Melatonin In Dogs: Everything You Need To Know About This Versatile Supplement
Have you ever considered the use of melatonin in dogs or found yourself wondering can you give a dog melatonin? If so, youre in good company! Many people turn to melatonin when they need help sleeping, so its only natural to wonder if melatonin can offer similar benefits for our pets. Additionally, several canine medical conditions can be treated with melatonin, so your veterinarian may prescribe melatonin for your dogs treatment, in some cases.
General Anxiety And Separation Anxiety
Many dogs suffer from anxiety, either in general form or specifically when their owners leave the house. Melatonin can be used as a supplement to assist those dogs with anxiety safely and easily.
Because of its sedative like qualities, melatonin can be very effective in calming and soothing dogs with anxious conditions. This also applies to dogs that have anxious reactions to loud noises, such as those with a thunderstorm phobia or fear or fireworks.
Using this supplement is a wonderful way to stop worrying that you will come home to a runaway dog after leaving Rover alone for the evening!
When Should I Administer Melatonin
Melatonin takes approximately 30 minutes to kick in, so youll want to administer it to your dog roughly half-an hour before a thunderstorm or any other stressful event you are looking to help your dog manage.
For sleep assistance, melatonins should be provided in the evening. As a rule of thumb, its best to provide the melatonin alongside a meal or snack, since ingesting it on an empty stomach may result in intestinal distress.
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Its Puppy Snuggle Time
We all want our furry friends to stay healthy, safe, and happy. For some dogs, melatonin is just the thing to quell anxiety and improve sleep patterns. In addition to the many known applications of melatonin for dogs to treat disease, we cant underestimate the healing power of a good nights rest for our best friend.
If youre unsure about melatonin for dogs, simply chat with your veterinarian or explore other options like CBD, which also has many benefits for pets and people alike!
Rest Easy: Getting The Facts On Pet Safety And Sleep Aids
Tossing and turning burning the candle at both ends worrying about that report due tomorrow. No matter what the cause, at some point in our lives many of us will experience trouble sleeping. And different types of sleep aids are often seen an easy solution to this common problem. But one thing that shouldnt keep you up at night is worrying about your pets safety.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control wants to make sure you dont have to worry, especially if your pet ate something potentially toxic, like a medication or supplement used to help you sleep.
There are several different medications and common sleep aids that may be used to help with sleep, and the problems you may see if your pet gets into them can vary as well. To help keep your pets happy and healthy, it is best to stay informed. Thats why APCC has compiled the information below to give you everything you need to know about your pets and sleep aids.
Remember, always check with your veterinarian before giving your pet any medication or supplement, even if the risk factor seems low. Best practice at home to ensure that you dont encounter any accidental overdoses or ingestions is to be sure to keep all medications, supplements and vitamins in a secure area, up and out of paws reach.
If you believe your pet has ingested something potentially toxic, contact your local veterinarian or APCC at 426-4435 immediately.
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Can Dogs Overdose On Melatonin
While melatonin has a relatively wide margin of safety, overdoses can be problematic. If you are concerned that your dog may have ingested an overdose of melatonin, contact your veterinarians office. If your veterinarians office is closed, contact Pet Poison Helpline or ASPCA Poison Control.
Depending on the dose of melatonin that your dog ingested, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove the drug from your dogs intestinal tract and reduce absorption. Your dog may also require treatment for the vomiting and diarrhea that can occur after an overdose. In severe cases, your dog may need to be hospitalized for intravenous fluids, monitoring, and more aggressive treatment.
Many Dogs Suffer From Anxiety Whether From Separation Fireworks Or Other Cues
Most dog owners try non-chemical solutions like positive reinforcements or anxiety vests, but some situations call for administering medicinal help to your furry family member.
Pet stores carry treats and concoctions to help calm your dog, all of which vary in their success as widely as in their ingredients. But for those looking to help your dog relax with an all-natural, human grade solution without breaking the bank, melatonin may be the right choice.
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What Are The Uses For Melatonin In Dogs
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, mood, and reproduction. While humans often take synthetic melatonin supplements to get more sleep at night or address jet lag, melatonin in dogs has a variety of other uses.
