Can You Give a Dog Melatonin? Is It Safe?
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Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?
We all agree that Dogs are the sweetest creatures once they become our pets. So, if you own a dog, you would know that your pup often gets distressed or has anxiety issues. In that case, you may like to know, can I give my dog melatonin? Or is it safe?
Yes, dogs can have melatonin. However, it’s not the safest but it does have many benefits. The risk for harmful side effects is very little.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Melatonin?
It is a natural hormone that releases from the pineal glands of the brain in most vertebrates, mainly in humans and animals. Plus, it controls the body’s sleep cycles and tendencies of light and dark. So, compared to daytime, its secretion is higher at night.
Also, melatonin supplement is an artificial medication. It is fetched naturally or artificially to cure insomnia, stress, and worries. In this way, it balances the hormone levels in the brain. So, it is the one good option for dogs by most veterinarians around the globe.
Is It Safe To Give Dogs Melatonin?
Based on people’s experiences and practices, melatonin is safe in most cases. But, it depends on the dog’s weight, size, medicines dose, and components. It helps calm hyperactivity and distress, mostly seen in new pet dogs. Also, it is safe for curing insomnia and anxiety in dogs. But, it would be apt if you don’t give it to pregnant dogs and newborn pups without the vet’s recommendation.
So, melatonin also improves the sleep cycle of older dogs. And, it increases dogs’ sleep span and helps them stay active all day long. The plus point is that treating different Phobias is also possible with it. Also, it somehow benefits the dogs with cancer. Hence, it is better and safer than other harmful drugs and tranquilizers. It is because those drugs are full of chemicals.
There are minor side effects that occur at times. But as long as the dosage is balanced, it is the best and safest medicine for the dogs. The cherry on top, your dog’s health remains intact, and it doesn’t get addictions to any toxic or harmful drug.
How Melatonin for Dogs Works
It affects the functioning of organs very positively. Plus, it boosts the nerves and gives effective metabolism inside the body. Here we highlight some vital aspects on which it works. So, let’s have a look!
- Reduce Anxiety Issues
Giving melatonin to a dog helps reduce distress and anxieties in him, such as separation anxiety. It arises due to the owner’s long working hours or family vacation trips. Plus, it balances the secretion of the melatonin hormone. Thus, it helps a dog to smooth his emotions. You can give dog melatonin to your pup before an extremely stressful event. It includes long road trips or taking a dog to a new place.
- Calms Hyperactivity in Dogs
So, according to Vets, it also helps in calming hyperactivity in dogs. When your pup goes through this phase, he becomes more violent and aggressive towards other pets. It also prevents sudden seizures in dogs suffering from epilepsy. So, with regards to results, a proper dose of melatonin improves brain activity. And also, it helps in reducing the chances of fits and seizures.
- Relieves Insomnia
The best advantage of melatonin is, it reduces insomnia and maintains sleep cycles in dogs. Usually, it is more helpful in senior dogs that face erratic sleep patterns throughout the night. Long-term insomnia brings more anxiety and medical issues in dogs. Also, it leaves an extreme feeling of lethargy and can cause drowsiness. So, it affects the active functioning of the organs. So, if your pup has insomnia, he may become sick more easily.
But, no worries, the Melatonin supplement boosts the hormone and regulates sleep patterns effectively. And, even the best part is that it helps your dog remain healthy and fresh in the daytime.
- Helps to Treat Phobias
Do you know, Dogs can develop phobias very often? It includes; loud noise phobia, fear from other humans, or fear of anything. But, phobia of loud noise is very common among dogs. It happens due to heavy thunderstorms, loud fireworks, or bomb shelling in the surroundings. So, to cope with this, you can give melatonin supplements to the dogs. It helps them to remain calm before any such stressful situations.
- Aids in Alopecia
Dogs often face hair loss or lack in producing hair cells in their bodies. It can cause bald patches around the abdominal area. So, melatonin stimulates growth hormones and helps retain hair and hair growth. Also, it lessens the chances of alopecia in dogs, not completely but to some extent.
- Cushing Diseases
So, the Cushing diseases are due to hormonal disturbance in dogs. It may cause diabetes and kidney failures and is life-threatening if not treated seriously. Plus, you can also give melatonin to dogs with cancer. It helps in easing the side effects of Chemotherapy.
How Much Melatonin Can Dogs Have?
You cannot give Melatonin to your dog without consulting the vet. As each living being differs in biological nature, so do Dogs. Hence, dosage may vary in dog’s sizes and their medical history. Plus, some dogs are already given medicines due to various reasons. So, it is more likely to be determined by the vet. However, usually, melatonin dosage is categorized as follows:
- Dogs below 10 pounds: 1mg
- Dogs from 10 to 25 pounds: 1.5mg
- From 26 to 100 pounds: 3mg
- Dogs more than 100 pounds: 3 to 6mgs
Usually, vets recommend introducing these supplements bit by bit and increasing as per the need and demands of dogs’ treatment. It comes in 4 different forms.
You can mix it in food or dispense it as it is. Also, it starts releasing the molecules as soon as digested. And it begins to show effects within 20 minutes and lasts up to 8 to 10 hours. So, be careful not to exceed the dose more than three times per day. It may increase Dopamine levels in the brain.
Things to Consider While Giving Your Dog Melatonin
Besides being mild, Melatonin can leave some side effects on the dog. First, give a melatonin supplement to your pup. Now, to avoid any trouble, you may need to monitor your pups before and after state. And, make sure to notify the vet immediately upon seeing any side effects. Doing so can help change the dosage and properly revise the treatment.
Likewise, read the ingredients, tag on the product, and choose wisely. Some supplements contain Xylitol, a sugar-based ingredient, highly toxic to Dogs. And, if your pup is suffering from diabetes, then the high rate of Xylitol would be extremely harmful. Some may contain artificial sweetener as well, which is equally toxic.
So, here is the list of some side effects commonly seen in dogs taking melatonin.
Your dog may become restless after the intake of melatonin. And, if you can’t give a proper dosage, it can cause extreme itching and irritation. Continuous rubbing and tugging of the skin may harm your pup’s body.
- Digestion Problem
Melatonin can make your dog have an upset stomach and a jittery digestion process. Your pup may face cramps and loose motions. So, you need to check the dosage to keep the dog away from any discomfort.
- Fertility Issues
Do you know that female dogs can encounter changes in their reproduction cycle? Well, it can harm fertility in the long term. So, stay cautious about it and get your pup frequently checked by vets.
- Elevated Heartbeat
High doses may cause increased heart rate, leading to blood pressure and other heart issues in dogs. So, keep in mind to discuss the size of your dog, previous medical history, and current medications with the vet. And he will then advise accordingly.
It may sound petty, but confusion may lead to various behavioral problems if not immediately noticed. And, you would not want to make your dog a troublesome and confused animal. So, it would be best to consider your pup’s behavior and mood swings more often.
- Diabetic Problems
As mentioned above, it may contain artificial sweeteners, which are highly dangerous for dogs. So, try to check the label on the products before introducing one to your furry friend.
So, first of all, I would like to clarify that this guide is neither expert medical advice. Nor is it a declaration of melatonin being the safest thing to be given to dogs. And, you can consider this as experiences and observations that came from dog owners. Please always seek advice from your vet.
Petting a pup and looking after him is the truest form of affection. So, if you are a pet parent, you must stay updated about the well-being and needs of the dog. It results in bringing up a healthy, active fellow. However, melatonin supplements are common in dogs, especially older ones, who often face irregular sleep cycles. So, giving them a proper melatonin dose can benefit their sleep patterns. It would make your pup fresh and wakeful the entire day.
About The Author
I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.