, thunder, vacuum cleaners and gunshots. Several methods and products have been used including psychotropic drugs and natural products, such as pheromones to control the undesirable behavior. Several non-pharmacological treatments, such as the Storm Defender Cape have been studied for the management of storm-related disorders in dogs.
The dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) is a synthetic analogue of the pheromone secreted by the lactating bitch. This pheromone is responsible for the sense of wellbeing experienced by puppies when with their mother. It has demonstrated calming properties in many clinically tested stressful situations such as kennelling, veterinary visits, car travel, human separation, firework exposure and introduction of puppies into a home. Additionally, improved socialisation of puppies attending socialisation classes has also been reported.
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Fireworks differ from thunder in the duration of "cracks and booms," distance from the source, variability of weather events and other associated stimuli that might cause fear or distress. Studies show that the DAP collar reduces active fear and anxiety to a thunder. These findings support a possible use for DAP in the prevention and management of noise-related fear and anxiety.
- Dog-appeasing pheromone collars reduce sound-induced fear and anxiety in beagle dogs: a placebo-controlled study. G. M. Landsberg.