Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland and is also available as a synthetically made hormonal supplement. Humans use it for treating insomnia and other sleep issues, such as jet lag.
Melatonin for dogs is usually used to treat hyperactivity, anxiety, and stress from thunder, fireworks, different noises, separation anxiety, and restlessness in canines. It has a mild sedative effect and can help calm down the pups suffering from these or other problems. Since it is a supplement, Melatonin is considered safer for dogs than chemical-based medicaments with a sedative effect.
Chewable Melatonin formulated especially for dogs is available for purchase over the counter and online.
Keep in mind that the FDA has not approved the use of Melatonin for dogs. This is why you should always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog Melatonin or any other supplement or drug. This is especially important if your pup is pregnant, lactating, is very young, has other health issues, and is on other medications.
While Melatonin is considered relatively safe for use with dogs, there are some precautions and possible side effects that you should keep in mind.
Read on to find out more about Melatonin for dogs, including the dosage, usage, and potential side effects.
Melatonin for dogs – Usage
Melatonin for dogs is commonly prescribed by vets for the successful treatment of canine conditions, including separation anxiety, stress from fireworks, storms, and other phobias from noises. It also has a soothing effect on dogs that suffer from different types of anxiety, stress, and restlessness. Some studies show that Melatonin can help treat certain forms of canine alopecia (hair loss in dogs) and even epilepsy as well.
Some dog parents give their dogs Melatonin to help them sleep better at night, especially pups with sleep pattern disruptions and cognitive dysfunction, which can prevent them from sleeping.
The supplement usually works on canines for about 8 hours.
But like all supplements and medications, Melatonin may work for some dogs and not cure others.
As with any other supplement, even the herbal, and natural ones, you should always speak to your veterinarian first before giving your dog Melatonin or anything else.
Melatonin for dogs – Dosage
You should ask your vet about the proper dosage of Melatonin for your dog, depending on its age, weight, specific problem, and other health issues.
But here are some general guidelines about the Melatonin dosage for dogs to give you an idea of how the supplement is used most often.
Some veterinarians may recommend that you introduce Melatonin to dogs by gradually increasing the dosage, while others will determine the dosage depending on your dog’s weight, condition, and age.
The usual Melatonin dosage for canines is 1mg for pups weighing up to 10 lbs., 1.5mg for dogs weighing up to 25 lbs., 3mg for dogs from 26 to 100 lbs. and 3-6mg for dogs weighing over 100 lbs.
It is recommended that Melatonin is administered no more than three times a day.
The Melatonin for dogs supplement is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, chewable tablets, capsules, liquid, and powder.
It can be given to the pup with or without food and starts working in about 15 minutes.
The sedative and calming effect of Melatonin for dogs usually lasts for up to 8 hours when administered in the correct dosage for the specific dog.
This is why most vets recommend that dog owners give their pup the Melatonin right before bedtime at night.
You can buy different types of Melatonin for dog supplements online without a prescription, but make sure you talk to your vet before giving your dog this or any other kind of supplement.
Melatonin for dogs – Potential side effects
The main reason many dog parents and veterinarians prefer to use Melatonin rather than stronger chemical-based medicaments on canines is that Melatonin is much safer and has fewer side effects than more powerful sedatives and tranquilizers.
But then again, even with the Melatonin supplement for dogs, there are some possible side effects that dog owners should be aware of, including:
- Stomach cramps and upsets
- An elevated heart rate
- Disruptions in the fertility
Even if you have been advised by a veterinarian to give your pup Melatonin, make sure that you read the label of the supplement you have purchased. You should check whether it is free of artificial sweeteners like xylitol which can be toxic to dogs.
Plus, keep in mind that Melatonin may counteract or interact poorly with other medications and supplements you are giving to your dog. So, speak to your vet before administering Melatonin to your pup.
It would be best if you refrained from giving pregnant or nursing dogs or young puppies Melatonin too.
But if you are lucky, and your dog reacts well to the Melatonin, it can become a miracle cure for the debilitating anxiety, phobia, stress, or other similar issues your dog is suffering from!