We’ve all heard of plug in and spray product ranges designed to help anxiety and stress in cats and also separate products for anxiety in dogs. Pet Remedy works across both species however, which is super useful for a multi-pet owner such as myself! Aimed at tackling stress and anxiety. the Pet Remedy formula is made using a low concentration Valerian essential oil, blended with Vetiver, Sweet Basil, and Sage. It works alongside the brain’s neuro-transmitters, which work by telling the nerve receiving the message either to calm (via GABA pathway) or get ‘fired up’. In times of stress or anxiety the nerves get over stimulated, which leads on to the many different signs of stress we see in our pets. The idea is that the blend of essential oils in Pet Remedy works alongside these natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets. I am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to natural remedies – but I had heard of the calming effects of valerian so I was super keen to give it a go!
In December we welcomed a new addition into our little family – Lola the Goldendoodle. She is a giant boisterous bundle of puppy joy and I had feared for what our two resident cats Dexter and Floki would make of a dog in the house.
They’d never met a dog before, let alone shared their precious ‘territory’ with one! In fact even welcoming Floki into the family a year previously had been difficult, and it wasn’t until we moved to a new home that the cats really started to bond as they formed a territory that was not just ‘Dexter’s.’
We decided to try out Pet Remedy in plug in and spray version to help to manage the introductions, and make it as simple as possible for the new puppy and our lovely kitties. While they are very friendly lads, they both demand a lot of attention, and a little sister (of the dog variety) in the house would never have been their choice. When looking at what we could do to help the introductions (apart from the obvious such as stair gates,play pens and high climbing posts!) We were particularly swayed to try Pet Remedy simply because it’s inter-species unlike other brands that are solely for cats or dogs and not both.
We located the Pet Remedy plug in the living room, where most of the interaction was happening, with perhaps a sceptical view that it wouldn’t make much of a difference. It would of course be difficult to measure these things, but locating the plug in to one room certainly helped us to note the differences between where the formula was being circulated, and where it wasn’t. I am pleased to say that we were wrong to be sceptical, and that it worked really well! The cats and our puppy certainly seemed calmer. A lot calmer. We also found the travel wipes incredibly useful for when we were taking Lola out in cars, taxis, trains and buses for the first time.
I must warn, it does smell really strong. Enough so that I was convinced that Lola had done a secret poo in the house after it had been plugged in for an hour! Luckily no poo, just the plug in. Funnily enough it doesn’t actually smell like poo, it just smells very earthy and distinctive. I couldn’t compare it to anything else that I have smelled before. Perhaps that’s why it works so well. After all have you ever smelled an animal’s scent (particularly around their glands) and thought ‘oh, fresh linen!’ And a lot of herbal pills and potions (and medical pills and potions just they are coated to hide it) have a very strong smell. I stopped noticing the smell after a couple of days, and it was also reassuring to know that f we could smell it so could the pets so it could work it’s magic!
The most beneficial product that I tried was the calming spray. It stinks to high heaven, but it works fabulously. With time off over holiday periods we decided to sit our neighbours dogs, and one dog in particular, the aptly named French bulldog Biggie, was quite a character. He’d try to hump Lola, he’d bark at cats, people, run around for hours pulling toys apart, and he was very very needy. At one stage I almost hired a different sitter to take him, as he was getting so nippy with Lola! I then remembered the spray.
A quick spay to his bedding, and when we took him out his harness and he was a different dog, a lot more chilled out and more ready to play happily, be stroked and lay and rest than his prior anxious state.
We’ve since used the plug in and the spray to settle other dogs that we have looked after, and again amazing results in helping them to settle into a strange home. The only dog it didn’t work for was little Coco the jack russell – he was somehow immune. But 6 out of 7 isn’t bad!
Certainly Pet Remedy will never cure Lola’s barking when she wants the cats to play, or when they get a cuddle (she gets jealous) but it did make for a harmonious introduction. I will definitely be buying again.