Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?

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Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?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.

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, thunderstorms and other loud noises (fireworks, gun fires, etc.), 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 to your dog, maybe they are 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 experiencing extreme fear and agitation is to tranquilize them. However, this is not really a recommended solution unless you’ve tried lots of 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(s), 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 still better to be on the safe side. Talk to a vet regarding the best 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.

Safety Precautions

Compared to so many other drugs, melatonin is relatively safe for dogs but you should avoid giving this to pregnant doggies. Always be cautious in giving any medication, especially to pregnant dogs, as 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.

Browse the site for other types of drugs that can also be used as remedies for your dog’s sleeping problems and restlessness issues.

Conclusion on Melatonin

You can safely rely on 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 (includes dogs) with anxiety or sleeping issues. It’s a better alternative compared to tranquilizers in most cases.

Keeping this natural medicine around the house could be 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.

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheri January 22, 2015

I have a 75 pound Boxer who got into a baggie of Melatonin that my girlfriend gave me. I have no idea how many pills were there but probably 15 or so. He ate them about 6 hours ago and seems totally fine. Should I worry? Does anyone know?

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Sassy Smith January 19, 2015

I have a Golden Labrador who has severe allergies to quite a few things and I have to give her vaccine injections every month. The vaccine is made from her blood. She’s been getting this vaccine for the last 5 years but still has itchiness. She’s a senior now and has some major sleep issues at night. As a result of her insomnia, the husband and I are only getting 3 hours max of uninterrupted sleep. A recent annual check-up from the vet says she’s extremely healthy and a happy girl. But her waking at 1:00am and pacing, scratching, drinking, pacing, poking me (I’m her favorite person) is causing us issues and lack of sleep is slowly killing us. She’s a rescue dog who had many phobias when we first adopted her, but she has overcome them all and is well behaved and happy. She’s never left home alone, as I’m always with her. Would Melatonin be suitable for her to take and would I just give it to her at night before bed? Thanks in advance for any advice, from a family who is desperate for some sleep.

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Debbie January 21, 2015

Sounds just like my Black Labrador. I am at my wits end with licking, scratching, pacing at night. Even after a 5 mile walk.

UPDATE: I gave my dog 3mg of Melatonin with 25mg of Theanine last night and we both slept great.

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Alicia January 18, 2015

I have an 11 pound, 11 month Chihuahua/Terrier mix. What helps me give her a bath is this:
Go into the bathroom (making sure the lighting is not too bright) and let my puppy feel the water with her paw. I slowly put her in the tub. I also give her treats once she is calm.

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Denise January 16, 2015

Small dogs under 35 pounds can safely take 1mg 3 times a day. Medium dogs between 35 and 50 pounds can take 3mg 3 times per day and large dogs, 50 pounds and over, can take 6mg to 9mg 3 times a day. Even though it is safe to give your animal friend Melatonin, always start off with a small dose. For example, cut the 1 pill in half for small dogs. If it’s fine then next do a full pill. For medium dogs, 1 and a half if it’s fine then give full dose next time. Same with larger dogs, 2 full pills if it’s fine then continue. You know your pet better then anyone else. Good luck everyone!

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Martha January 13, 2015

My German Shepherd is extremely thunder phobic. How much Melatonin can I give? He is about 85 pounds.

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Denise January 16, 2015

He’s the same weight as my female dog. I give her 2 of the 3mg. You may give it to your dog in a treat form as well.

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