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Zylkene: A Remedy for Stress Relief for Dogs and Cats

I am an experienced small animal vet who enjoys offering advice to pet owners.

Zylkene can help your dog or cat adjust to a stressful situation like moving.

Zylkene can help your dog or cat adjust to a stressful situation like moving.

What Symptoms Does Zylkene Help?

Zylkene helps animals adjust to change and handle stressful situations. It may also be a solution for stress-related behavioural problems such as improper urination, over-grooming, separation anxiety, training, and even shyness in cats.

There are many possible reasons for stress. Animals need stability, and like humans, often get triggered by big changes.

Things That Can Stress Out Your Dog or Cat

  • A new house
  • A new baby
  • A loud noise (especially ongoing, such as construction)
  • Placing the animal in a strange place for a period of time
  • A trip
  • A new animal in the home

Zylkene does not cause sleepiness, but rather just calms the pet down. It can be administered with other natural products such as rescue remedy and pheromones, as well as with prescription medications.

What Is Zylkene and How Do I Administer It?

Zylkene is made from a milk protein and is classified as a food supplement. The active ingredient is a peptide that has the ability to impact brain receptors, resulting in a soothing effect on the animal. It is effective for both cats and dogs. It can be purchased in three different sizes of capsule, and the choice is determined based on the size of the pet.

  • Dosage: Zylkene comes in pill form, and there are three different dosage options: 75mg, 225mg, and 450mg. Make sure to check the instructions on the box and make sure you are giving the right dosage to your animal (they will have guidelines depending on your pet's weight).
  • How to Administer: The pills can be opened and the contents sprinkled on food, or the entire capsule can be given orally once a day. Most animals find it palatable, and owners find it easy to administer.
  • How Long Should the Treatment Last? Zylkene is suitable for both a short-term treatment, which could be for a few days, or for longer periods if needed. Usually, a course is given from between 2–4 weeks. If you know about a stressful situation in advance, like a move to a new house or a new pet, it's advisable to begin administration at least eight days before the expected stressor, when possible. The medicine should be given once every day and can be doubled if the situation is exceedingly stressful.
  • When Do I Know It's Working? You almost certainly won't observe an immediate change in your pet. However, you'll probably notice some small changes within a few days. Continue using the medication until you feel that the outside stress has abated. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian.
Cats are notoriously bad at dealing with change. Zylkene can help them adjust to new situations.

Cats are notoriously bad at dealing with change. Zylkene can help them adjust to new situations.

Does Zylkene Have Side Effects?

Zylkene is a non-prescription drug and is safe, as it is a natural product. Zylkene is not known to have any side effects and it can be given with other treatments. Zylkene is even appropriate for sensitive animals, as it is hypo-allergenic and preservative and lactose-free.

Sounds Great! Where Can I Buy Zylkene?

Zylkene can be bought from your vet's office and from all online pharmacies. Most online pharmacies have a next-day delivery service.

At times, for stress, you might want to use prescription drugs from your vet's office, but these have to be prescribed by the vet and are known to have possible side effects. Zylkene is safe, over-the-counter, and can have spectacular results. You should definitely consider trying it out before shifting to prescription medications.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2010 vetadvice


Betty Wells on August 18, 2019:

Has anyone that has used this on their cats ever noticed their appetite to be less? After taking my cat to the vet and getting shots for a mouth infection due to stress, i just started her on Zylkene. She has only been on it for two days but today it seemed like she wasn't very hungry. I give it to her mixed in her wet food in the morning and also how long does it last ( how many hours)? I need to know if I need to give her something at night as well or is it supposed to work for 24 hours until the next dose. Thank you!

Mary Beard on September 01, 2018:

My golden retriever is 12 years old and starting to bark all through the night and resulting on me having to sleep on the sofa to keep him calm. Zylkene has resulted in him sleeping all night and no barking,l alleluia. Fantastic result

Carol on December 22, 2017:

My 11 yr old pitbull started getting anxious only at night time which was keeping me awake ALL NIGHT. My vet recommended Zylkene. I was skeptical because other prescription meds. , supplements or holistic remedies have not worked. Zylkene has so far. Thank you thank you thank you

Diane on May 14, 2017:

Have used it for a month on my yorkie - Cannot see ANY difference in her. Still hyper and still does not sleep at nite.

Julia on October 13, 2016:

my dog run away either go outside or run to the bedroom ugh still not helping

Joyce on October 08, 2016:

We had a house fire 2 months ago. Two of our three cats hunkered down in the fire area. My husband was successful in saving both. How ever Bonkers ran into the corn field. Two months later, he still would not enter our temporary home. Just started Zylkene last evening. This am he followed me in and has found himself a place to sleep. They say it doesn't work this fast..........but I'm giving it the credit!

Sandra on September 01, 2016:

I've given this product to my little 11 yo Maltese for a month since we live daily with thunderstorms this time of year and now have a hurricane coming our way. There's a big difference in her behavior since starting Zylkene. For minor rumbling thunderstorms, she doesn't shake or pant anymore, for more intense storms she may tremble but it's minor. For big loud lightening thunderstorms, she still shakes and trembles intermittently but her behavior overall has improved 90%. I'm keeping her on this medication until the storms are past since there appears to be no side effects. And will continue as needed. Our vet said she can be on it forever without incident. Good luck, for us it's a miracle in a capsule.

