How Adaptil can help your dog during the summer months

Hooray, summer is upon us. But of course, for all you dog owners out there, you need to think about the wellbeing of your canine friend during these sun-soaked holiday-fuelled days.
We sought the advice of our resident vet, Dr. Sarah Endersby, to find answers to the most important questions concerning our pet pooches in the summer time.

Kennels

Why do kennels distress some dogs?

They are not home! Kennels can have wonderful staff and provide wonderful care for the dogs but they still have to get used to a different environment, a different routine and the presence of other dogs in close proximity that they do not know.

What sort of behaviours would they demonstrate if they were distressed?

Dogs may pace, bark more than normal or can have a mild digestive upset when in kennels. They may also withdraw and not interact with the kennel staff and possibly not eat as normal.

What tips do you have for making your dog’s stay at kennels as un-stressful as possible for them?

Tips include: checking out the kennel in advance of booking to see what the facilities are like, see if the kennels will use the food your dog is used to eating and whether they can administer any medications your dog is currently taking as well as finding out what the exercise routine is like. Using an Adaptil collar can help your dog cope with the change in environment. Ideally, this should be placed on the dog at least 24 hours before going into the kennel. Of course, if your dog gets worried by the suitcase coming out, then pop the collar on before you start packing too. On the day, take some familiar bedding and toys (of course named so it is easy for them to be returned to you).

Transport and long journeys

Why do some dogs get distressed by long car journeys?

Some dogs find the movement and noises of travelling in a car difficult. Also if something has happened in the past to upset them whilst travelling in a car this may cause them to worry on subsequent trips.

Can dogs get stressed out by train or tube journeys?

Yes, tube or train journeys can be very difficult for a dog as they are noisy, full of unfamiliar smells and strange people that they may have to be very close to and the experience of being in a moving vehicle can be unsettling, especially when there are unpredictable movements.

What behaviours would they demonstrate if they were distressed?

Panting, yawning, looking away from people, holding one paw up can all be signs a dog is not coping. A dog may also be restless, eliminate and could potentially bark or whine, which the owner may find difficult to cope with too.

What tips do you have for making their journey less stressful?

If you feel you will be travelling on tubes or trains with a dog, take the time to make such trips part of a puppy’s socialisation. Take treats with you and ask people that are interested to speak to the puppy and reward the puppy with a treat. Reward the puppy for calm behaviour whilst on the tube/train and start off with short journeys.

For adult dogs, try and travel when it isn’t rush hour! You can check that the transport company are happy to have a dog on the train or tube. Takeyourpet.co.uk is a good place to check for public transport options. Make sure you leave enough time to get around the station with a dog. It’s best to keep your dog on a lead. Consider treats to reward calm behaviour in order to reinforce positive behaviour. Be prepared for any elimination — poo bags and maybe something to wipe up an area just in case the worst happens, as fellow travellers would not want to be left with a mess!

For both puppies and adult dogs, using an Adaptil collar can help the dog cope with the trip, but also, in the case of the puppy, to embrace any training that the owner is doing at the same time.

Should a dog owner be worried about their dog adapting to a new environment such as a holiday home or hotel?

Dogs can take a little while to settle into a new environment. Of course the owners are there to provide a bit of continuity, but often there are different smells and the routine is very different and in a hotel there may be less opportunity to be as free as they are at home. Also, owners may be worried about how their dog behaves in a hotel/holiday home as they want to look after the home and of course they want their dog to be seen as a good dog by other people in the hotel.

How can different Adaptil products help during these distressful times? (e.g. the collar, the spray, the tablets, the diffuser)?

Adaptil products (apart from the tablets) contain a synthetic copy of the dog-appeasing pheromone that a mother dog produces after she has given birth and this pheromone comforts and supports her puppies. This source of comfort helps them feel able to start exploring the world around them while popping back to mum regularly for some reassurance! The beauty of using this pheromone is that it has the same effect on any age of dog — they do not lose the ability to respond to the pheromone as a dog ages. Different preparations can help dogs in different situations, e.g. the diffuser is plugged in at home, near to where the dog sleeps and spends most of their time, which can be really helpful for dogs during the fireworks season when they need support at home, or if a dog finds being home alone difficult. The spray is useful for travelling — spraying bedding used in a car can support a dog whilst on a road trip. The collar can be useful at any time, as the dog takes a pheromone bubble along with it! So during the socialising and habituation period of a puppy the puppy will have support whilst it meets/experiences anything, or whilst staying in kennels or going on holiday the dog has constant pheromone support.

The tablets are different as they are made up of ingredients designed to provide quick short-term support to a dog. The tablets contain L-tryptophan, L-theanine, GABA and B vitamins. These ingredients work to help.

Is it safe to use more than one Adaptil product on your dog at one time? For example, can my dog wear a collar, eat the tablets, spray the dog bed and use a diffuser?

Yes! It is not possible to overdose on the pheromone, so should an owner want to use the spray, diffuser and collar at the same time this is not a problem. As the pheromone does not enter the bloodstream of the dog it is fine to use the pheromones alongside the Adaptil tablets or any medication the dog may be taking. In regards to the tablets I would always recommend checking with the dog’s vet if the dog is taking any medication.

This post was written by our friends at Adaptil. You can shop the range on Monster here.

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