Table of Contents
- What is Melatonin?
- Are Melatonin Supplements Safe for Dogs?
- Benefits of Melatonin for Dogs
- Melatonin For Dogs: How Much Should I Give?
- Melatonin For Dogs Proper Dosage
- Melatonin for Dogs Drug Interactions
- Melatonin For Dogs: How to Choose a Supplement for Your Dog
- Melatonin For Dogs: FAQs
- Melatonin For Dogs: Before You Go…
If you've ever had trouble sleeping at night, you've probably heard or tried a melatonin supplement to help you sleep.
But what about Fido? Do you think melatonin for dogs is safe? Will it help them sleep?
This blog will discuss everything you need to learn about melatonin for dogs.
But remember, it's still best advised to consult with your vet first and foremost before giving your dog any medication or supplement.
However, there's no harm in learning about melatonin and the possible effects it can bring in pets.
Without further ado, let's first discuss what melatonin is.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone released in our brains by the pineal gland at night to signal our bodies that it's time for bedtime.
It helps regulate the natural sleep cycle of humans and animals.
Melatonin is stimulated by darkness, so its levels are extremely higher at night than during the day.
That means levels will be much higher during autumn and winter due to the shorter days.
Melatonin can also impact dogs and other animals in certain ways.
For instance, melatonin affects a dog's reproduction, behavior, and hair growth.
Are Melatonin Supplements Safe for Dogs?
Melatonin is also a highly used supplement for humans. Fortunately, melatonin can help with our dogs too.
And even though most human supplements are dangerous for our four-legged friends, melatonin is on that safe list.
Some vets can recommend melatonin therapy if your dog suffers from skin issues, behavioral problems, and sleep disorders.
Ensure you're purchasing melatonin free of added fillers or coatings that can be harmful.
Watch out for the Xylitol sweetener since it is very toxic to dogs.
But before any of that, you should first talk to your vet. Your vet knows what's good and what's bad for your pup.
Nowadays, there are still not enough studies about melatonin's side effects and safety.
It's not even FDA-approved for use in animals.
You should also know that there are rare instances that melatonin shows side effects, such as changes in fertility, increased heart rate, itching, stomach cramps, and confusion.
Benefits of Melatonin for Dogs
Melatonin actually has multiple benefits for dogs.
For example, evidence suggests that melatonin for dogs treats some forms of hair loss or canine alopecia.
Below are a few benefits of how melatonin can affect your dog.
Melatonin for Stress and Anxiety in Dogs
For example, anxiety is common, especially in dogs that are scared of fireworks and thunderstorms.
It can also be triggered by separation from their loved ones, changes in routine, or a new environment.
Here are the symptoms of anxiety in dogs that you should look out for:
Dog Anxiety Symptoms
- Shaking or Shivering
- Excessive barking or howling
- Excessive drooling
- Lack of appetite
- Destructive behaviors such as chewing
Melatonin for Sleep Issues in Dogs
Just like with humans, melatonin can also help dogs sleep better.
Dogs can experience sleep disorders like narcolepsy or as a symptom of a possible health issue.
Dementia can also disrupt a dog's sleep-wake cycle.
Furthermore, a study from 2019 found that dogs treated with melatonin before surgery were calmer.
Researchers conclude that melatonin could ease a dog's excitement before anesthesia.
Melatonin For Dogs: How Much Should I Give?
At the right dosage, melatonin can help your dog in numerous ways.
That's why it's crucial to talk to your vet before prescribing your pet any medication or supplement.
Avoid giving melatonin to pregnant dogs and puppies (under 12 weeks old).
If you're discussing melatonin with your vet, remember to ask for the correct dosage for your pup.
Melatonin For Dogs Proper Dosage
|10 lbs||1 mg every 12 to 24 hours|
|10-25 lbs||1.5 mg every 12 to 24 hours|
|26-100 lbs||3 mg every 12 to 24 hours|
|100+ lbs||3-6 mg every 12 to 24 hours|
How is melatonin given?
