Can Dogs Take Melatonin
Before you give your dog supplements or natural hormones, its a good idea to be informed about the use and any possible side effects. That being said, you can give your dog melatonin, but you should be aware of its use and how to administer it. If you have any questions, its advisable to discuss them with your veterinarian.
Hope For Epileptic Dogs
There is no cure for epilepsy, but it can be managed in cases. The only constant that seems to be true in managing this disease is that no two dogs will respond the same way to the same treatment protocol. In researching care for your epileptic dog you may learn about many supplements, aids, and treatments that have helped some dogs. These may or may not help your dog, however, and you should discuss any of them with your veterinarian before administering.
Finding a vet who has had clinical experience with epileptics is also important. Developing a rapport and nurturing that relationship will be essential in the care and well-being of your dog. Epilepsy can be managed, but only with a committed, cohesive team of doctor , owner, and patient.
Finally, while even the best care and management cannot always stop regular seizures, with both conventional and holistic treatments, the frequency and severity of seizures can be reduced. Best of all there is hope, and the great likelihood that my dog Cutter and epileptic dogs like him will lead normal, active, happy lives.
Maureen Finn is a freelance writer from Sammamish, WA. This is her first article for Whole Dog Journal.
Dog Seizures: How To Keep Your Pet Safe And Healthy
Dog seizures can be pretty scary and when a pet is suffering from this condition, you may see them disoriented, falling on their side on the floor and thrashing their legs about as though treading water. Canine seizures and convulsions can affect any dog breed, though some breeds are more prone to such disorders than others.
Now lets take a closer look at dog seizures and convulsions, as well as what to do if your dog gets one unexpectedly.
You May Like: Low Hormone Birth Control Pill
Best For Hair And Coat: Healthy Pets Melavet Melatonin Soft Chews
If youre looking for something to help your pet grow his hair back, or dont need a potent calming aid, these soft chews are a good match. With 2m of melatonin per serving, theyll help maintain a healthy, shiny coat with thick hair not a bald spot in sight. To boot, this supplement is also safe for cats to use- so a big plus if you have a multi-pet household!
Can I Give My Dog Melatonin
Yes, you can give your dog Melatonin as long as you consult with your veterinarian first. Also, make sure you are buying melatonin supplements formulated specifically for dogs, as human products often contain potentially harmful ingredients.
Alternatively, if using human melatonin products , go through the ingredient list carefully and consult with the vet in terms of proper dosage.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Elevated Cortisol Levels
Dogs Suffering From Anxiety
A popular use for Melatonin in dogs is to treat anxiety issues making it a great alternative to other harsher chemical medications such as tranquilizers administered by your vet. When given to your dog Melatonin acts as a mild sedative keeping your dog calm and relaxed.
If you know theres a thunderstorm brewing or theres going to be fireworks lighting up the sky a dose of Melatonin given to your dog should keep them at ease. For some dogs even a trip to the local groomers or a long car journey can get them spooked again in these situations Melatonin can help.
How Long Does It Take For Melatonin To Work On A Dog
Luckily, melatonin is a fast-acting supplement that will quickly show results. Usually, it takes an hour or two for melatonin to be in full effect, but it can take as little as 15 minutes for it to kick in for some pooches . In any case, its best to give your pet melatonin at least an hour in advance so they can get a good nights rest.
How Does Melatonin Work On Canines
Melatonin works in dogs and humans in a similar way. It regulates your sleep cycle or your circadian rhythm. The natural cycle is that once it gets dark, the body gives a signal to the pineal gland. The pineal gland starts to increase the production of the chemical. This increased melatonin is responsible for making you feel sleepy.
Similarly, the brain also signals the gland when the sun comes up. This way, the gland decreases the production of melatonin, causing you to wake up. This is called the circadian rhythm.
Most people who suffer from sleep disorders do not receive sufficient melatonin. This results in a disrupted sleep cycle which can often lead to a spiral of different diseases. This is also the case with dogs. Their pineal glands might not be producing sufficient melatonin which can cause sleep disorders.
Imagine if your dog was deficient on calcium. Youd probably give him calcium supplements to makeup for the deficiency. Similarly, if your dog is deficient in the production of melatonin, its only common sense that you would give him melatonin supplements.
With proper doses of the drug, youll find that your dogs body can easily regulate its sleep cycle. Youll be sleeping more peacefully knowing that your dog is sleeping peacefully too. Since it induces sleep, it may also be used as a sedative to treat hyperactivity and other behavioral problems.
Dosage: How Much Melatonin Can You Give A Dog
Heres dosage chart based on weight.
|Over 100 lbs||3 6 mg|
Melatonin for dogs is available over the counter. However, you should always consult your veterinarian to help you determine the right dosage for your dog.
