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Pets, like humans, can get stressed out. Things like new homes, visitors, thunderstorms, or separation anxiety can be major stressors for cats and dogs alike. Stressors like this can trigger destructive or bothersome behaviors like urinating in the house, excessive vocalizing, trembling, panting, or chewing.
There are a number of ways to address anxiety in pets, and most vets will recommend a daily oral prescription medication to manage anxiety. However, these can be costly and inconvenient and may cause undesirable side effects. Pet owners may not prefer to use oral prescription medication, and turn to alternatives like pheromone calming sprays.
There are hundreds on the market, but you may be curious about their effectiveness and how they work. Here are some quick answers about pet calming sprays.
Pheromones are a type of chemical communication between members of a species. The vomeronasal organ, which is located between the nose and mouth, receives pheromones. Certain pheromones, called calming or appeasing pheromones, can sometimes help relieve stressed pets. Pet pheromoneproducts are said to mimic natural cat or dog pheromones and come in various forms, including sprays, plug-in diffusers, wipes, and collars.
Pet calming sprays were first released for cats to help curb marking or spraying and aggression problems. Users quickly discovered that the sprays also helped decrease behavioral issues like scratching and 'zoomies.'
Dog calming sprays may be suitable for general stress, separation anxiety, and noise phobias like thunderstorms or fireworks. However, dog calming sprays are often not effective for aggression problems. It should also be noted that behavioral problems can have medical causes, so pets should be thoroughly examined by a vet even if calming sprays seem to alleviate these behaviors.
While pet calming sprays may seem to help reduce some select signs of stress and are safe, it's important to note that they do not address the underlying causes of behavioral issues. Always consult your vet when introducing any product such as a calming spray into your pet's environment, and consider investing in a pet insurance policy to protect your pet's health.
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.