Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?

Can I give my dog melatonin?Melatonin is an over-the-counter pill that people usually take to relieve symptoms of insomnia. For humans, this is considered to be a safe drug as it is typically made of natural ingredients. Let’s find out more so we can determine if it is also safe for dogs.

The melatonin hormone is naturally produced inside the body through the pineal gland in the brain. This triggers sleepiness and makes a person sleep soundly throughout the night. On the other hand, insufficient production of melatonin can lead to insomnia and even depression.

This is why melatonin pills and tablets are sometimes prescribed to people experiencing sleep problems. Of course, dogs can have sleeping problems too. Sometimes their sleep issues are caused by fear and other external factors. In cases like these, should you give a melatonin pill to your dog?


Can I Give My Dog Melatonin? Answer: Yes

Melatonin is just as safe for dogs as it is for humans. This type of over-the-counter drug is prescribed by vets for dogs with sleeping problems and separation anxiety issues. The soothing effects of the melatonin can help a dog relax and generally feel less agitated. They will 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. You should always keep this type of medicine around the house as too much fear can cause seizures in dogs.

Melatonin Versus Tranquilizers

Another way to calm down dogs that are 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 in pets, particularly in dogs, can have many negative side effects. Just like their human counterparts, frequent and high dosage of tranquilizers can lead to depression and even hallucination. Nobody wants their dog to experience those nasty things.

Use melatonin instead. It is probably the most noteworthy type of people medicine that isn’t harmful to the canine family. Your pet dog will feel relaxed and even-tempered as soon as the Melatonin begins taking effect.

Safe Dosage for Melatonin

When giving medication to your dog(s), you should first 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 of melatonin while large dog breeds can have as much as 6mg.

Again, you should consult a vet before administering melatonin to your pet for peace of mind. Although this is a safe hormonal drug, it is still better to be on the safe side and ensure that you don’t overdose your dog with it.

Where You Can Get Melatonin

Melatonin can be easily bought in drug stores nationwide. These are sold in places that also sell vitamins and supplements for humans. Since it is an over-the-counter type of herbal medication, you can get melatonin without a prescription.

The effects of melatonin can vary from dog to dog just as its effects can vary among different types of people. Usually the calming effect of the drug can last up to 8 hours. If you are going to give Melatonin to your dog, maybe they are staying up all night, it would be 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.

Some Safety Precautions

Compared to so many other drugs, melatonin is really safe for dogs but you should avoid giving this to pregnant doggies. You should always be cautious in giving medication to pregnant dogs as this can affect the puppies and the mother dog’s health as well. In this type of situation, you should really consult a professional. Your veterinarian can recommend the best dosage level that won’t be harmful for a pregnant dog. Please browse the site for some other types of drugs can also be prescribed as remedies for your dog’s sleeping problems and restlessness issues.

Staying Cool and Relaxed in Extreme Situations

You can safely rely on Melatonin medication for keeping your panicky or phobic dog more relaxed. That’s why you should always have this medicine on hand, especially if you have a dog with anxiety issues. By giving this medicine as a first aid treatment, you can prevent more serious problems from arising.

Add Your Own Answer to Can I Give My Dog Melatonin? Below


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley May 1, 2013

We have a 6 year old shelter male dog. He was severely treated for the first 4 years of his life. He will not let us cut his nails and they are quite long and I am sure uncomfortable. I want something natural to relax him so we can cut them. We tried Benadryl and I am surprised we did not kill him. We were told the wrong amount to give him.

He weighs 75 pounds and we gave him 36 pills. Did not faze him. We have had him for 2 years and just now finally got him into a bath. A vet is strictly out of the question. Any help would be appreciated.

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Catherine June 8, 2013

A friend of mine has a very anxious golden retriever with the same nail cutting issue. They started taking her to a local fenced in tennis court to play fetch, which she loves, because running and walking on the cement wears down her nails naturally. It also makes the quick recede so that when they DO manage to clip a tiny bit off her nails, it doesn’t bleed. They have started holding a super desirable treat in front of her nose and just letting her lick and nibble at it (she loves chicken McNuggets…), while they clip a tiny bit off the nails of just one foot.

Then they let her relax and do a second foot the next day, the third the next day, and the fourth on the fourth day. Then they wait til the next week and do it again. They’ve been doing it this way for about two years, and between the two techniques, her nails have been manageable. Hope that helps. If you give them Melatonin about a half hour to an hour before the nail clipping, that also helps a lot. They switched to this about 6 months ago instead of giving 5mg of Acepromazine before the clipping effort, and they told me it works pretty well, is a lot cheaper, and they don’t worry about side effects.

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James June 19, 2013

Thanks for sharing that information and personal story, your friends, with the community here. It seems Melatonin really helped in that situation. I hope that golden retriever is doing well!

Sharon April 30, 2013

I have been giving my Jack Russell 3mg about an hour before bed time to help with sleeping. Like a previous poster, I may try adding 1-2 more doses during the day. She has already destroyed a chair and sofa. She is just over a year old so I figure we have another year of puppy chewing. She is otherwise a sweet girl and very intelligent.

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Cautiouseyes April 21, 2013

Giving our German Short Hair Melatonin has a calming effect on him and has just about stopped all the whining. This was recommended by our vet, because our dog has such anxiety issues each time we get in the car.

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Summer February 8, 2013

Thank you for this information. I have a 13 year old maltese who suddenly developed anxiety issues. I have used the Thunder Shirt for one day, and it’s amazing, but he seems to need additional help. I feel confident in administering the melatonin to him now.

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amanda sue January 30, 2013

We wish we would have know this years ago! It would have given us a really good chance of saving not 1, not 2 but literally 14 couches. Yes, I will scream it from the mountains, that dog was worth it. We lost him way too early, and our lives are not the same.

Deuce had some serious separation anxiety going on and it truly was hard to handle. I’m sure many of you understand that frustration! However this evening, we are giving it to our old mama dog. She has pain and sleeping issues in her old age and I try to keep her comfy as I can til we have her returned to the earth, which will be soon as I refuse to allow her to suffer beyond the help of simple OTC meds!

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ksrelaxr January 21, 2013

Thanks for the information. We are taking care of a friends dog and he stays up all night. My children have melatonin prescribed plus myself. I would assume that melatonin being a natural substance which we ourselves produce, that it would be the same for all mammals.

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Anonymous July 13, 2013

From what I understand from my vet you have to be careful with human medications because dogs metabolize differently then we do. Just an FYI. But she said Melatonin is okay to give.

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James July 23, 2013

I totally agree with this comment. Many people give human medications to their dogs without a full understanding of the effects and how they differ compared to humans.

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