What To Consider Before Using Melatonin For Dogs
Making sure your pet is getting the right kind of supplements is not always easy they are not prescribed, so unless you get a concrete tip from your vet, youll be left to your own devices. Melatonin for dogs is available in various different formulas, many of which include different calming agents, too, so picking up a melatonin supplement is not a straightforward process. You will have to consider your pets unique situation and needs before you pick, and it will require a bit of research. There are many features to consider, from form to formula, before you make the purchase: here are some of the most important factors that could influence your decision:
Can I Overdose My Dog On Melatonin
Fortunately, melatonin is a pretty safe supplement, with limited side effects. Because of its nature, the most common side effect seen is excessive drowsiness. Sometimes, this is the effect we actually want for sleep disorders or anxiety.
But in other cases, like hair loss or even cognitive dysfunction, no one really wants a vegetable for a pet, even if melatonin does seem to be helping the issue. This is why, if you’re considering getting melatonin for your dog from the drug store it’s important to consult with your vet first to get the right starting dose based on your pup’s weight.
This is also why it can also be helpful to first start with a low-dose supplement, which is combined with other natural beneficial calming ingredients.
We generally want to avoid use of melatonin for dogs who are sexually immature, like puppies, and pups who may be involved with breeding or who are currently pregnant. Melatonin interacts with other hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. In sexually mature, spayed or neutered pets, any interactions it has are likely negligible, especially as compared to the benefits it has.
But in pups that still require a lot of hormone influence for growth and development, or for dogs involved with breeding, these changes could cause serious problems. If melatonin decreases progesterone during pregnancy for example, this could lead to pregnancy loss.
Melatonin For Dogs: Does Your Pet Need It
Melatonin for dogs is much the same as it is for humans, but what exactly does it do? Does your pet need it and why?
Dogs and humans have comparable circadian cycles. A dogs walking habits, like humans, follow a diurnal sleep cycle, in which they are more active during the day and sleep at night. Dogs also have sleep difficulties, such as chronic pain and cognitive issues, which can interrupt sleep.
Because of these similarities, dog owners may ask if the melatonin tablets they use to sleep may also benefit their pets. While there is limited research on the efficacy and use of melatonin in dogs, there is some promising information about how to help dogs get the rest they require.
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Can You Give Dogs Melatonin
If youve got a restless pup who just cant settle down, its understandable if youve Googled the phrase: is melatonin safe for dogs?
The good news is, melatonin is generally considered safe for dogs at the right dosage, says Dr. Huzzah. Since the correct melatonin dosage for dogs can vary quite a bit, its best to talk to your veterinarian before giving it to your pet .
As far as what melatonin can do for your little one, there are quite a few ways giving dogs melatonin can be good for them.
Can Dogs Take Human
Although pet product suppliers sell supplements that contain melatonin, the formulas for humans and pets contain exactly the same hormone, so its usually safe to give human-grade melatonin to your dog. Two points to be aware of are that some forms of melatonin that are human-grade contain additives like xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. You should always check the ingredients label before giving any supplement to your dog. The other thing to be aware of is the dosage. Some melatonin may be in dosages that are too high for your dog. Another point to be aware of is some pet product suppliers make treats for pets that contain melatonin. Even though its a treat, you shouldnt exceed the recommended daily amount.
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Melatonin Might Help During A Move
Moving into a new house or to a new city or town can be very stressful for your dog, and stress can disrupt your pets sleep schedule. If you have plans to move, you might consider introducing melatonin into your dogs routine to support them. Providing them with additional resources to encourage normal sleep and wake cycles during the transition can allow them to be more comfortable amidst the changes.
Your Dog Has Insomnia
Who knew that people werent the only ones who could suffer from insomnia? Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep soundly. Too many nights of disrupted or unrestful sleep can lead to other issues throughout the day, such as an increase in anxiety or feelings of lethargy.
Dogs who suffer from insomnia often have cognitive dysfunctions that disrupt their natural biorhythms. This can lead to unusual sleeping schedules or limited sleep overall. In this case, owners may use melatonin to help their dogs sleep through the night and feel more alert and active during the day.
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How Does Melatonin Work For Dogs
To better understand how melatonin works, it is important to find out the natural process of how melatonin is synthesized and how it works.
Production of melatonin: Melatonin is synthesized in three major sites of the body
- Pineal gland A glandular nervous tissue that protrudes in the region of the brain called mid-brain behind a very important structure of the brain called superior colliculi.
- Retina The retina, a layer of tissue located behind the inside part of the eye next to the optic nerve, also produce melatonin.
