Melatonin is an over-the-counter hormone that’s primarily used for relieving symptoms of insomnia. This naturally occurring substance is well regarded because it’s generally safe, but let’s address if this is also true for dogs.
This wonder drug plays a key role in regulating restfulness and, interestingly, it’s secreted in the brain’s pineal gland. Melatonin is proven to trigger sleepiness which can help a person, or a pet dog, sleep soundly through the night.
Canines can also have problems sleeping, but this is a relatively rare occurrence. Sometimes fear, anxiousness or other external factors play a part. In any case, giving a Melatonin pill to your dog may be a safe and sound solution.
Can I Give My Dog Melatonin? Answer: Yes
It’s okay for pets when an appropriate dose is given.
But it’s important to purchase a quality low dose canine-friendly brand that does not contain potentially harmful substances. Xylitol is, for example, a toxic artificial sweetener and often found in melatonin products. Other than that, this natural OTC drug can be given to dogs experiencing mild sleeping problems or separation anxiety issues.
What Melatonin Actually Does
The soothing effects of Melatonin can help most dogs relax and generally feel less agitated. They will likely sleep soundly through the night as well. If your dog also has a fear of lightning, thunderstorms or other loud noises such as fireworks or the sound of gunfire, a melatonin tablet can provide some relief.
Keep in mind that the effects can vary from dog to dog just as they do among people. But in most cases, canine calming can last up to 8 hours. If your dog is staying up all night, it’s a good idea to give a moderate amount of melatonin at around 10pm. This could help to facilitate a continued and restful sleep up to around 6am.
Melatonin Versus Alternatives
There are other ways to calm a fearful and agitated dog. You can tranquilize them but it’s kind of drastic and not a good solution unless several other alternatives have been unsuccessfully tried. Tranquilizers can have negative side effects. Just like their human counterparts, frequent and high dosage of tranquilizers bring on depression and even hallucinations.
Try melatonin first. It’s probably the most noteworthy type of people medicine that isn’t known to be harmful for dogs. Your best buddy may feel relaxed and even-tempered as soon as the Melatonin begins taking effect. An even safer alternative, in certain situations, would be to get a Thundershirt for your dog.
The Proper Dosage for Dogs
Consult with a vet as to the safety, appropriateness and dosing of a particular drug before administering it to your dog. This is especially true for sleep medications. Dogs can typically be given 3mg of melatonin for every 35 to 100-pounds, not more than three times per day. Small breeds usually only need around 1.5mg, while larger dogs may require as much as 6mg.
Speak to your vet regarding the right brand, dose and other important considerations even though melatonin is considered to be fairly safe.
Pups & Pregnancy Precautions
Melatonin is well suited for dogs when compared to other natural solutions and certainly other conventional drugs that are related to sleep. You should, however, avoid providing this natural hormone to pregnant pets or newborn puppies. Play it safe and consult with a veterinary professional if you think some Melatonin is necessary under those particular scenarios.
Conclusion on Melatonin
Melatonin can help a panicky or sleep deprived dog to be more relaxed and rested. So this naturally occurring hormone may be useful to have on hand when a dog is experiencing anxiety or sleep issues. It’s a better alternative, in most cases, to tranquilizers. Just pay attention to the product’s other ingredients because certain additives can be harmful for pets. Play it safe by providing your dog with a low dose of melatonin prior to any increase. You can never be too careful!