If you're planning to give your dog melatonin, remember to check the label first to ensure that there are no certain ingredients that can harm your pet.
Melatonin is usually given orally as chewables, liquid, or tablets. It can be provided with or without food.
In this day and age, there are now melatonin products specifically made for dogs. There are melatonin chews that come as calming treats.
For instance, you can try K9 Choice Melatonin for Dogs. It is a beef-flavored chewable tablet for small to large dogs.
As with any new medication or supplements, you'll give your pup, it's also important to monitor them in case of an allergic reaction.
Can Dogs Overdose on Melatonin?
Melatonin has a wide dosage range. Meaning that a mild overdose is unlikely to cause large problems.
Mild overdosages of melatonin can still cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
On the other hand, a major overdose can be a bit more dangerous as it can cause incoordination, itchiness, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and seizures.
Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has overdosed on melatonin.
Melatonin for Dogs Drug Interactions
Melatonin is usually safe to use with most dogs.
However, it can increase the effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam and alprazolam.
These are medications used to treat anxiety and seizures.
It can also interact with succinylcholine, a drug sometimes used as an animal muscle relaxer.
Before giving your pup melatonin, consult with your vet first and talk to them about all your dog's medication and supplements (if there are any).
Melatonin For Dogs: How to Choose a Supplement for Your Dog
There are now plenty of melatonin supplements available on the market. Some of these supplements are even specifically designed for animals.
Melatonin can come in different formulations for dogs, such as pills, drops, chewables, and liquids.
And it can be challenging for us pet owners to determine what's best for our pups.
But don't worry! Below is a short list of tips on choosing the proper melatonin supplement for Fido.
Consult with your vet
When trying a different diet, a new medication, or an unknown supplement, it's best to talk with your vet first.
Your vet will know what's best and bad for your pup. It's important to consult with your vet, especially if your dog is pregnant, taking other medications, or diagnosed with a certain health issue.
Find the best quality
Our beautiful and loving dogs only deserve the best quality in everything!
They deserve high-quality food, treats, and melatonin supplements.
And since the FDA does not yet regulate that melatonin, it's important to look out for brands.
Check for harmful ingredients
Most human supplements are not safe or suitable for dogs.
When picking a melatonin supplement, check for possible harmful ingredients like xylitol.
Also, ensure that the product is not expired.
Monitor for side effects
Even though melatonin is usually safe for dogs, we must monitor our pets for possible allergic reactions or abnormal symptoms.
Contact your vet immediately if you notice any concerning symptoms.
Melatonin For Dogs: FAQs
Will melatonin make a dog sleep?
Yes, melatonin can help your dog feel more relaxed and sleep soundly.
You can give your pup melatonin before stressful events, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or leaving the house.
Is melatonin safe for dogs or cats?
Generally, melatonin is safe when used at the recommended or proper dosage. However, it should only be used under the supervision of a vet.
Melatonin is a hormone that can interact and affect numerous functions in your dog or cat's body.
When should I give my dog melatonin?
After administration, melatonin will usually work within 15 minutes, lasting about 8 hours.
If you're going to give your dog melatonin to help ease stress or anxiety before coming to the vet, give it approximately two hours before your appointment.
Melatonin For Dogs: Before You Go…
Melatonin is a natural hormone released in our brains to signal our bodies that it's time to sleep.
But in this day and age, melatonin is also a supplement helping a lot of humans get a good night's rest.
So the question now is if melatonin is safe for dogs.
With proper dosage, melatonin for dogs is generally safe.
They can bring lots of great benefits to our dogs.
One of the most common uses of melatonin is to help dogs suffering from sleep disorders.
Other than that, Melatonin can also help calm or ease some stress in your dogs.
Let's say that your dog is afraid of thunderstorms or fireworks.
You can give them Melatonin to help relax and relieve some stress.