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Type: Over the Counter

Adaptil (DAP)

A chemical that is said to mimic the pheromones released by lactating bitches, which have a soothing effect on their puppies. The synthetic version, marketed as DAP in the United States, is claimed to have a calming effect on adult dogs and is available as a plug-in diffuser, infused collar, or spray.

Homeopathic Remedies

Medications prepared according to homeopathic principles.  The principle of homeopathy was invented by Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann in the 19th Century. It is based on the idea that “like cures like” and that the more an active ingredient is diluted, the more potent the preparation will become.

Homeopathic preparations have been systematically shown not to have any effect on the problems they are designed to treat, however this is disputed.

Not to be confused with natural remedies or nutraceuticals.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland.  It is synthesized naturally through the breakdown of an amino acid, tryptophan, but is also given to dogs as a dietary supplement.  Melatonin is said to aid sleep and have some calming effects.

Rescue Remedy

A type of over the counter supplement marketed as being able to relieve anxiety in both humans and dogs. It is made of flower extracts at extremely low concentrations, using similar principles to homeopathy.

Use in dogs is controversial as there is no scientific evidence for the efficacy of this product.

Zylkene

The brand name for a nutraceutical compound derived from cow’s milk.  These products are said to promote calmness and decrease anxiety in dogs with mild behavioral problems.