Like its use in humans, melatonin can be used to address sleep issues in dogs. Many dogs experience disruptions in their sleep-wake cycle as they age, caused by a condition known as canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. These dogs often have trouble settling down at night and may pace throughout the overnight hours. In these dogs, a dose of melatonin before bedtime can help dogs get a better nights sleep, which allows the humans in the home to also get a better nights sleep!
Melatonin is also used to manage a number of skin and coat conditions. In dogs, there are a variety of conditions that cause hair loss and/or poor hair regrowth. Alopecia X, for example, is a poorly understood condition that causes hair loss in several fluffy-coated breeds, such as Pomeranians, Samoyeds, and Chow Chows. The mechanism of Alopecia X is not fully understood, but up to half of diagnosed cases respond to treatment with melatonin. Similarly, canine seasonal flank alopecia , pattern baldness, and post-clipping alopecia may also resolve with melatonin therapy. It is not fully understood why melatonin is effective in these conditions, but it is thought that melatonins effects on the dogs circadian rhythm may help promote hair regrowth.
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.
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Can Dogs Have Melatonin
The short answer is that yes, you give melatonin to dogs. However, you should never do this without first consulting your veterinarian.
For most dogs, the use of melatonin will not cause major issues.
The problem is that if your dog is already taking other supplements or medications, melatonin may cause adverse effects. Additionally, it may worsen certain medical conditions. Finally, it is not good for dogs who are pregnant because it may pose risks to both her and her puppies.
While its unlikely that your dog will have a severely negative reaction to melatonin, it is in your best interest to create an action plan with the help of your vet!
Giving Your Dog Melatonin
Melatonin for dogs can be given as pills, capsules, chewable tablets, powders, drops, and even can be injected as a subcutaneous implant. When taken orally, it can be plain or offered with a tasty flavor likely to encourage canine consumption.
Once given, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, taking effect within 15 to 20 minutes, but we actually know surprisingly little about how it goes to work on your dog. In fact, there’s very little scientific evidence on the use of melatonin in dogs, which is something every dog owner should be aware of before giving it to their pet.
If you live in the US and Canada, the drug is available over the counter, but its supply is more strictly controlled in other parts of the world. However, before you start giving your dog melatonin, make sure you consult your vet.
Your veterinarian is qualified to determine whether or not your dog could benefit from melatonin. While the drug is widely considered to be a safe option for most dogs, there could be other factors at play that could limit its suitability for your pet. For example, if your dog is already on other medications, they could potentially react with the melatonin. The drug should also never be given to pregnant animals or puppies under 12 weeks of age.
Side effects are rare but have been known to occur in some cases, so your vet will run you through the pros and cons of giving melatonin to your pet.
How to Prevent Overdoses:
Written by a Labrador Retriever loverTim Falk
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How Is Melatonin Given
Melatonin is given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid. It may be given with or without food however, if vomiting occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. Measure liquid forms carefully. It may also be given as an implant placed under the skin in the hospital setting.
This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.
How Much Melatonin Should I Give My Dog
You will need a qualified veterinarian to give a proper melatonin dosage for your dog. Vets can safely tailor a melatonin dosage to work in tandem with your dogs other medical treatment plans. This sort of diligent planning is necessary if you want to avoid unwanted complications.
Dosing melatonin for dogs usually is done by using their bodyweight to gauge how high of a dose is appropriate. The following guidelines, developed by the American Kennel Club, should only serve as an example of how much melatonin should be administered at different tiers of body weight, please work with your Veterinarian for a safer outcome.
Generally, dogs less than ten pounds should take no more than 1 mg of melatonin per dose.
Dogs between ten pounds and 25 pounds should take no more than 1.5 mg per dose.
Dogs between 26 pounds and 100 pounds should take no more than 3 mg per dose.
Dogs weighing above 100 pounds can take between 3 mg and 6 mg per dose.
You should also remember to never give your dog melatonin more than three times per day. More than that can lead to some of the unwanted side effects described above.
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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.
How Other Vitamins May Benefit Dogs
Now, there are several other vitamins that could help support your dogs good health. Heres a quick look at some of them.