- Gastrointestinal tract Studies have shown that the gastrointestinal tract produces more melatonin compared to the pineal gland. The amount produced is estimated to be about 500 times more than the amount produced by the pineal gland.
The principal source of melatonin is dietary tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids required by the body. Tryptophan is also a precursor for the synthesis of serotonin.
Synthesis and regulation
Naturally, the synthesis and release of melatonin are regulated by the amount of light entering the eye. This means that, during the day or in the presence of light, you can detect little to no levels of melatonin in blood.
However, when the eyes are closed such as at night when trying to sleep, melatonin reaches peak production levels. This literally explains the relationship between melatonin and sleep regulation.
Effects on reproduction
Other physiologic functions
Other medications used to treat anxiety in dogs
Proper Dosages Of Melatonin For Dogs
- Dogs weighing under 10 pounds: 1 mg
- Dogs weighing between 10 to 25 lbs: 1.5 mg
- Dogs weighing between 26 to 100 lbs: 3 mg
- Dogs weighing over 100 lbs: 3 to 6 mg
The medication shouldnt be given more than three times a day. Your veterinarian may have different recommendations about dosages of melatonin. Its best to consult your vet first.
Before using melatonin, a natural supplement or medication for your dog, you should always discuss it with your veterinarian. Although melatonin is safe, your vet is the best judge of how it should be used for your dog. Hormones and natural supplements can curb anxiety and stress. By using behavior modification techniques along with melatonin, new behaviors can be learned. Stressful and anxious habits can be changed into positive behavior.
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Keep Calm And Carry On
Melatonin is generally safe to use and can be very helpful in many cases, especially as a place to start for calming and better sleep.
I commonly field calls with clients calling on behalf of their pups who want to know if starting melatonin might help with something they’re seeing at home. I’m usually more than happy to advise when I have a standing relationship with the pooch and I’ve been filled in with what’s going on.
So it’s always best to discuss your thoughts first with your vet before sharing your own supply with your pooch. That said, it’s great when something as simple as melatonin can help give everyone, human and canine alike, a good night’s sleep.
Benefits Of Melatonin For Dogs
Melatonin has several uses in dogs. The most common ones are to manage problems like:
Melatonin For Insomnia Canine insomnia can be a problem for you as well as your dog!
If your dog isnt sleeping well, he may be restless during the night. You might hear him moving around, whining or panting. And of course, this can affect your sleep too!
Even if your wakeful dog doesnt disturb you you may notice he seems extra sleepy or sluggish during the day. He may even seem a bit disoriented .
Because melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, it can help your dog rest better at night.
Melatonin For AnxietyMelatonin can have a calming effect on your anxious or fearful dog.
I mentioned serotonin earlier. Serotonin itself is the feel-good hormone that can brighten your dogs mood. But on top of that serotonin helps the body create melatonin, which has proven calming effects.
Melatonin can help some dogs with phobias like thunderstorms or fireworks. It can also help a dog with separation anxiety.
Melatonin For Canine Cognitive Dysfunction I prescribe often prescribe melatonin for CCD quite a common disorder in older dogs.
Your senior dog may show signs of sleep disruption, panting and pacing at night. Or he may tend to get disoriented or confused or show other unusual behaviors. He may even have accidents indoors.
And because melatonin production can decrease with age depletion of the hormone could also be a factor in your dogs CCD.
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Here’s What To Know About Melatonin And Dogs
Melatonin is a natural hormone supplement most commonly used by people who have insomnia or other sleep-related issues. But can dogs have melatonin, too? And if so, how much is safe? Before administering any type of medication to your pup, talk with your veterinarian about the proper dosage amount and any other concerns you may have.
The short answer is yes, melatonin is considered safe for dogs. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , melatonin supplements can be used to treat anxiety, behavior disorders, stress from noise like fireworks and thunderstorms, canine hair loss, and Cushings disease .
In a study published by The Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Linda Aronson, a registered veterinarian and dog behaviorist, reported positive results in about 80 percent of dogs suffering from noise-related fears after they were treated with melatonin.
However, there are some things you should know before giving your dog melatonin.
We spoke with Dr. Claudine Sievert, a registered veterinarian and consultant for Stayyy, to find out more about melatonin and dogs.
Dog Dosing Of Melatonin
Talk with your vet before giving your dog any mood altering drug .
For Reference Only: A typical melatonin dose ranges from 3 to 6 mg given not more than two times daily.
3 milligrams is a sufficient amount for small breeds . Larger dogs could benefit from as much as 6mg.
Both a trusted melatonin brand as well as proper dosing are key for safety and optimal results.