Individual dogs are given different dosages based on their difference in body size and the type of condition being managed. This means that the amount required to induce sleep in sleeping disorders may differ from the amount used to treat anxiety and fear.
Your veterinary will weigh your dog to determine his/her weight. The weight obtained will then be used to calculate the melatonin dosages for your dog with reference to the condition being managed.
Ideally, 1 mg of melatonin is the recommended dose for dogs who weigh less than 10 pounds. This is the average amount of drug that should be given to avoid complications. Dogs weighing 10 to 25 pounds are managed with a dose of 1.5mg while dogs weighing 26 to 100 pounds are managed with a dose of 3mg.
Additionally, 3 to 6 mg is recommended for dogs weighing more than 100 pounds. Some dosages may exceed these limits since these are the standard amounts for melatonin therapy in dogs.
Nevertheless, you should seek guidance from a qualified expert such as your veterinary officer to avoid the possibility of overdosing or underdosing your dog. These dosages are indicated each for a single use and should not be administered more than three times within 24 hours.
Carefully Transport Your Dog To A More Secure Location
If your dog has a seizure near the stairwell or the edge of the bed, gently push him to a safer spot or lay something in front of him to keep him from falling. Before or after a seizure, dogs may become scared and dash about without thinking or noticing where theyre going. They may also lose control of their movements from time to time, resulting in a seizure and a fall.
What Should You Do In An Emergency
Melatonin is safe for dogs, so its uncommon for dogs to overdose or experience severe side effects. Yet, to be safe, its good to monitor your dog the first time they take a new medication or supplement. Keep an eye out for unusual behaviors, such as an upset stomach or prolonged lethargy.
Contact your vet right away if you have any concerns about your dogs symptoms after taking melatonin. Be specific when telling them about the dogs melatonin dosage and the behaviors youve noticed. Then, your vet will alert you of the next steps based on that information.
Melatonin And Other Medical Conditions
There may be benefits of using melatonin, in combination with other treatments, for management of certain cancers. There have been some studies that indicate that melatonin may have antioxidant properties to counteract the effects of chemotherapy and it may help prevent the spread of certain types of cancer.6,8
Other studies indicated that melatonin may sensitize some cancers to chemotherapy, allowing for treatment of some resistant tumors.7 In mice, melatonin helped improve anemia caused by chemotherapy medications.1
Using melatonin as an additional therapy for seizures has received mixed reviews. There is some evidence that in dogs who had a high number of nighttime seizures, melatonin helped reduce the number of seizures.3
However, in humans, melatonin increased the risk of seizures.5,6 Therefore, it is important to talk with your veterinarian or veterinary neurologist if your dog has seizures and youd like to learn more about melatonin for this condition.
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 get disoriented or confused, or show other unusual behaviors. He may even have accidents indoors.
Melatonin can help with CCD. Its ability to moderate the sleep-wake cycle can help your senior get a better nights rest. CCD dogs can also feel anxious and, as Ive already commented, melatonin can have a calming effect.
And because melatonin production can decrease with age depletion of the hormone could also be a factor in your dogs CCD.
How Much Melatonin Should You Give Your Dog
The literature is limited when it comes to the appropriate amount of melatonin to give your dog. According to Plumbs Veterinary Drug Handbook, the appropriate dose for dogs with sleeping disorders is between 3 and 6 milligrams. If your dog is suffering from anxiety disorders, then Plumbs Handbook indicates 0.1 milligram of melatonin per kilogram of body weight.
Talking to your veterinarian about the right amount for your dog based on their age, weight, and any other health issues or medications is your best course of action. If your veterinarian recommends giving your dog melatonin, make sure you purchase it in the right amount. Supplement options that are preweighed allow you to easily administer the correct dosage according to your veterinarian.
Diet And Epilepsy Link
Environmental control is a significant element in gaining better management of your dogs seizures. Start with what goes into him. Feeding a home-prepared diet, cooked or raw, can make all the difference for some dogs. Though there are virtually no studies to determine whether there is a relationship between diet and seizure activity, many holistic veterinarians report anecdotal evidence that a top-quality home-prepared diet can play a large part in management of seizures.
Allergy testing for grain and protein sensitivities is another tool you can use to identify and remove any potential seizure triggers.
Dr. Kelleher also advocates the use of taurine supplementation for epileptic dogs at a dose of 250 milligrams per 40 pounds body weight daily. Taurine supplementation is especially important for dogs who eat commercial and grain-based diets. This amino acid is found in the central nervous system and skeletal muscle and is concentrated in the brain and heart. Its unknown whether that has anything to do with the fact that taurine supplementation can reduce seizure activity, especially in those dogs experiencing tremors or noise triggered seizures. Discuss this or any other supplement with your dogs veterinarian.
