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Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP)

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This article discusses everything you need to know about dog appeasing pheromone. What is it? Is it safe? Where can you buy it? We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about DAP.

What is DAP?

DAP is something called a pheromone. A pheromone is a chemical signal that one animal gives to another. In this case, it is a signal that helps a dog to feel calm.

Dog Appeasing Pheromone is a chemical that is naturally released by a lactating dog. Its purpose is to help to calm and relax her puppies. DAP is a synthetic version of this natural chemical.

What forms does DAP come in?

You can buy dog appeasing pheromone in the following forms:

  • Spray: This product can be sprayed on a dog's toys, bedding, or clothing, but not directly on the dog. It takes about 15-20 minutes for it to start working and the effect will last about 1-2 hours. You can repeat the spray as often as necessary.

  • Diffuser: The plug-in diffuser will release DAP into the environment and covers an area of 50-70m2 (538-753 square feet). It will last about a month.

  • DAP Collar: A DAP collar is a great way to help a dog deal with anxiety. It is extremely safe and will keep working for about 4 weeks.

How does a dog absorb DAP?

The product is not breathed in at all. It binds to proteins in the dog's vomeronasal organ. This organ sits on either side of the septum of the nose. Its purpose is to process pheromones.

What kinds of medical problems can be treated with DAP?

DAP has been used effectively in many situations. Here are some examples:

  • Helping a dog adapt to a new home
  • Socializing a new puppy
  • Increasing a dog's confidence
  • Helping a dog cope with stress when kenneled
  • Helping a dog deal with Thunderstorm Anxiety
  • Helping a dog who is stressed when traveling in a car or airplane
  • Helping a mother dog to accept her puppies
  • Anxiety related conditions such as a lick granuloma

Is DAP safe for puppies?

Yes! In fact, you can read below of several studies that have shown that DAP helps to reduce anxiety and bad behaviors in puppies.

Is DAP safe to use around cats?

DAP has absolutely no effect on cats, but it is safe to use in a house containing a cat. The feline equivalent of DAP is Feliway.

Is DAP safe to use around birds?

While many plugin products (such as a Glad plugin) are dangerous to use around birds, DAP is perfectly safe to use if you have birds in your house.

Is DAP safe to use if a person in the house has a respiratory problem like asthma?

Yes. DAP is not breathed in and has no odor. It is not known to affect people in any way.

Is DAP safe to use on a pregnant dog?

Dog appeasing pheromone has not been tested on pregnant dogs. However, it is believed to be safe and helpful for reducing anxiety in a pregnant bitch.

Can you use a DAP collar, spray and plugin diffuser at the same time?

This is perfectly safe.

Where can I buy DAP?

DAP collar:
DAP diffuser:
DAP spray:

Published studies:

There have been many studies done to look at the effectiveness of dog appeasing pheromone. I have quoted several here and summarized the results:

Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) for ameliorating separation-related behavioral signs in hospitalized dogs

This study looked at symptoms of anxiety in hospitalized dogs such as pacing, excessive licking and elimination. The group that were treated with DAP had a significant decrease in symptoms of anxiety.

Efficacy of Dog Appeasing Pheromones in Reducing Stress Related Responses in Rescue Shelter Dogs

This study followed 90 dogs at a shelter. 31 were given a DAP collar, 29 were given a placebo collar and 30 were control dogs who wore no collar at all. They observed the dogs’ behavior using video cameras and rated the level of relaxation, fear and anxiety. The dogs wearing a DAP collar spent less time pacing and were more relaxed. They also had a lower frequency of barking. It was concluded that the collar was an “effective tool in reducing some of the behavioral stress response known to occur in shelter environment.”

Efficacy of Dog Appeasing Pheromone in the Prevention of Behaviour Problems in Puppies

This study found that puppies wearing DAP collars were more capable of coping with new surroundings than ones who were not exposed to DAP. The DAP puppies had less barking and whining through the night. In fact, while the control group of puppies got their owners up an average of 2.7 times on the first night home, the puppies wearing the collar got their owners up only once. The DAP collars did not have any effect on the amount of house soiling though.

Evaluation of the Effect of Dog Appeasing Pheromones on the Reduction of Anxiety and Fear in Puppies During Training

This study looked at 45 puppies attending obedience classes. They were divided into two groups - wearing a DAP collar or wearing a placebo collar. Owners filled out a questionnaire before the first lesson and after every lesson which evaluated their opinion on their dog’s level of fear and anxiety. The results showed a significant difference between the DAP group and the placebo group with dogs in the DAP group having significantly less fear and anxiety. The dogs with the DAP collars had better socialization skills as well.

Comparison of the efficacy of a synthetic dog-appeasing pheromone with clomipramine for the treatment of separation-related disorders in dogs

This study looked at 67 dogs with separation anxiety. Dogs were given either a DAP collar or clomipramine (Clomicalm). Both products worked equally as well.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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