For the past few years, we’ve been at the beach for the 4th of July, where fireworks are not allowed. So this year, we weren’t sure what to expect with our two girls. Three-year-old crazydog, true to her monicker, is a barky dog when stressed. We figured there would be a LOT of barking. Six-year-old lazydog doesn’t like loud noises, so we figured she’d be scared.
During the afternoon we did everything we could to wear them out, because a tired dog is a more relaxed dog, right? At about 5:00 pm when we started hearing local kids setting off fireworks, and lazydog started her full body shakes, we gave them each half of an Acepromazine (doggy downer) we had previously been given for them by our vet for long car trips.
An hour or two later the medication seemed to have no effect whatsoever on them. As it turned out, crazydog could have given a care less about all the loud noises and was happily playing with her toys. But Izzie, my lazydog, was still in full body shake mode. Even when there wasn’t a noise for 10 minutes, she still was shaking. Consoling her was doing no good. And her beloved treats? Not interested.
About 7:30 pm I remembered that at a recent conference I’d been given samples of a product called SENTRY Calming Spray. I hadn’t tried it yet, and at this point figured it would be like using a squirt gun to douse a wildfire, but wow. With Izzie on my lap and crazydog next to me, I spritzed just a small amount in the air near us. Within about 2 seconds, Izzie stopped shaking. Just stopped shaking. In two seconds. She continued to pant a little bit, but the shaking stopped completely. Flash forward a few more hours, by now it’s dark and the fireworks are in full force outside near us. In addition, we had the local Seattle fireworks show on the television about 4 feet from the dogs. My husband is sitting on the couch, and the dogs? Laying down on a blanket next to us on the couch. Amazing!
So, what’s in this “calming spray?” Pheromones. I have to admit to really knowing zip about pheromones. I’d heard of them for use in dating, and well, that sounds skeezy. But in this case, the pheromones are a naturally occurring scent from a nursing mother dog. And for whatever awesome science reason, the scent was unmistakably calming to my dogs. My husband has a theory that the spray calmed them down enough to let the medication take hold, but the medication had been in their system for a few hours and hadn’t made a noticeable difference. The SENTRY Calming Spray with pheromones made a noticeable difference in seconds.
I personally can see many uses for the calming spray such as on car trips, in their crate, to have handy at night when they hear coyotes outside and get scared, etc. There is also a Calming Collar, which I also received and plan to use, and the website lists a Calming Diffuser for rooms, but doesn’t indicate that it is available for purchase anywhere at this time.
I’d definitely recommend this product for use with dogs that get a bit scared at times. It’s natural, has a nice scent to it, and does what it claims to do…calm.