Zylkene, made by the company Vetoquinol, is a natural anti-anxiety behavioral support product aimed at dogs who are anxious or stressed, particularly during certain times like when travelling, and when there are storms and fireworks – or whatever it is that sets your dog off on an anxious spiral. Some people also use it to help a dog transition between homes, particularly when being adopted to a new family.
It’s a calming supplement developed to naturally relax a dog and ease the feelings and symptoms of anxiety, so he can get through anxious situations with minimal stress
The active ingredient in Zylkene might come as some surprise: hydrolyzed milk protein. What is this exactly?
Hydrolyzed simply refers to a process of hydrolysis to break down the protein into smaller, more digestible enzymes. This is done with many different proteins, including in food for humans such as baby milk formula. The goal is to make the powerful amino acids contained in the protein source more available for use by the body as smaller compounds.
Hydrolyzed milk protein is considered to be a very high quality protein source, particularly because of its inclusion of a large number of amino acids (the building blocks of protein). It’s often used for skin and hair care. That’s all well and good, but how does this help with an anxious dog? Vetoquinol describes this as “an ingredient that has calming properties.”
I wanted to look deeper into this claim to see what scientific evidence exists. Little research exists on the subject as it relates to dogs (or cats). One study showed potential benefits in some animals when supplemented with the ingredient or its associated compounds, although the results were not highly conclusive.
Casein peptides, which come from the main milk protein of casein, is sometimes used in human health as an anxiety supplement.
The idea behind using this ingredient is that, just like all baby mammals who nurse milk from their mother, a calming effect is assumed and this is the basic principal behind how Zylkene is intended to work.
Does Zylkene For Dogs Work?
With the above in mind, this can lead us to consider that while hydrolyzed milk protein may be effective at reducing stress or anxiety in some dogs, it may have little effect on others. So there is no way to predict if your dog will be one who responds positively to Zylkene without giving it a try. Thankfully, being an all natural product there is little to worry about in terms of risks or side effects.
The next step for me was to do some in depth analysis of what’s most important: are real customers getting the results they expected with Zylkene. Because at the end of the day, it’s the practical real world experiences that are going to shed the most light on whether Zylkene is worth trying.
Reviews and experiences across the board are largely very positive about Zylkene being given to dogs as a complimentary behavioral support. It’s vitally important that a product like this is used with realistic expectations, and knowledge of its designed intention. A misunderstanding of what Zylkene is for and how it’s meant to be used will result in disappointment – the fact that reviews and testimonials that I’ve found across the web are mostly very positive indicates that the company has done a good job in communicating what Zylkene is useful for, and what it’s not for.
How long does it take Zylkene to work?
The recommendation is to start using Zylkene a day or two before you known the stressful event will be happening. This of course is not always possible when it comes to spontaneous unexpected situations, and for those times a more immediate solution can be a better option; such as a calming jacket.
What Is Zylkene Useful For?
Vetoquinol has a list of major scenarios that Zylkene is designed to be used in – of course, your specific situations will vary but these give you a wide indication of the circumstances that Zylkene can be useful for in reducing anxiety and stress in your dog:
If you know a fireworks night is coming up, it’s the perfect opportunity to be well prepared with Zylkene and using it as intended: by beginning the daily dosage at least 2 days before, but up to 7 days before the event (as you use the product more regularly you’ll gain a better idea of how long it takes for your dog to start reacting positively to it).
Going to a boarding kennel or other facility is an exceptionally stressful time for any dog – especially if they have never done it before, or have no familiarity with the place or people there. The best boarding facilities go to great lengths to reduce stress, but even that is often not enough to quell the fears of highly anxious dogs. Along with a range of other preparation steps you can take to make the experience easier (including and most importantly choosing a GREAT boarding place to go to), Zylkene can start being given several days before your dog is due to be taken to boarding.
Moving to a new house might be very exciting for the human residents, but it can be very fearful for dogs.
If your vet visit is planned several days in advance, Zylkene is a viable option. If however it’s going to be an immediate and unexpected trip to the vet, giving your dog Zylkene is not going to have an immediate effect. Other anti-anxiety aids that provide more immediate support are suitable for spontaneous trips to the vets. On the other hand, an annual check up or vaccination vet trip with a known date does allow you to plan the use of Zylkene several days before your vet appointment.
Are There Any Potential Side Effects With Zylkene?
No known side effects are stated. The company also notes that the formula is fine for dogs who are sensitive due to it being hypo-allergenic free of preservatives and lactose.
How to give Zylkene to your dog
Zylkene comes in tablet form – or more specifically, as capsules. This makes it easy to open them up if you aren’t confident in giving your dog a whole capsule down the throat. Once open in half, the powdered capsule contents can be mixed in with food.
It’s important to know that Zylkene isn’t intended to be given to a dog in the sudden heat of an unexpected stressful moment – it simply doesn’t work that quickly. Recommendations are for it to be started, on a once daily dose, at least 1-2 days before a stressful event but the company notes that some dogs might respond better if it’s started up to a week beforehand. Naturally, this makes Zylkene effective in planned stressful situations that can’t be avoided, rather than very spontaneous ones.
Where to buy Zylkene for dogs
Zylkene is an over the counter product, so you don’t need a prescription from your vet to buy it.
1800petmeds has Zylkene available for Small, Medium and Large dogs with a one day shipping time within the USA – they currently have a 20% coupon code that can be found at the top of their website, providing a substantial discount on the regular cost.
1800PetMeds gives all customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so Zylkene comes without financial risk if you decide to give it a go.