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Can I Give My Dog Melatonin Is Melatonin Safe For Dogs
Before you even consider giving your dog melatonin, of course youll want to know that its safe.
The quick answer is, yes melatonin is generally considered safe for dogs.
However, theres slightly more to it than that.
According to Pet Place, the drug is technically registered for use in humans only, and there havent been many studies on the effects of melatonin use in dogs. But, just because there isnt much official evidence, it doesnt mean it isnt safe.
Veterinarians prescribe melatonin for a wide variety of different medical issues in dogs, and find that extremely few side effects are noted, even when used long-term.
So, in all likelihood, melatonin is safer than a lot of veterinary drugs that have had extensive studies on their use.
What Is Melatonin Supplement Used For
The primary use of melatonin supplement for dogs is to treat anxiety, both that caused by a triggering event and chronic anxiety. Seeing your pet shiver and cower when theres a storm or being witness to their everyday struggles when you go to work is not easy on the pet owner even less so on the dog himself. Finding a viable solution for your pets anxiety thats not full of chemicals and comes with a serious list of side effects is not always easy, so its easy to see why melatonin for dogs is a popular alternative.
In addition to its relaxing properties, melatonin for dogs has other uses as well. You can supplement melatonin to improve your pets sleeping patterns, help with seasonal hair alopecia , or symptoms of Cushings disease if your dog has it. If youre unsure if your dog could benefit from melatonin supplements, talk to your veterinarian. A professional that has your dogs health record is the only one that can know for certainty which supplements are needed and which could do more harm than good.
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Melatonin For Dogs: Can They Have It
Chances are, melatonin brings to mind the sleepytime gummies we often take when a good nights sleep just wont come. The hormone melatonin is manufactured in labs and formulated into supplements to promote quality zs, and its one of the most popular supplements for adults and kids alike, according to a 2012 survey by the National Institutes of Health.
But if youve got a stressed-out pup keeping you up at night, you might be asking yourself: Is melatonin for dogs safe and can it help?
Before you mix a gummy into your pups food , learn everything you need to know about melatonin for dogs, including potential health benefits, side effects or risks to consider, and the proper melatonin dosage for dogs.
What Is Xylitol And Why Is It So Bad For Dogs
Xylitol is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that has gained popularity in recent years. It is commonly used as a sugar substitute in things like gum, candies, peanut butter and other baked foods and medicine. Xylitol causes the rapid release of insulin in dogs, followed by a sharp decrease in their blood sugar levels resulting in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Xylitol can also cause liver failure and death in dogs. Effects can occur within 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion so immediate veterinary attention is crucial. If left untreated, xylitol poisoning can be life-threatening.
The initial signs of a xylitol overdose may include vomiting, weakness, seizures, and collapse. These signs are due to low blood sugar. Even though some dogs do not show symptoms initially, they can still go on to develop liver failure at a later stage. Therefore, veterinary attention is crucial even if your dog is not showing symptoms.
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What Exactly Is Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone produced primarily by the pineal gland. This naturally occurring hormone helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle in both humans and animals.
Melatonin levels rise in the evening in response to darkness. At nighttime, melatonin levels are up to ten times higher than during the day. The increase in melatonin brings about a feeling of calm and signals to the body that it is time for sleep.
Melatonin also influences reproductive cycles, especially in animals that are seasonal breeders.
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Can dogs have melatonin? The answer is yes, as long as you talk to your vet first and follow her exact orders. Melatonin is a natural supplement that can help your dog build up her health without the use of chemicals or medications.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , melatonin is a safe supplement 10 to give to your dog. Melatonin has little risk for harmful side effects 11. The most common side effect is lethargy upon waking the next morning.
When given to your pup, though, it allows them to relax rather than fall asleep. Melatonin works as a calming agent, not a sedative. According to articles from veterinarian Linda Aronson and the Whole Dog Journal, melatonin has been used to treat dogs suffering from fear of noises, epilepsy, even hair loss.
The answer is that you potentially can, but watch for negative side effects and make sure you have approval from your vet first. The most common side effects your dog may experience from melatonin are extreme drowsiness, fatigue, digestive issues and, in some cases, an increased heart rate.
Yes, as in humans, melatonin is also safe for use in dogs! Another important safety factor in the use of this supplement in dogs is the melatonin dosage that should be used.
Melatonin Side Effects in Dogs.
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Other Ingredients In Melatonin For Dogs
Its important to be wary of the other ingredients that you might find along with the melatonin youre giving to your dog. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is found in some melatonin products, and it is very toxic to dogs. Always read the ingredient list and confirm that everything found in the product is safe for your pet dont blindly trust a product.