Newest Review: ... settling in new dogs, or because their dog suffers from separation anxiety or for stressful situations such as moving house or bonfire n... more
D.A.P for dogs
Member Name: Larrabee
Advantages: None for my situation
Disadvantages: Very expensive
I bought a DAP diffuser when I first got my two rescue dogs, as I had read online that they were a useful tool in helping dogs adjust to new environments and reduce their stress. The Diffuser is similar in design to a plug in air freshener, it consists of a moulded plastic diffuser with a plug attached and you screw in bottles of the DAP liquid which is then slowly released into the room.
DAP stands for 'Dog Appeasing Pheromone' and is supposed to replicate the calming and soothing pheromones that a mother dog secretes that keeps puppies happy and calm. Some people use it when settling in new dogs, or because their dog suffers from separation anxiety or for stressful situations such as moving house or bonfire night.
Being completely honest, I have no idea whether having the DAP diffuser made any difference at all to how easily my dogs settled in to their new home. They did show some signs of stress initially, and they did settle in quite quickly and make themselves at home, but I do think that would probably have happened in the same way whether the diffuser was there or not. Some people notice a real difference in their dogs with and without DAP but I can't claim to have seen any observable effects.
I stopped using the DAP after about two months, the dogs were happy and settled and it didn't seem worth the expense of buying refills forever when I wasn't at all convinced it was having any effect. There was no noticeable change in the dogs' behaviour when the diffuser was stopped.
The diffuser itself and the first bottle of DAP cost about £35, so quite pricey for something unproven and that most likely did no good whatsoever (although it can't have done any harm I suppose). The refills were expensive too but I bought those online and got a much better price than in store. The diffusers are also cheaper online but unfortunately I bought mine on the spur of the moment rather than shopping around.
I can't really recommend this for the situation I used it for, I'm not at all sure that it has any effect. I think there are better ways and methods to help new rescue dogs settle into their new homes and I would recommend reading up on rescue dogs in general and chatting to the rescue centre staff at length about the individual dog you're getting instead. If you feel its worth a try in other situations, with a dog you already own and know, then you would be better able to judge whether it has any effect, but with new dogs, don't bother, they have so much going on that I doubt a bit of pheromone in the air will make a huge difference to how they react.
Summary: Invisible, and impossible to measure if it really works