Melatonin is an over-the-counter hormone primarily used for relieving symptoms of insomnia. For humans, it’s a safe drug which is typically made of natural ingredients. Let’s find out more and then determine if it’s also safe for dogs.
This wonder drug is actually produced within the body through the brain’s pineal gland. It triggers sleepiness and helps a person, or dog, sleep soundly through the night. On the other hand, insufficient production of Melatonin can lead to insomnia and even depression.
Of course, dogs can have problems sleeping too. Sometimes their poor sleep is caused by fear, anxiousness or other external factors. So should you give a Melatonin pill to your dog in such a situation?
Can I Give My Dog Melatonin? Answer: Yes
Melatonin is just as safe for dogs as it is for humans when the correct dose is given.
However, please be 100% sure to purchase a quality brand that doesn’t contain a harmful substance called Xylitol, a toxic artificial sweetener. Other than that, this over-the-counter drug can be given to dogs experiencing sleeping problems or separation anxiety issues. The soothing effects of melatonin can help dogs relax and generally feel less agitated. They will likely sleep soundly through the night as well.
If your dog has fear of lightning or thunderstorms and other loud noises such as fireworks or the sound of gunfire, a melatonin tablet can provide some relief. But the effects of melatonin can vary from dog to dog just as it can vary among people.
Usually the calming effect can last up to 8 hours. If you are planning to give Melatonin, maybe they’re staying up all night, it’s a good idea to give this medicine at around 10pm. This will ensure a continued and restful sleep up to around 6am the next day.
Melatonin versus Tranquilizers
Another way to calm down dogs with extreme fear and agitation is to tranquilize them. However, this is not really a recommended solution unless you’ve tried other alternatives first. Tranquilizers can have many negative side effects. Just like their human counterparts, frequent and high dosage of tranquilizers can lead to depression and even hallucinations. Nobody wants their dog to experience those nasty things.
Try melatonin instead. It’s probably the most noteworthy type of people medicine that isn’t harmful to the canine family. Your pet dog may feel relaxed and even-tempered as soon as the Melatonin begins taking effect.
Safe Melatonin Dosage
When giving medication to your dog, you should consult with your vet as to the safety of the drug as well as the proper dosage. In the case of melatonin, you can typically give your dog 3mg for every 35 to 100-pounds but not more than three times a day. Small breeds usually require around 1.5mg while large dog breeds can handle as much as 6mg.
Although this is a safe hormonal drug, it’s best to talk to a vet regarding the right brand, dose and other considerations specifically for your dog.
Where to Get It
Although it’s sometimes prescribed, Melatonin can be purchased in drug stores nationwide or online. It’s primarily an over-the-counter herbal medication. Any place that sells vitamins and supplements will have it.
Some Safety Precautions
Compared to so many other drugs, Melatonin is relatively safe for canines but you should avoid giving this to pregnant doggies. It may affect the newborn puppies and the mother’s health as well. In this type of situation, you really should consult a professional even with melatonin. Your veterinarian can recommend the best dosage level for your particular canine.
Conclusion on Melatonin
You can safely rely on the use of Melatonin medication for keeping your panicky or phobic dog more relaxed. That’s why many people have this medicine on hand, especially those that have family members (that includes dogs) with anxiety or sleeping issues. It’s a better alternative compared to tranquilizers in most cases.
So keeping this natural medicine around the house could be very useful and your dog may appreciate it. Just take your time getting the proper dose figured out. You may want to start out small before increasing the amount of Melatonin your dog receives for best results.