Sights and sounds of summer can create stress for pets

    First reproductions of natural pheromones help cats and dogs cope with
    fireworks, travel and more

    TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - For many families, summertime signals a sudden
shift in the daily routine. From family vacations and outdoor events to home
renovations and even moving, the season can bring exciting changes for people
- but added anxiety for pets. Dogs and cats under stress often display
symptoms by hiding/cowering, whining/barking, showing signs of aggression and
destructive behaviour among others. To help their furry friends cope, pet
owners are turning to Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P(R)) and Feliway(R) - the
first synthetic reproductions of natural canine and feline pheromones that are
proven to help pets remain calm in stressful situations.
    "Cats and dogs can be very sensitive to changes in routine," says Dr.
Gary Landsberg, DVM, board certified veterinary behaviourist. "While there are
a number of important environmental and behaviour modification techniques that
can be used to help animals cope over the long term, a product that can help
ease the transition such as pheromones is an important and effective tool for
pet owners to use as part of their training process."
    Pheromones are a natural way for many species to communicate without
sight, sound, touch or smell. In nature, animals use pheromones to look for a
mate, communicate the boundaries of their territory, reassure their young and
feel more comfortable in their own environment. Each species has special
receptors - in many cases in their mouth or nose - that allow them to capture
the signal that a member of their own species is sending. Animals are born
pre-programmed to understand what these signals are and how to respond to
    D.A.P. and Feliway are synthetic pheromones that mimic the pheromone that
animals naturally produce to make them feel more secure.

    Solutions for stressed out pets

    A recent survey on pet anxiety conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health Canada found that half (50 per cent) of
Canadians own a dog, cat or both - and almost all (98 per cent) are aware
their pets can display signs of stress. Loud noises, separation anxiety and
changes around the home topped the list for common causes of stress in dogs
and cats, with dogs experiencing significantly more separation anxiety than
cats (68 per cent vs. 48 per cent). Cats showed stress more than dogs due to
relocating (65 per cent vs. 50 per cent) or home environment changes (55 per
cent vs. 40 per cent).
    When it comes to ways animals show their anxiety, owners identified
hiding or cowering as the most common symptom of stress for both dogs and cats
(52 per cent) followed by whining or barking (30 per cent) and being followed
around (18 per cent). Other reactions to stress, including aggression,
scratching, urine marking and other destructive behaviour can also pose
significant challenges for pet owners.

    Dr. Landsberg offers the following tips to help reduce anxiety in pets:

    -   Keep a regular routine- When adopting a new pet, moving to a new home
        or if there has been an unexpected change in the household that
        causes anxiety for your pet, try to maintain a regular routine and
        use rewards to encourage desirable behaviours. If you are upset, your
        pet is likely to be upset.
    -   Back off and stay positive - if your dog or cat cowers every time
        there's a thunderstorm, for example, help her to find a place to
        settle where she feels most comfortable. Scolding or punishing your
        pet will only escalate her stress.
    -   Take gradual steps to reduce undesirable behaviour - before the next
        event purchase a recording of the sounds (e.g. thunderstorm,
        fireworks) so that you can begin to accustom your pet to these sounds
        at a low level while it is calm, playing with a toy or eating
        favoured treats. As the sound becomes familiar your pet should ignore
        the sounds or even look forward to the 'play and treat' session, at
        which point you can gradually increase the volume. Go slowly and keep
        these sessions positive. Try to practice these sessions in the same
        area where your pet will prefer to be during the actual
    -   Use a calming product - Whether it's loud noises, an unfamiliar
        situation or stress from being left alone during the busy summer
        months, pheromones are a natural way to help pets feel secure, while
        in severe cases drug therapy may also be useful. Speak to your
        veterinarian about how these might help your pet.

    Discover D.A.P. and Feliway

    Clinical trials have proven D.A.P and Feliway's success. For anxious
canines, pet owners saw a 65 per cent improvement in signs of distress over
separation anxiety after 14 days, and 'D.A.P dogs' were less nervous in
unfamiliar situations and three times more relaxed when meeting strangers.
    Feliway also has proven benefits, with clinical trials showing a 70 per
cent reduction in urine spraying in multi-cat households and significant
reductions in scratching behaviour and avoidance of social contact.
    D.A.P. is available through veterinarians in three convenient formats:
collar, diffuser and spray. The suggested retail price is $40.00 - $50.00 for
the D.A.P. Electric Diffuser with refill, $30.00-$50.00 for the collar
(available in two sizes for puppies/small dogs, and medium/large dogs),
$25.00-$35.00 for a single D.A.P. 48 ml refill, and $35.00-$50.00 for a single
60 ml D.A.P. Spray.
    Feliway is available through veterinarians in two convenient formats: a
diffuser and a spray. The suggested retail price is $40.00-$50.00 for the
Feliway Electric Diffuser with refill, $25.00-$35.00 for a single Feliway 48
ml refill, and $25.00-$40.00 for a single 75 ml Feliway Pheromone Spray.
    Speak with your veterinarian for more information.

    About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

    Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is focused on the research,
development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The
company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative Animal Health
portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and
control disease in all major farm and companion animal species.
    The company is based in Boxmeer, The Netherlands and the Canadian
operation is located in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.

    About the survey

    The Harris/Decima data was gathered through telephone interviews using
the Harris/Decima teleVox between May 28th and June 8th, 2009. A total of
2,028 Canadians were surveyed, of which 971 are dog or cat owners. The
corresponding margin of error for this subgroup is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of

For further information:

For further information: Marsha Knoll/Jennifer Dolan, Edelman, (416)
979-1120 ext. 329/257,,

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