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.