All dogs entering Dogs Trust’s 17 rehoming centres will now be fittedwith a DAP collar to help reduce their stress levels while in akennel environment.
This decision was taken following a “highly successful” trial at the trust’s state-of-the-art rehoming centre in West London.
Unfamiliar surroundings or situations can be very stressful to dogs. When abandoned or stray dogs are admitted to a rehoming centre, the difference between their new kennel and the environment they have been used to living in is often traumatic. Dogs under stress can become aggressive, stop eating or overeat, become hypersensitive, bark repeatedly, become hyperactive, and resort to nervous licking or chewing of their own bodies or their kennel space. All these traits can make it difficult for dogs to be rehomed.
The 2009 trial revealed that dogs wearing DAP collars while in kennels were less likely to display canine stress indicators, such as barking and pacing around kennels, and were more likely to lie down and rest; signs that dogs are more relaxed.
The welfare charity’s veterinary director, Chris Laurence, said: “Dogs Trust trialled DAP collars on dogs being admitted at our Harefield rehoming centre. Many dogs are very stressed by their first experience in a kennel environment and it was shown that the use of a collar significantly reduced their stress levels.
“Centre staff were impressed with the positive changes in behaviour that were shown during the trial. Dogs were far more relaxed and less reactive to the inevitable stressful elements of their environment. We will now be using DAP collars on all dogs entering our rehoming centres in tandem with the other practices we already employ to reduce kennel stress.
“Stressed dogs are more difficult to rehome so we hope the use of DAP to reduce stress levels will be beneficial to both their welfare and our rehoming.”
For further information on DAP, contact your local CEVA Animal Health territory manager.
For further information on Dogs Trust, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk