A Tired Issue: Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?


Lauren Corona

Lauren Corona lives in Oxfordshire, UK together with her kooky canine companion, Nola. She has written about dogs and different animals for such web sites as The Daily Puppy and Paw Nation. You can observe her on Twitter @lozbearwrites. Lauren Corona profile pic 80x80 - A Tired Issue: Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?

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It could be powerful to know what to do in case your dog is affected by points similar to anxiousness or a reversed sleeping sample.

Many vets advocate sedatives or drowsy antihistamines. These are wonderful if a dog actually wants them, however if you happen to don’t suppose you’ve reached that time but, are there different choices?

Although synthesized in a lab, melatonin is a hormone that dogs (and people) naturally produce. This means it’s much less more likely to produce undesirable unwanted side effects or trigger different points. That stated, it’s all the time greatest to be well-informed about any substance you plan to present to your pets.

This article will cowl every part it’s essential to learn about giving a dog melatonin.

Contents & Quick Navigation

Can I Give My Dog Melatonin? Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs?

Before you even take into account giving your dog melatonin, in fact you’ll need to know that it’s protected.

The fast reply is, sure; melatonin is mostly thought-about protected for dogs.

However, there’s barely extra to it than that.

According to Pet Place, the drug is technically registered to be used in people solely, and there haven’t been many research on the consequences of melatonin use in dogs. But, simply because there isn’t a lot official proof, it doesn’t imply it isn’t protected.

Veterinarians prescribe melatonin for all kinds of various medical points in dogs, and discover that extraordinarily few unwanted side effects are famous, even when used long-term.

So, in all probability, melatonin is safer than lots of veterinary medication which have had intensive research on their use.

What is Melatonin?

Now that melatonin is protected for dogs, you may need to discover out what it truly is.

Melatonin is a pure hormone that’s produced within the mind’s pineal gland, and is subsequently distributed by the physique.

According to WebMD, its primary operate is to control sleep/wake cycles.

A synthesized type of melatonin has been created in labs for a few years. This is used to assist people sleep higher and regulate their sleeping patterns (as an illustration in circumstances of jet lag).

However, it appears to have a wider vary of makes use of for dogs.

What is Melatonin For? What Can it Treat?

As talked about above, melatonin can deal with a wide range of points and illnesses in dogs. These are a few of the primary contenders.

Sleep Issues

It’s commonplace for older dogs to get confused about their sleeping patterns, inflicting them to sleep all day and be awake all evening.

Known as sundowner syndrome, this may be disagreeable for each dog and proprietor.

Since melatonin’s major operate is to regulate sleeping patterns, it’s the proper remedy for this concern.

The drug can be used to deal with common circumstances of insomnia. However, there’s usually an underlying explanation for insomnia in dogs, similar to ache. Therefore, it is best to solely use it as a stopgap measure whereas a vet appears to be like into different potential well being points.


Vets give melatonin to dogs to deal with numerous sorts of tension.

It’s been proven to assist with separation anxiousness, which causes some dogs excessive misery once they need to be house alone.

It can also be good for noise anxiousness, as an illustration when dogs are afraid of thunderstorms or fireworks.

Hair Loss

Melatonin promotes hair progress, so is beneficial in some circumstances the place dogs have misplaced an quantity of their fur.

Notably, it’s used to deal with sure sorts of alopecia, similar to Alopecia X.

It can even assist with hair regrowth in dogs with Cushing’s illness.

Other Uses

While the above are maybe the most typical veterinary makes use of of melatonin for dogs, vets prescribe it for different points, too.

These embody:

Behavioral points
Dogs who want to achieve weight after an sickness or a surgical procedure
Platelet situations
Canine cognitive dysfunction

How Does Melatonin Work?

In its pure type, melatonin is a hormone produced at evening by the pineal gland. Not solely does it need to be evening time, you additionally need to be in a low-light surroundings.

In the mind, tryptophan is transformed to serotonin after which that serotonin is transformed into melatonin.

According to veterinarian Sue Paterson, sure nuclei within the hypothalamus have melatonin receptors. When uncovered to melatonin they assist to regulate or reset a dog’s pure circadian rhythm.

Therefore, melatonin dietary supplements ought to assist with any situations which might be associated to an imbalance of those pure rhythms.

Due to its calming properties, it additionally helps with anxiousness and stress-related illnesses.

Side Effects of Giving Melatonin to Dogs

Melatonin is one thing that’s naturally produced in a dog’s physique. Therefore, few unwanted side effects are reported when given as a complement.

