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Possible calming tip for your traveling dog: D.A.P. dog collar

Chloe does not like taking off or landing in a plane, and when she’s in a hotel room, she’ll bark if someone knocks on our door or a nearby door, or if she hears a dog barking. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not bad at all. It does, however, make morning room service rounds a tricky time for all of us, and I don’t like to feel her shiver during takeoff and landing (I reach down and pat her in her carrier during those parts of the plane ride).

Side note: I know exactly how Chloe’s problem with landing began, because I happened to be bent over close to her carrier on a flight — oh, a couple of years ago — when she was awakened by an unusually loud dropping of the wheels directly under her. It was loud enough that it surprised me, and it certainly surprised her. She hasn’t been the same dog since. I now make a point of sitting away from a plane’s wheels. Taking off? My best guess is that the engines hit a frequency that bothers her, because as soon as the plane stops climbing and settles into its normal flight speed, she settles into her normal flight slumber.

I’ve explored a variety of calming options, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, one of them was D.A.P., or “dog appeasing pheromone.” At that time, it came in a spray and in a more TSA-friendly wipe. I loved the theory behind the products (they contain a synthetic version of a calming hormone produced by nursing dog mothers), but they’re crazily expensive, and I didn’t observe them making a big difference in Chloe’s behavior. Recently, however, I noticed that a D.A.P. collar is now available, advertised as lasting for four weeks.

We were about to embark on a three-week trip that included numerous flights and hotel stays (also car drives, but Chloe is a champion car traveler, so no worries there). What the heck, I thought, and bought one. Unwrapped, it’s a length of dark gray nylon with a simple buckle (snip off any excess length with normal household scissors). I fastened it around Chloe’s neck, next to her own collar — and you know, I think it did help. She seemed to shiver less on takeoff and landing, and when my husband, flying back to Seattle with her, slept through a wheel drop on one of their landings, Chloe did too. She was also noticeably quieter in our hotel rooms. I liked what I saw enough to buy a replacement when we got home, and it’s waiting for our next trip. At $23, it’s not cheap, but you might consider giving it a try.

Amazon link: D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) Collar for Puppies and Small Dogs – 17.7″

5 comments

  • Jessica Sala

    Have you ever tried Ark Naturals Happy Traveler? One of my pup’s is a world traveler and loves to be on the go…My other dog, he’s a recluse. He’d rather go to the vet or the groomer than travel and after trying a TON of calming products to no avail someone told me about the Happy Traveler. It’s awesome and natural!

  • Catie Rhodes

    What a coincidence that you posted about the D.A.P. collar. I just bought the Comfort Zone brand plug-in wall diffuser. It releases the D.A.P. pheromone into the air near where you plug it in.

    We bought the wall diffuser because the intermittent popping of fireworks in our suburban neighborhood is driving Cosmo crazy.

    We live in a densely populated but unincorporated area in which fireworks are not illegal. Even though these houses are 20 feet apart, people still pop fireworks starting as soon as they go on sale and until they use them up (usually a few days after the 4th).

    I don’t understand why this is bothering Cosmo now. He did great on New Years Eve. One of our wonderfully considerate neighbors popped fireworks for six hours straight on New Years Eve. Cosmo never made a peep that night. But now, for whatever reason, the fireworks are bothering him.

    I bought the wall diffuser from PetSmart. It was a whopping $50. The same exact thing sells on Amazon for about half that. However, I needed it immediately and, thus, paid the extra.

    Cosmo has been quite a bit calmer. He is still bothered by the increased level of noise, but I have been able to calm him with soothing words and by doing some stuff the dog trainer taught me.

    After seeing how well the wall diffuser worked, I did order the D.A.P. spray from Amazon (for a greatly reduced price than they sell it at PetSmart). I thought Cosmo might benefit from it when we travel. I noted with interest that you saw no difference in Chloe with the spray but did see more of a difference with the collar. So we’ll see if the spray brings me any luck.

    As always, I appreciate your insight.

  • Emily

    I’m flying with my pup for the first time in August so I’m considering using a calming spray or collar since I have NO idea how she is going to react. I will look into the DAP products and will look at Happy Traveller as well! Any thoughts on Sentry products? They sell a collar and spray for much cheaper than DAP – would love to hear how they compare.

  • Hi, Emily! I’ve got nothing at all on the Sentry products — perhaps another reader will? And you could post a comment on Dog Jaunt’s Facebook page too, with the same question, if you like.

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