- Vitamin A This vitamin helps support motor function, skin health, vision and immune system function.5
- B-complex vitamins The B vitamins play a very important role in the health of a dog. For example, vitamin B6 helps a dogs body generate the glucose needed for energy. It also helps to ensure that the digestive and nervous systems function properly and that the dogs hormones are properly regulated.6
- Vitamin D Vitamin D is also critical because it helps to protect dogs from a wide variety of diseases. A recent study showed that many commercial dog foods dont provide enough of this vitamin.7
- Vitamin K This vitamin makes sure that your dogs blood is able to clot.8
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How Do I Use Melatonin
If you think your pup might need melatonin, there are some situations where starting a melatonin supplement on your own is probably okay, but others where consulting with your veterinarian is important first.
If your pup is experiencing signs of separation anxiety, phobias to certain planned events like fireworks or large parties, or if you’re seeing her have trouble sleeping at night, consider starting with a low-dose melatonin supplement made for dogs like Quiet Moments.
Many folks will find success for mild conditions or targeted events where a light dose that doesn’t cause heavy sedation, will do the trick.
If you’re seeing issues with hair loss, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian first. You should also consult with your vet if you feel that lower doses aren’t helping or you feel that a much higher dose is needed.
Dosing melatonin in dogs, as with most medications, is based on weight. This can lead to vastly different doses for small or large dogs. For certain medical disorders, dosing also involves a range. The dosage for one dog for a hair loss disorder may differ for the dosage for cognitive dysfunction.
Melatonin’s main purpose in the body is to promote sleep, so it can cause significant drowsiness. Our goal is always to balance positive effects with any level of sedation that is seen.
Melatonin For Vital Organs
Melatonin has protective benefits for many important organs in the body.
The liver can get damaged when its bombarded with too many toxins. Melatonins antioxidant effects help protect the liver. It can reduce inflammation, prevent cell death and support mitochondrial health. This activity can help prevent the build-up of toxins.
Melatonin can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Its neuroprotective abilities can protect the brain.
By stabilizing the blood-brain barrier melatonin may limit brain damage from stressors like traumatic brain injury or stroke. It may help with brain diseases like Alzheimers or Parkinsons.
It may also help prevent damage from EMF-EMR exposure. And remember, EMF-EMR also depletes melatonin.
I mentioned melatonins a powerful antioxidant and immune modulator. These roles means it may also help protect the lungs from viral and other pathogens.
Melatonin has been linked to protecting the lung from oxidative injury, pro-inflammatory cytokine release and inflammatory cell recruitment.
Melatonin may help prevent cardiovascular damage from oxidative stress.
It may help lower blood pressure. It can prevent the heart from enlarging . And it may inhibit fibrosis of heart tissue.
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How Much Melatonin Should I Take
Its best to start with the lowest recommended dosage of melatonin for your age. From there, you can gradually increase your dosage until you find a dose that helps you fall asleep without causing any side effects. A safe starting dose for adults is between 0.5 milligram and 5 milligrams of melatonin. Older adults may find lower doses, starting with 0.1 milligram, to be safe and effective. Children should not take melatonin unless recommended by a doctor.
Over-the-counter melatonin may come in standard amounts like 1 milligram, 3 milligrams, or 5 milligrams. You can use a pill-cutter to cut the tablets in half or quarters to create a smaller starting dose.
Are Human Vitamins And Supplements Dangerous For Pets
Dog and cat owners are always thinking about their pets nutrition. Thats because a diet packed with the appropriate amount of essential vitamins and minerals is one of the best and easiest ways to both prevent and combat many medical problems.
So, you might think, whats the harm in giving my pet one of my multivitamins? If a vitamin is good enough for a human, it should be good enough for a dog or cat, right?
The variation of dietary needs for humans and pets is one reason, and the way each vitamin product is formulated depending on the manufacturer is another.
According to Dr. Susan G. Wynn, a nutrition specialist at BluePearl Georgia Veterinary Specialists and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, most commercial pet foods provide dogs and cats with the nutritional balance they need, rendering supplements unnecessary.
Because of this, she says, most pet multivitamins are designed to contain just a portion of the daily requirement for that species, typically about 20 percent, whereas human supplements can contain 100 percent of the daily requirement.
This means that consuming a human-grade vitamin can potentially give your pet an unhealthy excess of a particular vitamin or mineral.
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