Norma on August 30, 2016:

Zylkene Dosage:

Cat weighing less than 5Kg 1 x Zylkene 75mg Capsule daily

Large Cat / Small dog weighing less than 10Kg 2 x Zylkene 75mg Capsules daily

Dogs weighing between 10kg & 20Kg 1 x Zylkene 225mg Capsule daily

Dogs weighing between 20Kg & 40Kg 1 x Zylkene 450mg Capsule daily

Dogs weighing over 40Kg 2 x Zylkene 450mg Capsules daily

Zylkene can be used short term or longer term:

♦ SHORT TERM: Zylkène supplementation should be started a few days before required. For example, several days before fireworks are anticipated or several days before the suitcase comes out for holiday packing.

♦ LONG TERM: Zylkène should be given for at least 1-2 months, if not longer. Examples include the arrival of a new baby.

♦ Stress is very common in both cats and dogs, and particularly in cats, but unfortunately often goes unnoticed. Whilst Zylkene is extremely helpful, it is important that it is used as part of a multifactorial approach to stress reduction. The environment has a huge impact on stress and anxiety in cats, and you will need to address this alongside using medications. In comparison, the owner has a larger effect than the environment in anxiety in dogs.

Norma on August 30, 2016:

I fostered a cat who was microchipped as a dog. He is too old to be rehomed and was terribly stressed by my other cats. I knew that I had to do something for him. The change was noticeable within a week. I thought I would have to keep him on Zylkene forever but that is not the case. Within two months, he was good to go. He still avoids the younger cats, but he now has no issues with them being in the same room anymore. I highly recommend Zylkene.

Nancy on May 21, 2016:

Why are there no answers to the above questions?? The answers would be very very helpful, as I have many of the same.

Zylkene has worked well for moving our very anxious 12 yr old cat but after a few days now she's back to pacing through the new house, howling, wanting outside and ripping at the screens. Can I increase the 75 mg dose at all, even slightly? Or do I need to go back to the vet for something different? I thought this was 'the answer' but it seems to not be working any more (after just 5 days).

Irene cooper on July 31, 2015:

Can this be given per entry as my dog is 14 years old nearly.

Myra on July 02, 2015:

I have adopted a rescue cocker spaniel that weighs 18 lbs. her rescue mom sent her daily zylkene of 225 mg. The little cocker runs in circle in and out of the home. She is sweet and loveable. We have had her a short time and have noticed she is calming down. She sleeps good at night and seems almost OCD during the day! Hope it is only temporary with the help of these capsules, but seems more than she needs!

Kathy on May 22, 2015:

This article does not state what's in it. What are the ingredients?

I wouldn't take anything for myself with knowing the ingredients much less my cat. I would be careful.

Angela on May 06, 2015:

I didn't really expect a natural product to work on my extremely anxious dog. 3 days after starting we had 6 hours of tornado alarms, thunderstorms, and general rushing around the house. All major triggers for him. He was amazingly calm. I mean it was so noticable. I'm happy not to have to go to xanex. Which was the next step. Hopeful he will quit being aggressive towards kids and digs now. ( yorkiepoo)

CJS1954 on October 27, 2014:

I realize that Courtney's comment is 9 months old, but you need to have a full thyroid panel done on your dog. Low thyroid can be a sign of very bad aggression.

Jo on October 26, 2014:

So sorry for spelling the med wrong. It is Zylkene that I am giving to my Chihuahua. Thanks, again, for the very informative information on this med.


Jo on October 25, 2014:

Thank you so much for the information about Zyklene. Just began my little Chihuahua on these capsules as recommended by his Vet. I trust his Vet's good treatments and advice, but glad to learn more about Zyklene. I feel very comfortable about starting him on these caps after reading your Hub and other comments. Again, thank you so much for this information. Glad to know you are here..for further info, if needed.


courtney on January 25, 2014:

I was told to administer this along with my dogs usual dosage of reconcile...As soon as we combined the two, he became incredibly aggressive towards people, full on attacks...really sleepy and crying a lot..needless to say we stopped this medicine and are trying to get him back on track with the reconcile..if it becomes that his behavior is now permanent, he has to be put down.

Lily on October 05, 2013:

So I am not getting a clear answer from anyone including calling Vetoquil that makes Zyklene about how long term is long and if it's ok. I had my cat on it for a couple of months, noticed some improvement, took him off now back to being completely stressed out and spraying as well. Can they be on this permanently?!

Leica on September 16, 2013:

My dog is exactly on the cusp between the 225 and the 450mg dose, weight wise. Can I give him 225 in the morning and 75mg in the evening? What is the thinking behind the one-a-day administration?

kathy on August 25, 2012:

i just got zylkene for my little dog.this is her first day of it.i needed info on this drug so thank you i was worried about giving it to her im not now thanks


Paulart from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001 on February 23, 2012:

Nice information is given on this hub.Thanks for sharing.