What are Pheromones?
Pheromones are extremely widespread in the animal kingdom. They are like hormones in some aspects. However, while hormones stay within the body of the animal that produces them and thus affect only that animal’s behaviour, pheromones are released from one animal and, when detected by another animal of the same species, have a significant effect on the behaviour of that receiving animal.
Pheromones are important to many living creatures including insects and mammals. For instance, queen bees produce pheromones that inhibit other queens from developing. In insects and animals pheromones also act as sex attractants and have many other functions.
Pheromones come in many forms. Some relate to sexual identification, some help animals to mark territory, some serve as warnings to other animals and some relate to familiarisation and attachment.
They are released from various glands of an animal’s body, including those around the face and on the footpads, from sweat glands (especially on the abdomen) and from the animal’s anal sacs.
In cats, three main types of pheromones have been studied – those relating to territorial marking, alarm warnings and to familiarisation with others of the same species.
In dogs, the dog appeasing pheromone is one that has been studied extensively. This pheromone is normally produced in bitches three to five days after they have whelped. It is secreted by the skin around the bitch’s mammary glands and serves to create attachment of the newborn puppies to the dam.
A similar pheromone is also released by adult dogs from the skin around their ears. When released by pack leaders, this pheromone has a similar role, but on a wider basis, to the pheromone produced by a dam – it creates attachment of young animals to the leaders and makes the pack cohesive.
Pheromones for Pets
Pheromones are a side effect free way to calm pets that are anxious or that need settling into a new home.
For dogs, they are often used for the treatment of separation anxiety and noise fears.
For cats, they are used to spraying behaviour to assimilate cats into a new home.
There are many other uses and applications but they do need to be used correctly for maximum benefit.
Pheromones are released from various glands of an animal’s body, including those around the face and on the footpads, from sweat glands (especially on the abdomen) and from the animal’s anal sacs.
Availability in Australia
Synthetic pheromones are now available in Australia for dogs and cats.
The dog pheromone is known as the Dog Appeasing Pheromone (Adaptil) and the cat pheromones in known as Feliway.
There are several different versions of the pheromones available.
Are pheromones suitable for your pet?
Pheromones such as the Dog Appeasing Pheromone (Adaptil) and Feliway are wonderful products because they are easy to use and side-effect free.
But they certainly are not a cure for all behavioural problems.
If you are uncertain about purchasing pheromones for your pet, complete our Assessment formand we will review your submission.
We will then respond to that by email or by telephone as needed.