Vol. 2 No. 2 (2016)
Review Articles

Clinical applications of pheromones in dogs

Paola Pierotti
Veterinary behaviorist freelancer

Published 2016-08-01


  • dog appeasing pheromone,
  • separation related problems,
  • sound sensitivity.


In dogs, six major sources of pheromones exist: the facial area, the pedal complex, the perianal complex, the genital complex and the mammary complex. In the prevention and treatment of canine behavioral disorders the synthetic analogue of dog appeasine, the Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP®) is frequently utilized. Many studies have demonstrated the utility of DAP® in the treatment of the separation related problems, sound sensitivity, adaptation to a new environment, transport-related behavior problems and in the protection of dog welfare in the shelter. Some criticisms have been made about method and procedures used, recognized as not appropriate to provide evidence of the effectiveness of DAP®. These criticisms were later countered but it is clear that the study of these particular substances requires careful methodological rigor, as many interfering factors may be present. Since DAP® is not systemically absorbed, there is no toxicity or side effects which allows for its safe use alone or combination with psychotropic drugs.