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.

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.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Lila February 4, 2015

I have a small Cocker Spaniel that is going to be 10 this year. She has, in the last couple of weeks, began pooping a lot in the house. She doesn’t eat that much but has a lot of poop, though solid. About that time my 5 year old German Shepherd began picking on her and I think perhaps the Cocker is anxious and nervous because this now happens quite often. Since this has started, it was recommended that I give them both this medicine. What are your thoughts? Right now I do not have the finances to take the Cocker to the vet.

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Michelle January 29, 2015

We rescued a 7 month old Australian Cattle Dog from the Humane Society. He came in as a stray and spent 2 months in there. He had absolutely no training so he was out of control. I have raised and trained Cattle Dogs my whole life and have actually worked my dogs. I understand the breed and the energy level. I work during the day so the puppy is left with my 11 year old female Heeler. They have a huge backyard and I work him in the evenings. The problem is still getting him to settle at night and sleep. He gets up to potty in the night and thinks it’s playtime. My husband gets up at 2:30am and myself at 5:00am. Is it safe to give this guy Melatonin at night to help us all get a little rest until we can get through this stage of training? He is 7 months and 30 pounds.

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Nancy February 11, 2015

We adopted a little rescue Chow Chow that was reactive. For the 1st year and a half I gave her Melatonin 6mg in the evenings which seemed to help. This is our second year and I no longer give it to her. An interesting fact that I found out is that Melatonin can stave off dementia in dogs. I would also say that you should check with your vet.

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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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Damian January 27, 2015

I was originally recommended Melatonin by a vet friend of mine to cure my Boxer’s skin disorder. He also said, in low doses, it is great for anxiety and for long car trips. I am sure your dog will be fine. It’s a very mild drug with little or no side effects.

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Andrew February 27, 2015

Melatonin is a precursor to serotonin in the brain. Too much serotonin also known as Serotonin Syndrome can lead to coma and even death. The proper dose of melatonin is mild. An overdose is not. I hope Sheri called her vet.

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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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