That doesn’t imply that there are by no means any unwanted side effects of utilizing it as a drugs, nevertheless.

Although uncommon, the next unwanted side effects have been famous by some dog house owners:

Changes in feminine reproductive cycles
Increased coronary heart charge
Digestive issues, similar to abdomen ache or an upset abdomen
Behavioral modifications

Are There Any Dogs That Should NOT be Given Melatonin?

Melatonin isn’t appropriate for each dog.

It shouldn’t be given to pregnant dogs or puppies below 12 weeks previous.

It must be averted in dogs with the next situations, until particularly authorised by a vet:

Kidney issues
Brain issues
Liver issues
Bleeding issues

You must also be cautious in case your dog is taking some other drugs or dietary supplements, as some don’t combine properly with melatonin.

As with any medicine, it is best to all the time test with a vet earlier than giving it to your dog.

Can You Give Dogs Melatonin Made for Humans?

While there are separate human and veterinary formulations of melatonin, the energetic ingredient is identical. This means it’s usually protected to present dogs melatonin made for people.

However, there are a few issues to concentrate on. Firstly, it needs to be the right dosage, as some human formulations could also be in bigger doses than wanted to your dog. Secondly, it is best to test the components of the tablets, simply in case they include an ingredient not appropriate for dogs, similar to xylitol.

If unsure, test along with your vet.

How to Give Your Dog Melatonin

If you’re going to be giving your pup their melatonin at house, it is going to usually are available in pill type.

Therefore, simply give the medicine to your dog in the identical method you’ll some other pill. This normally includes hiding it in an additional tasty deal with.

However, there’s additionally an implant model which is injected below the pores and skin. This releases a gentle dose of melatonin into your dog’s bloodstream for a set period of time.

If your dog is having a melatonin implant, it is going to be inserted by your vet and also you received’t need to do the rest.

Melatonin Dosage for Dogs

Melatonin dosage will differ relying on the scale of your dog and what it’s getting used to deal with. Your vet will work out a exact dosage based mostly in your dog’s weight and situation.

Since it’s out there over-the-counter, it may be tempting to only go forward and provides your dog melatonin with out consulting a vet. However, that is completely not advisable. There are some dogs that may’t safely take melatonin so all the time seek the advice of your vet first.

As we stated, it will differ relying in your dog’s precise weight. However, in keeping with Vetinfo, ballpark dosages are as follows:

Dogs below 10 lbs: 1 mg
Dogs 10 to 25 lbs: 1.5 mg
Dogs 26 to 100 lbs: three mg
Dogs over 100 lbs: three to six mg

Can a Dog Overdose on Melatonin? What to Look For, What to Do?

It is feasible for a dog to overdose on melatonin, which is why it’s important to get a vet to work out the right dosage.

A small overdose is unlikely to trigger something greater than a slight abdomen ache and sleepiness, however a bigger overdose may very well be very severe.

Make positive that you just don’t go away the medicine the place your dog can attain it, that you just write down the time you gave your dog their pill so that you don’t neglect and provides them a double dose, and that you just talk with some other people within the family so that you don’t unintentionally each give your pup the medicine, not realizing the opposite has additionally finished so.

However, if these measures fail or one thing else goes incorrect and your dog will get an excessive amount of, it is best to know what to do.

The following signs could point out a big overdose of melatonin:

Loss of coordination
High blood strain

If you observed your dog has had an excessive amount of melatonin contact your vet instantly or name the ASPCA poison management hotline on (888) 426-4435.


While melatonin isn’t a viable remedy for all dogs, in lots of circumstances it’s an amazing different to stronger drugs for treating anxiousness and sleep points in dogs. Plus, some vets additionally advocate it for treating a wider vary of situations.

As one thing that’s naturally produced in your dog’s physique, it tends to be related to fewer unwanted side effects and different points. But, keep in mind, it is best to nonetheless seek the advice of along with your veterinarian earlier than giving your dog melatonin.


All content material on this website is offered for informational and leisure functions solely. It shouldn’t be meant to be nor can it’s thought-about actionable skilled recommendation. It should not be used as an alternative choice to in search of skilled recommendation from a veterinarian or different licensed skilled. assumes no accountability or legal responsibility for the use or misuse of what’s written on this website. Please seek the advice of knowledgeable earlier than taking any plan of action with any medical, well being or behavioral associated concern.

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A Tired Issue: Can I Give My Dog Melatonin? was final modified: February seventh, 2019 by Lauren Corona



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