If you’ve noticed that your dog has been having trouble sleeping, you might have thought they could benefit from an Ambien, or maybe a half of one or a quarter of one. While your intentions might be good, you shouldn’t give them such a powerful prescription drug meant for humans.
Dogs are different than cats, and different from humans in regards to how much sleep they need and how they get it. If you’ve noticed a change in their normal sleeping pattern, this is not immediate cause for alarm, but you should start monitoring it, and noting down when they sleep and when they wake, so you can more accurately determine what is happening with them.
Most likely your dog does not need a sleeping aid, but if their behavior continues, and you notice that they aren’t sleeping nearly as much as they used to, or that they are showing signs of sleep deprivation, it’s time to see your vet to get their professional opinion on why this is happening. Giving them an Ambien will only mask the problem, and has the potential for making things worse than they already are.
Can I Give My Dog Ambien? Answer: No
Ambien comes with a list of side effects a mile long, many of them dangerous – and that’s for humans. The drug is not designed for or tested on dogs, and that means that in addition to the effects it has on humans there could be a host of other side effects that a dog might experience, including more serious reactions.
It is not a good idea to give your dog human medication, especially not something as powerful as Ambien. Your vet can help you properly diagnose what is wrong with your dog, and give them treatments that are specifically designed for the canine species.
Dogs and Sleep
Dogs are very natural animals, and because of this they don’t really follow a set schedule for sleep. If they are feeling tired and sleepy they’ll go find a place to lie down and take a nap. If it’s night time and the house is quiet and everyone else is sleeping, they usually take the cue to sleep as well. However, they don’t usually get the 8 hours of straight sleep that us humans get, so you shouldn’t misinterpret their frequent wake ups in the night as a sign that they’re having trouble sleeping.
If you’ve noticed your dog has been sluggish lately, and you think it is due to them not getting enough sleep, you might be right, or it could be another condition that is producing these results. That’s why you don’t want to give them drugs that might treat a condition they don’t even have. If you suspect that your dog isn’t sleeping well, and it is effecting their waking hours, you should run it past your vet to see what the problem could be. Maybe they are sleeping fine, but they are showing signs of depression because of a recent change in their environment. Maybe the brand of dog food they are eating is not giving them enough vitamins and nourishment to make it through the day.
There are just too many possibilities that could be wrong with your dog and it’s not recommended to start giving them medications to help them sleep. You could be making the situation worse by not allowing their symptoms to show and for treating them for problems they don’t even have.
Dogs and Stress
Maybe you were thinking of giving your dog an Ambien during a thunderstorm, or before a long car trip to help soothe them. This might seem like a good thing, but it’s really just a form of doping your dog. You don’t want to get into the habit of mediating them any time a certain situation comes up. There are ways to keep them calm during a thunderstorm, or to make a trip less stressful on them. Don’t use the easy way out in lieu of taking the time to connect with your dog and help them through whatever comes up.
It’s good to be an owner that worries about how their dog is doing, but don’t make the mistake of trying to fix all of their problems with human medication like Ambien.