If you believe that your dog is having trouble sleeping, Valerian root may enter the picture as a possible way to help them. The first step is going to be the most difficult which is determining if your dog is really having serious trouble sleeping. Most dogs do not need to sleep exactly like we do and do not require a solid 8 hour block in order to function at their best.
Sometimes we make assumptions regarding health issues based on our own human experience which isn’t always the right basis to make an accurate judgement regarding your K9. Sleep is one of those issues that is somewhat different for man’s best friend.
While it is possible for your dog to develop a sleep disorder, it’s something that should be treated with the assistance of a vet. Honestly, it is not something you want to treat on your own with a herbal remedy like Valerian root. Keep reading for some more insight into the use of this natural root as it relates to dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Valerian Root? Answer: Likely Not Necessary
We humans try pretty much everything under the sun to treat disorders and conditions, and one trend has been to stick with all natural answers rather than using prescription drugs and treatments. Because of this we also like to apply the successes we find to the animal world, thinking that since dogs are natural creatures they’d benefit similarly from a natural substance.
All Natural, But…
Even though Valerian root is an all natural herbal remedy, it’s not going to have the same reaction in dog that it does in humans. But that’s just one reason why you probably shouldn’t give it to your dog. Getting the dosing right is going to be extra hard because there isn’t any hard and fast information on how to give this to your pet. The other is that properly diagnosing your dog with a sleeping problem can be tricky business.
You’ll want to observe them over a period of several weeks to make sure that there is a pattern to their problem. Use a notebook so that you can write down any useful observations and be sure to list the day and time that it happened. Notice if the problem persists over a period of time so you can then consult your veterinarian to see how to handle the next step.
Lost in Translation
A dog’s digestive system breaks down the food and supplements you give them differently than the way a human digestive system does. Therefore there’s no guarantee that your dog will get the same sort of benefit from Valerian root that you do. In fact, it is likely that they won’t get the same benefit, and since there’s been no clinical studies as to how dogs respond to taking various dosages of Valerian root, it’s simply too risky to use your dog as a guinea pig.
Better Options Exist
See if you can fix your dogs sleeping problems naturally before giving them any sort of supplement. First try wearing them out more during the day; it could be that they just don’t find the motivation to get up and get active, and then don’t need to sleep because they haven’t burned up enough energy. Also, if they don’t have their own place to sleep you should create one, so they always know where they should be when it’s time to sleep.
If you must provide something for your dog, we recommend the use of Melatonin over Valerian root.
Improve Their Food
One of the biggest steps you can take in helping your dog to sleep and be healthier overall is to give them better dog food. This will help them be more active, which leads to them tiring themselves out more, and needing to sleep to get back their energy. If you are feeding your dog “the cheap stuff” it likely contains a bunch of fillers and additives that your dog doesn’t need and is making them sluggish. This means they don’t have the energy to be active, and then don’t need to sleep as a way to recover.
As always, if you find that the action you’re taking to fix your dogs problem are not producing results you want, consult with your veterinarian to see if there’s something better you could be doing. Dog ownership is pretty easy, they are pretty much on autopilot, but when they need help you should seek out professional advice to give them the best treatment. In the case of Valerian root, if you are still unsure if it’s right for them or not, run it by your vet for the most qualified opinion.