Pheromonal Therapy: the secret to happy pets!

High density inner city living has many advantages: convenience, ease of access to facilities, a sense of community and sociability, and the feeling of creating one’s own nest or retreat within the thrum of active city life. Pet ownership has always been part of the Australian lifestyle and as we move inwards and upwards in inner city living, we’ve brought our pets, as much loved members of our families with us.

Dogs and cats adapt well to inner city living but can suffer from anxieties and inappropriate behaviours that are the inadvertent result of our own busy lifestyles. Dogs are social by nature and enjoy exercise and interaction, but they are creatures of habit and changes to routines can be stressful to them. A change in their owner’s work schedule, travel, visitors or houseguests can be upsetting. Cats are solitary by nature and are very attuned to their environment: while they are excellent indoor pets that adapt to any size living space and don’t require exercise, altering set patterns or creating novel experiences can stress them also. Dogs exhibit anxiety by vocalizing and sometimes through compulsive behaviour such as overgrooming. Cats spend less time exploring or playing and become more vigilant. Some become inappetant while others may show urine marking behaviour or inappropriate toileting.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of keeping our pets stress free and ensuring their best quality of life is to utilize pheromonal therapy. Pheromonal solutions are delivered through a plug in diffuser [similar to a room deodorizer or mosquito repellant] directly into the environment. They are natural, safe and simple to use. Pheromones are species specific so are not harmful or even detectable to humans or other species of animal.

The feline product, called Feliway, mimics the action of the naturally occurring facial pheromones which cats rub from their cheek glands to make themselves comfortable in an environment. The canine product, called the Dog Appeasing Pheromone [DAP], mimics the action of pheromones secreted by lactating mothers to their puppies, producing reassurance, calm and a feeling of well being. Research has shown the effect of this pheromone persists into adulthood.

Feliway and DAP diffusers are available from veterinarians and can be used for one off stressful situations, or permanently in multi pet households. Their passive method of delivery and no risk of side effects make them a great option for maintaining your pet’s quality of life [and your favourite rug or leather sofa!].