Is Zylkene good for dog and cat anxiety?
I talk a lot on my blog about dog and cat anxiety. And with good reason. I’ve had two dogs with severe cases of anxiety.
Buck had separation anxiety that was so extreme, that if I wanted to leave the house, I had to put my car in neutral and roll out of the garage so he wouldn’t hear me leave. And my dog, Chilly, had extreme noise anxiety — not an ideal situation in Florida, where thunder is a near-daily occurrence for many months of the year.
So, all this to say, the topic of pet anxiety is one that is near and dear to my heart, and the reason I created Pet Anxiety Awareness Month. I’m committed to helping pet parents find working solutions to their pets’ anxiety since it has such a profound effect on their quality of life.
Zylkene has been around for some time and I’m often asked if it actually works to manage dog and cat anxiety. The short answer is, yes! It can help. But what works for one cat or dog may not work for another. And I almost always recommend using a layered approach to manage your pet’s anxiety.
If you’ve got an itch to learn more about Zylkene for your pet’s anxiety, let’s get into it!
What is Zylkene?
Zylkene is derived from the milk protein, casein, and contains naturally occurring calming compounds. This is one reason I love it so much. It’s a natural product that’s typically well tolerated because it comes from a food source. The active ingredient in Zylkene is hydrolyzed milk protein.
What if your cat or dog is allergic to milk? Typically, it’s the lactose in milk that pets are allergic to, so consuming Zylkene is unlikely to bother them.
The protein is dried and encapsulated so you can give it to your dog or cat. And unlike some treatments for anxiety, Zylkene doesn’t cause drowsiness, so your dog or cat will remain alert but calm. Your pet can still enjoy activities, trips, and celebrations without feeling sedated.
Zylkene helps balance reactions in situations that may trigger their anxiety and helps your pet maintain his or her normal and relaxed disposition.
Zylkene for Cat Anxiety
Does Zylkene work for cat anxiety? Yes! And it does so without making them drowsy.
If your cat exhibits signs of anxiety, it’ll be different from how a dog would show anxious feelings.
Cats may show anxious feelings by:
- Vocalizing excessively
- Acting aggressively
- Trying to escape
- Eliminating outside the litter box
I had a cat once who became very stressed when we moved to a new apartment. And we had brought in new cats to boot. He expressed his anxiety by marking everywhere, even on my oven!
And my cat, Olivia, would pee on my bathmat when she became stressed.
Cats are most definitely creatures of habit and they very much like to have freedom in their domain. So bringing a new person or animal into the family or even closing doors that are normally open can cause your cat to become very stressed.
For cases like these and many more, Zylkene can be very effective, especially when given on a regular basis and preferably before the anxiety-inducing event begins.
If your cat’s anxiety is extreme and Zylkene isn’t completely taking away the anxious behavior, try playing calming music. I personally love Zounz Music for Pets™ which is backed by research and composed to effectively reduce anxiety. Also, be sure to create a separate space in the home that’s dark and quiet. This layered approach may work best.
If the stressor is long-term, like a big move or adding a new family member (animal or human), it’s best to give your cat Zylkene daily for 30 days and then reevaluate your cat’s anxiety level.
If the stressor is short-term, like a veterinary visit or a relative visiting, give your cat Zylkene a daily dose beginning two days before the event. Cats that are extremely stressed may need to begin using Zylkene 5-7 days before an anxiety-inducing event.
Zylkene for Dog Anxiety
Dogs display anxiety a little differently but Zylkene also works to alleviate dog anxiety.
When anxious, dogs may:
- Become clingy
- Put their ears back
- Refuse to eat
If your dog is feeling anxious over noises, separation, vet visits, or other stressors, Zylkene, given beforehand, can help calm them down.
For long-term stressors, like a big move, the advice is the same as for cats. Give your dog a daily dose of Zylkene for 30 days and then reevaluate your dog’s anxiety level.
For short-term stressors, like a vet visit or a fireworks event, give your dog a daily dose of Zylkene beginning two days before the event. Dogs that are extremely stressed may need to begin using Zylkene 5-7 days before an anxiety-inducing event.
Is Zylkene Safe for Long-Term Use?
Zylkene is generally considered safe for long-term use. Remember, it’s a milk protein, which is a food source. So, much like the food you would feed to your dog or cat every day, it’s unlikely they will become intolerant.
However, it’s always good to reevaluate your dog or cat’s anxiety level after using it for 30 days. It may be that your pet doesn’t need it anymore!
Does Zylkene Interact with Medications?
Because it’s essentially a food, Zylkene isn’t known to interact with medications or other therapies. But if you’re still concerned about contraindications, your veterinarian can allay any fears you have.
What Are the Side Effects of Zylkene?
It’s unlikely your cat or dog will experience any side effects. Mine have no trouble with it. But in rare cases, it can cause stomach upset or diarrhea. If this happens, it’s recommended to discontinue use, and you may choose to call your veterinarian.
Zylkene is eliminated from your pet’s system within 24 hours, so any side effects would be short-lived.
Even if your dog or cat overdoses on Zylkene, it’s unlikely to cause any more side effects than some gastrointestinal discomfort.
Bottom line: Zylkene is generally well tolerated and considered safe.
How Do You Administer Zylkene?
There are three purchase options for Zylkene. The weight of your pet will determine which prescription strength to administer.
Since Zylkene is often used primarily for situational anxiety, it’s most effective when you administer it well before the stress-inducing event, such as a grooming or veterinary visit. Zylkene is safe for long-term use, but if your pet only needs occasional support, you can follow the dosing instructions and begin to give your pet his or her dose of Zylkene up to 7 days before the event.
Zylkene comes in a capsule, so one way to give your dog or cat Zylkene is to simply give them the capsule. Some pets have no problem eating the entire capsule.
If your dog has difficulty with pills, you can open the capsule, add it to peanut butter and smear it on a licking mat like this one. Or you can open the capsule and pour the ingredients into their food or water.
Is your cat a picky eater? You’ll be happy to know that Zylkene has no taste, so you can simply sprinkle it on her food or water, and rest assured that she’ll get its calming benefits.
Other At-Home Pet Anxiety Treatments
If you’re dealing with an anxious pet, please know that there is much you can do to comfort your furry friend. Here are some effective things you can do at home to make your pet feel secure:
- Make sure your pet gets regular exercise.
- Play classical or instrumental music, such as Zoundz.
- Provide a safe, quiet space for your pet to self-soothe, such as a crate or box.
- Use calming coats or shirts.
Additionally, if you’re dealing with an anxious kitty, try these feline-specific cat anxiety remedies:
- Clean litter boxes more often.
- Stick to a routine.
- Try pheromone diffusers, such as this one.
Even after trying these at-home behavioral remedies, you might find that your pet is still showing signs of anxiety. The fact is, pet anxiety is a medical condition, and the most effective treatment could be a prescription medication. Of course, be sure to talk to your veterinarian before starting any new medicine for dog anxiety or cat anxiety.
Visiting a certified veterinary behaviorist who can determine the causes and triggers of your pet’s anxiety will also help in identifying the best course of treatment. Since prolonged fear and stress can have a significant impact on your pet’s quality of life, it’s vital to seek treatment as soon as possible for an anxious pet.