The Effects of Dog-Appeasing Pheromone Spray Upon Canine Vocalizations and Stress-Related Behaviors in a Rescue Shelter.
Exposure to dog-appeasing pheromones (DAPs) has been suggested to reduce stress-related behaviors in dogs; however, the effects of DAP administered using a portable, rapid use spray has not received as much attention as the plug-in format. The aim of the present study was to determine whether DAP spray reduced stress-related behaviors in rescue shelter dogs (Canis familiaris). Barking intensity, frequency of barking, and stress-related behaviors in the presence of a stressor were recorded using a repeated measures design with and without the use of spray pheromones. The mean barking intensity (dB) was reduced by 6.48 dB in dogs exposed to DAP spray, but there were no significant difference in the frequency of barking or occurrence of stress-related behaviors. This small change in intensity of barking is difficult to interpret as being beneficial to dog welfare, since there was a lack of reduction in the other stress indicators. Research that uses both a longer time period of DAP exposure and behavioral observation, plus a larger sample size, different stressors and physiological stress indicators, should also be considered if further pursuit of DAP as an intervention is desired.
Hermiston, C., Montrose, V. T., & Taylor, S. (2018). The effects of dog-appeasing pheromone spray upon canine vocalizations and stress-related behaviors in a rescue shelter. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 26, 11-16. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2018.03.013
Photo: iStock.com/Andranik HakobyanView Resource
Topic(s): Environment, Environmental Management and Monitoring, Shelter and Rescue, Temperature, Humidity & Ventilation