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Are you wondering if Ambien can help your dog get some sleep?
It’s really good that you are checking first!
Truth be told:
This prescription drug (generic name Zolpidem) is just not safe for your animal.
Dogs should never be given Ambien.
At best, it will mask a sleep problem. Zolpidem is actually more likely to cause harm.
Ambien Is Too Dangerous For Your Dog
Keep reading for the known side effects as well as better alternatives.
For now you should know…
Ambien is off limits. Seriously! Do not chance it.
The Paradoxical Reaction
This nonbenzodiazepine pharmaceutical may have an opposite intended effect…
Ambien could easily cause your dog to experience increased agitation and hyperactivity.
K9-formulated melatonin, by contrast, would be a much safer alternative.
But, of course, a veterinarian should be involved if you’re very troubled by your dog’s inability to get rest.
Documented Side Effects
A study that analysed 33 cases of zolpidem ingestion in dogs sheds light on the drug’s harmful effects.
The most common clinical signs were as follows:
- Ataxia (basically brain impairment) occurred in nearly 55% of the dogs
- Hyperactivity over 30% (similar to a paradoxical excitation reaction)
- Vomiting was observed in over 20% of the dogs
- Lethargy, came in at over 15%
Disorientation, panting, non-specific behavior disorder, and hyper-salivation were also noted.
Most of the symptoms became apparent within 1 hour. And the amount of Ambien these dogs had in their systems ranged from appropriately half a miligram (0.5mg) per pound of body weight to as high as 46mg per lbs.
Get Your Dog Diagnosed
It is possible, though unlikely, that your dog isn’t getting sufficient sleep.
But there may also be an underlying medical condition. It’s the wrong approach to give Ambien, or even an OTC sleep med such as Unisom, for what could be an undiagnosed problem.
If you have the means to do so, why not consult with a trusted vet?
Have your buddy checked-out for what may or may not be a sleep disorder. It could ultimately put them on a path for better shut-eye.
Dogs Sleep Patterns Differ
Let’s not forget that animals largely operate on instincts.
They do not intentionally follow a sleep schedule. Of course, sometimes a routine develops but dogs do not plan it that way!
Your furry friend will eventually lie down and take a nap when he/she is feeling tired and sleepy enough.
Are they not getting 8 hours of straight sleep?
That is typically not an issue. Don’t be so quick to misinterpret irregular sleep as being problematic.
What is certain is that Ambien is out of the question!
Depression is a Possiblity
It could be that your dog is depressed due to an environmental change or some other reason.
One can only speculate as to the underlying cause. That’s where a trained and experienced expert comes in!
What cannot be stressed enough is this:
Prescription drugs, including Zolpidem and other sleeping pills in general, could make the situation worse. Again, you could even be treating a problem that doesn’t actually exist!
How to Calm Your Canine
Some folks consider Ambien for their dogs during thunderstorms or prior to a long trip as a way to help soothe them.
2 safer and more reliably effective ways to calm are:
The Bottom Line
Never give your dog any amount of Ambien.
Doing so is too risky. Besides, this medication is not a fix for sleep problems.
First confirm that your dog has an issue because insomnia is quite rare among canines.
Rely on your vet’s expert diagnosis if possible. Otherwise, stick to nontoxic alternatives.
Whatever you do…
Keep any Ambien supply well out of your dog’s reach.