What You Must Know Before Giving Your Dog Unisom!

Last Updated on

Unisom is a popular sleep aid, but is it suitable for dogs as well?

Straight to the point:

It also works on animals, but several versions of Unisom are easily harmful. The problem is certain active ingredients are downright dangerous for pets.

Can I Give My Dog Unisom It is essential that you read the label carefully!

Some Types of Unisom Are Unsafe For Dogs

In particular, Acetaminophen (APAP) should not be given to your canine — at least not without your vet’s guidance.

Careful of Combo Meds

You have to understand something about Unisom:

Being a combination medication, it may contain APAP but also Doxylamine Succinate which is not really recommended for dogs either.

Providing this cocktail of drugs is a bad idea. Use the wrong Unisom and it could be seriously detrimental for your dog as toxicity is a very real concern!

Two Types Terribly Toxic

SleepTabs and PM Pain should be avoided unless your vet signs off.

They both contain Acetaminophen as well as Doxylamine Succinate.

They’re actually common Unisom ingredients that should be kept out of your dog’s system whenever possible. Otherwise, you’d unnecessarily expose them to a potentially dangerous scenario.

Humans have died from Doxylamine (see this Trinitas Hospital toxicity report) and animals have a greater sensitivity to the drug. Acetaminophen is even worse!

So which names are acceptable?

Unisom Recommendations

Get a Unisom that is similar to Benadryl (but not NyQuil).

The appropriate antihistamine is Diphenhydramine. It has a sedative effect and is fairly safe for adult dogs when given in low doses.

Based on that active ingredient, you’d want to consider the following:

SleepGels, QuickMelts and Unisom Liquid

How Much To Give A Dog?

Once you have secured the right type of Unisom you will want to pin down dosage for your dog. 

The following is only a general rule of thumb:

1mg per pound of the dog’s body weight

Play it safe and consult with a veterinarian for actual dosing. They’ll take into account several factors including, if need be, your dog’s medical history.

Alternatives and Diagnosis

We asked Sara Redding Ochoa (DVM) for her thoughts and here is what she said:

“Try a natural supplement such as melatonin or a CBD product if your dog has trouble sleeping or is experiencing restless nights. These will help calm your dog and tend to enable better sleep.” 

But, there may be other factors to consider including a possibility that your dog could have a chronic sleep problem.

Get a diagnosis!

In any case, don’t be so quick to provide Unisom.

Consider a Lifestyle Change

Sometimes altering a dog’s daily routine greatly improves their sleep.

Is your furry friend getting outside and moving around enough?

The thing is dogs should be running, jumping and playing. It’s a way for them to exhaust themselves!

Unlike Unisom (all sleep pills really), physical activity can truly enable better sleep.

Last but not least, a poor diet can be a factor.

The Bottom Line

Dogs can be given Unisom, but some versions are off limits.

It comes down to active ingredients!

Diphenhydramine is pretty safe. On the other hand, PM Pain or SleepTabs could harm your dog.

And keep in mind that Unisom would only be beneficial on a short-term basis — it won’t solve a pet’s underlying sleep problems.

Confirm this info, and a correct dose, with a trusted professional prior to use.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

Was This Article Helpful?

6 thoughts on “What You Must Know Before Giving Your Dog Unisom!”

  1. Can I give my White Swiss Shepherd Restavit? She has an itchy auto-immune system. I am trying to reduce the amount of Cortisone needles she is getting. The Cortisone certainly seems to help settle her skin down.

  2. I’m traveling with my dog. One 10 hour flight and another 6 hour flight with a 6 hour layover in which I will be able to walk her. I will also walk her before the first flight to tire her out a bit.

    She is a very active dog and will want to bark and play. I was planning on giving her a Unisom small dose. What would you recommend? How much and and what times? She is very small, just under 4 pounds. Thank you!

  3. My little 6 month old Schnauzer got a hold of one of my husband’s softgel sleeping pills and we are not sure if he ate it or not. You think he would be okay?

  4. My husband is a vet and his suggestion for my dog was one Unisom chew tablet. It’s an under dose compared to what they say is permitted but it’s fast acting.

  5. I need to give sleeping pills to my dog. He needs to sleep so I can cut his hairs. His age is 5 and his weight is 5 kilograms. Please let me know the medicine and dose.

    1. You shouldn’t be medicating your dog for this reason. Cut his hair while he sleeps naturally or have a professional do it. Best of luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *