Tools of the trade: Adaptil

dog appeasing pheromones

by Amy Christopherson VN, Gisborne Veterinary Clinic, VIC

Adaptil replicates dog appeasing pheromones and is used to calm dogs when they are in stressful situations. It comes in a diffuser or in a spray bottle.

What’s good about it

We always use Adaptil when taking blood from a dog, during an ultrasound or any other stressful situations. We just spray it in their cage and on their bedding prior to the procedure in order to help prevent fear. The pheromones in Adaptil can help calm a dog when travelling or adjusting to new environments. It’s also helpful if a dog is destroying property, soiling, vocalising or anxious. There’s a similar product for cats called Felliway and it works in the same manner.

Adaptil can also be sprayed on a bandana and put around a dog’s neck. We needed to calm a dog recently and simply sprayed Adaptil onto a length of material and tied it around the dog’s neck. It worked very well.

The diffuser is used to cover a particular room. We use a Felliway diffuser in the cat ward and could use the Adaptil version in our dog ward. It covers an area of about 50 to 70 metres and lasts for four weeks. It’s effective whenever there are multiple dogs in the same space.

We generally use Adaptil prior to surgery but it can also be used post-surgery. For major surgery, the dogs are on strong drugs but for minor procedures, Adaptil is very useful. 

What’s not so good

When you initially spray Adaptil, there’s a very slight smell. It’s not unpleasant but you do notice it. The diffuser doesn’t have any smell at all.  

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