If feeding a home-prepared diet isnt possible, find the highest-quality commercial dog food. Grains in the diet, including treats, should be kept to a minimum.
People Are Also Reading
She reminded me of someone with migraines: She could feel it coming on, and would come to me and pretty much ask for her meds. On those few occasions, I would give her an extra melatonin and shed go to her safe room until it would pass usually about 30 minutes.
She has not had a full-blown seizure since she was a little over 1 year old.
She still gets the same dose of melatonin, and every now and then will come to me with the signs, but its very rare. S.D., Palm Beach, Fla.
Dear S.D. I hope that you have informed your dogs veterinarian of the possible benefits of melatonin in helping control and prevent seizures in your dog.
More studies are called for in this regard, and I agree with you that putting a dog for life on a barbiturate drug is not the best solution if it can possibly be avoided because of potentially harmful side effects.
Melatonin, which is the plant hormone that puts plants to sleep at night and links them with a circadian rhythm, can also give us a good nights sleep and help blind people set their circadian clocks. As a super-antioxidant, it may also help with inflammatory conditions and possibly some cancers.
Visit Dr. Foxs website at DrFoxVet.net. Send mail to or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Mo. 64106.
For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Universal Uclick.
Animal Doctor: Seizure Medications Can Have Adverse Side Effects For Dogs
- Dr. Michael FoxAnimal Doctor
Dear Dr. Fox: Our golden retriever has a history of seizures. She was on phenobarbital for two years, which controlled them, but after a recent surgery, it has gotten worse. After five seizures in one day, she is now on Keppra and phenobarbital, both twice a day, which seems to be working.
The problem is that she thinks shes starving and wants to eat constantly. We feed her grain-free dry food supplemented with vegetables. She eats everything in the house she can get ahold of by tearing open bags. She even tore open a new bag of dog food.
This is no way for her to live. What can we do? K.K., Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Dear K.K.: As you have probably surmised, the increased phenobarbital is causing the increased appetite. You must watch your dogs weight and feed her four small meals a day, no treats, since obesity could become an issue. Long-term use of this medication can also increase thirst, bring on diabetes and harm the liver, thyroid and adrenal glands.
When Should You Give Your Dog Melatonin
If youre going to use melatonin to help your dog relax before bed or feel less anxiety before a procedure, administer the appropriate dose approximately two hours before bedtime or veterinary appointment. This time frame allows for the melatonin to be absorbed into your dogs body for maximum effectiveness by the desired time.
- Was this article helpful?
Sleep Product Tester
Austin is a professional writer and researcher who has covered sleep science and sleep products for over a decade.
How To Give Melatonin To Dogs
- Give medicine with your vets advice only.
- You can give the tablets orally or in their favorite food.
- Avoid giving melatonin to pregnant dogs and puppies under 12 weeks old.
- Start the medicine in moderation, offer a less amount, observe your canine if they tolerate it well, then gradually increase to the safe dose.
- If you observe any side effects or changes in the behavior, stop the medication and contact your vet for gentle advice.
- Melatonin comes in various forms, such as a tablet, liquid, capsule, and powder form. You can give it with or without food.
- Always Chose Specially formulated melatonin supplements for dogs.
- Do not give the supplement that contains toxic ingredients for dogs such as xylitol etc.
- The best time to give the supplement is dogs immediately before bed to provide a whole night of sleep.
- First, confirm with your vet if you have a permanent dog or if your puppy is on other Medication.
- Do not exceed the medicine from three times a day.
- Do not give the medicine if your canine is allergic to the Medication.
Natural Seizure Remedies Prevention In Dogs
Seizure prevention can be a tricky science as there are many reasons for their occurrence, but any of the following steps can be taken to help prevent and/or ease the severity or duration of a seizure:
Seek a veterinarians advice
A dog that experiences seizures, whether the episodes are frequent or infrequent, should be taken to a medical professional and undergo a series of tests. This is always the first step in helping an epileptic animal.
Know dietary needs
The elimination of toxic and seizure-inducing foods from a dogs diet is the surest method of preventing seizures. Similarly, a pet owner should know any allergies of their pet, as seizures may occur as a bodily response to exposure.
Dogs will pant heavily when they are uncomfortably hot. Pet owners should avoid exposing their dogs to long walks in high temperatures or leaving them in cramped, hot spaces or outside without water or shade.
Introduce homeopathic products
Many natural herbs and plants aim to calm tension in the body, making them great aides to pets during a seizure attack.
Natural remedies are not cited as the most reliable treatment for seizures in dogs by veterinarians, but rather as preventative measures that may help. In the end, a dog who is on a healthy, routine diet, free of toxins or any foods they may be allergic to, as well as not put in situations that could lead to overheating is less likely to develop severe seizures.