Natural remedies for dog anxiety

Isis was on Prozac when she died. We’d just increased her dosage.

While I don’t think that caused her sudden death from bleeding near the heart, I have a bad association with it. I don’t even know if it worked. The night before she died, Isis cowered under a table shaking.

Ergo, I hesitate to give Prozac to Mia for her anxiety, which is relatively minor compared to Isis’s.

dog park_5

Is it though? Mia destroyed all the doors in our house. Isis just chewed on couches.

For the most part, Mia is triggered by very specific noises: 1) Beeping from the oven timer, ring timer (in martial arts videos), smoke detector. 2) Clicking from our security cameras.

She shakes and tries to crawl on our laps.

On other occasions, seemingly unrelated to environmental clicking and beeping, she whines. We call it squeaking and whistling. Sometimes she does this in the middle of the night for an hour straight.

Zylkene

I asked my vet if there’s something we could give her occasionally for anxiety (although I don’t know how I’m supposed to predict when she’s going to have an episode). The vet tech mentioned Zylkène, a natural product, derived from casein, a protein in milk. I guess it’s supposed to be calming like a momma dog’s milk? As you can tell from the link, this is a UK product. It is extremely expensive. About $60 for a two-week supply for a dog Mia’s size.

What the hell, I ordered some. It’s a powder inside capsules you can open and sprinkle in food. Apparently it tastes good enough for her to eat without additional flavor-enhancement. I tried to stretch it out by giving her only half the dosage and noticed no change. Then I gave her the correct dose until I ran out. Two weeks isn’t really a long enough study length for statistically significant findings, but she did have a late-night squeak and whistle attack after we ran out. And I don’t think she had one while she was taking it.

I tried to find it for a cheaper price and stumbled upon Composure, which contains colostrum, a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals in late pregnancy. It was an eighth of the price. During this time, I won the rafflecopter from Rubicon Days for PL 360 Anxiety Relief, which contains chamomile and tryptophan.

PL 360Both of these are chewables that Mia ate easily… neither had any noticeable effect. So I reordered the Zylkène.

Last week, we had a violent windstorm overnight. I was kept awake by the rattling of the gate outside. Mia started whining. She’d had Zylkène with her breakfast. I gave her two of the PL 360 and she immediately quieted. The change was so drastic, I actually leaned over her bed and poked her to make sure the anxiety relief pills hadn’t instantly killed her.

The next night she squeaked again and I gave her two more PL 360 and she went right to sleep. So maybe I’ll be reordering those after all. Thanks, Rubicon Days!

 

 


This post is part of the Positive Pet Training blog hop, hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Rubicon Days & Tenacious Little Terrier.

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10 thoughts on “Natural remedies for dog anxiety

  1. I’m so glad you found something to help Isis! I don’t blame you for not wanting to use Prozac again, I would feel the same way.
    PL360 really helps our beagle a lot for riding in the car, without it she shakes and tries to pace around. I haven’t had much luck with it with our golden in the car, but she isn’t as bad. I was hoping it would also settle Luke down when riding (he barks at everything) but so far it hasn’t seemed to. I’m going to try it one or more two times with them before I give up though, and I haven’t had a chance to try it with thunderstorms and Sheba, or with Cricket and fireworks which she also hates (we never know when the neighbors will be setting them off and I always figured by the time the pill kicked in they’d be over anyway).
    I’ve tried supplements sometimes and given up on them, thinking they didn’t work, and then tried again for some reason and found they did. So I guess as long as it doesn’t give them any bad effects, they can be worth a second try!

    • It’s worth having around even if I just use it to calm Mia down after a squeak and whistle attack has already started. I think we’ve solved the door-chewing by creating a little condo for her outside. … Until the next time it’s too hot or too cold to leave her out there and she chews another door frame inside. Just the cost of having dogs, as far as I’m concerned.

  2. We’ve had a lot of good luck with those PL360 herbs, too! They really do seem to work! I’ve heard amazing things about zylkene too but it’s way too expensive.

  3. Our favorite natural remedies have been Spirit Essences but nothing of theirs has ever worked right away, so dramatically. This is great news! I am going to give those PL360’s a try. Wilhelm is going to take his first airplane trip with me and I am very nervous about his “crate song” otherwise known as obnoxious, uncontrollable whining. Having another remedy in the arsenal will be great! Thanks for the reviews and for joining the hop!

  4. We tried the PL 360 Anxiety Relief with Mr. N and I didn’t really notice a difference. Different things work for different dogs though and I’m glad it helped Mia!

  5. I’m so glad you found something that seems to work well for Mia and it’s a natural alternative, which is really nice. It’s so tough to see them stressed, isn’t it?

  6. Our swaddleshirt has worked well for many dogs. Its an Anti-Anxiety T-shirt that works on the basis of compression or pressure points to calm your dog during thunderstorms, relieve separation anxiety and even helps with confidence. For more information go to http://www.swaddleshirt.ca and I agree with one of the comments, its definitely different solutions for different dogs.

  7. I’m so glad that that’s helping Mia.

    After we adopted Nala and we discovered that she didn’t crate very well and was distressed when left alone, we gave her L-Theanine for a few months. It did seem to help with her distress from sudden loud sounds (like an unexpected storm or trash day) when we weren’t home.

  8. I’m really happy that you saw a difference for Mia! I still have some on hand that I use for car trips but I can’t really tell if it helps. I have had several people suggest medication for Ruby and I am just not ready to take that step. We need something short-term for fireworks, though, Boca’s noise phobia gets worse and worse and they occur quite a few times a year.

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