Zylkene for Separation Anxiety
Our customer asked if Zylkene will treat separation anxiety.
Zylkene are not massively potent, nor can they sort out every problem. However they are indeed a help with this sort of thing. They probably start having an effect after the first dose, but the overall effect will build up over a few weeks. However all they will do is reduce the tendency, or likelihood, of trouble (destruction or toileting etc)..
The way I would look at it is this: On an imaginary "anxiety scale" of 1 to 10, your dog will cause trouble if its anxiety goes above the 5 mark. Zylkene is able to reduce the "anxiety score" by 1 or 2 points. Lots of other factors can increase or decrease the score, by a similar level. If the other factors combine to give your dog a score of 8, then it will seem to make no difference giving Zylkene. The score will go down to 6 or 7 but he will still cause trouble. If the other factors combine to give a score of 5, then giving Zylkene will be like a magic switch - with it he will be perfectly behaved.
There are lots of behavioural techniques which you can adopt to help as well. If you get it right, you will not need Zylkene at all, though it does help initially. From my experience, the following is the best advice:
1) Whenever you first meet your dog after a period of separation, always greet him and look happy, but not wildly so. The meeting should be calm and relaxed, though happy. Try to make your voice and body language along those lines. Imagine a person who does not know you, watching a film of you meeting your dog. You should appear mildly pleased to the observer. Regardless of what your dog has done and how your dog is reacting at the time.
2) When you leave your dog, there should be a "winding down" period when your dog realises that you are going to leave him and gets used to the idea. Do not look at him or talk to him. Walk past him calmly as if he was not there. Make it look like no big deal, and try to get him to realise it is no big deal.
3) Leave your dog for short, or longer periods, during the day, always following the above routines. Sometimes it should just be going from one room to another, shutting the door between you. Same for going into the garden.
Your dog should be able to recognise that he is going to be left for a while by the way you are with him for a few minutes first. Then you do leave him. Then later (a few minutes or a few hours) you come back and meet him, calmly but happily.
4) Do not allow him to sleep in your bedroom. He needs to get used to being apart from you.