Do you ever struggle to get your dog to sleep through the night? If so, you may want to consider giving them melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in humans and animals. It helps regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin can be used to treat insomnia in dogs, as well as other conditions like anxiety and noise phobias. Melatonin for dogs is safe as long as you give the correct dosage and it is recommended by a veterinarian.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body and helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It is produced by the pineal gland in animals and humans. Melatonin production increases in the evening as it gets darker outside and decreases in the morning when it becomes light again. This hormone is also found in some foods, such as tomatoes, walnuts, and cherries.

melatonin for dogs infographics

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin works by binding to receptors in the brain that are involved in regulating sleep. When melatonin binds to these receptors, it causes drowsiness and induces sleep. In dogs, melatonin can be used to treat insomnia or jet lag. It can also be used to help reduce anxiety levels during events like thunderstorms or fireworks displays.

When Should I Give Melatonin to My Dog?

The best time to give melatonin to your dog will vary depending on the reason you are using it. For dogs with insomnia, it is typically recommended to give them melatonin about an hour before bedtime. If you are using melatonin to help reduce anxiety levels, then it is usually given 30 minutes to an hour before the event that is causing the anxiety.

You can also give melatonin to dogs who are suffering from anxiety and stress. This is because melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. It can help to calm an anxious dog and promote relaxation.

Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs?

Yes, melatonin is safe for dogs when used as directed. It is important to note that melatonin should not be given to pregnant or nursing dogs. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any new supplements, even if they are natural.

Melatonin for Dogs Dosage Chart by Weight

Weight of dog in lbsStandard dosing rate of melatonin for dogs
Dogs under 10 lbs1 mg
Dogs 11 to 25 lbs1.5 mg
Dogs 26 to 100 lbs3 mg
Dogs more than 100 lbs3 to 6 mg
Melatonin for Dogs Dosage Chart by Weight

The chart above is a suggested dosage of melatonin for dogs by weight. Again, it is important to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements, even if they are natural. This is because each dog is different and will respond differently to supplements.

If you are considering giving your dog melatonin, please consult the dosage chart above and talk to your veterinarian. Melatonin can be a great way to help ease anxiety in dogs, but it is important to make sure that they are taking the correct dosage for their weight.

melatonin for dogs dosage chart by weight - dog leaning on the table with tablets of medicines

Possible Side Effects of Melatonin on Dogs

Like any supplement, there are possible side effects of melatonin on dogs. The most common side effect is drowsiness. Other potential side effects include:

Disorientation

Disorientation is manifested by a dog appearing confused, erratic, or even lost.

Depression

Some dogs will become depressed when taking melatonin. This may manifest as a lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy, reduced appetite or weight loss, and lethargy.

Hallucinations

Hallucinations are rare but can occur in some dogs who take melatonin. These visions can be anything from seeing things that aren’t there to experiencing unusual smells.

Seizures

While seizures are rare, they have been known to happen in dogs who take melatonin supplements. If your dog has any history of seizures, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before giving them this supplement.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are common side effects of melatonin in dogs. If your dog experiences either of these, it is important to stop giving them the supplement and consult with your veterinarian.

Drowsiness

The most common side effect of melatonin in dogs is drowsiness. This supplement is meant to make your dog sleepy, so this side effect is to be expected. However, if you feel like your dog is sleeping more than usual or seems lethargic during the day, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Loss of Appetite

Some dogs may lose their appetite when taking melatonin supplements. If this occurs, it is important to consult with your veterinarian as they may need to adjust the dosage or recommend a different supplement altogether.

Dry Mouth

Another common side effect of melatonin in dogs is dry mouth. This is caused by the decrease in saliva production that often accompanies drowsiness. If your dog’s mouth seems unusually dry, give them plenty of water to drink and consult with your veterinarian.

If you notice any of these side effects in your dog after giving them melatonin, please consult your veterinarian immediately. As always, melatonin should not be given to puppies or pregnant/nursing dogs. If you have any questions about whether or not melatonin is right for your dog, please consult your veterinarian.

Benefits of Melatonin for Dogs

There are many benefits of melatonin for dogs. Melatonin can help to ease anxiety, reduce stress, and promote restful sleep. It can also be used to help dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias. Melatonin is also effective in treating jet lag in dogs.

How to Give Melatonin to Dogs

The recommended dosage of melatonin for dogs is 0.25 mg per pound. This can be given once or twice daily, depending on the needs of your dog. You can give the medication by mouth, or you can put it in their food. If you are giving it to your dog orally, make sure that they swallow it completely.

Insomnia in Dogs

Insomnia in dogs can be caused by many things, including anxiety, stress, pain, and medications. If your dog is having trouble sleeping, melatonin may help.

Symptoms of Insomnia in Dogs

The most common symptoms of insomnia in dogs are:

  • Restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Whining
  • Excessive panting

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it may be having trouble sleeping. Melatonin can help to ease their anxiety and stress so that they can sleep peacefully. However, you must first consult with your veterinarian to make sure that melatonin is the right choice for your dog.

Alternatives to Melatonin

There are other ways to help your dog get a good night’s sleep. Some of these include:

Adaptil collar

This collar releases synthetic pheromones that mimic those produced by the mother dog. They can help to calm dogs and reduce stress.

ThunderShirt

This is a wearable shirt that applies gentle pressure to the dog’s torso, which has been shown to be calming in times of anxiety or stress.

Bach Rescue Remedy

This is a homeopathic remedy made from flowers that is said to have a calming effect on dogs. To use this remedy, add four drops to the dog’s water bowl or put it in their mouth.

melatonin for dogs dosage chart by weight - dog looking at human hand with medicine

Can Dogs Have Melatonin Every Day?

Yes, dogs can have melatonin every day, but it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a daily dose of melatonin. As with all supplements, too much melatonin can be harmful, and it’s important to find the right dosage for your individual dog.

FAQs About Melatonin for Dogs

Can I give my dog 10 mg of melatonin?

Yes, you can give your dog up to a total of 25 mg per day. This includes any combination of melatonin products- such as tablets, capsules, or liquids.

Can melatonin kill a dog?

No, melatonin is not toxic to dogs and will not kill them. However, it’s important to give your dog the correct dosage of melatonin- too much can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog suffers from these side effects, stop giving them melatonin and contact your veterinarian.

How much melatonin can I give my dog for anxiety?

If your dog is suffering from anxiety, you can give them up to a total of 0.25 mg per pound of body weight per day in divided doses. So, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, you could give them 12.50 mg per day (0.25 mg x 50 lbs).

How much melatonin can I give my dog?

The dosage of melatonin for dogs will vary depending on the weight of your dog. The chart above provides a general guideline for dosages by weight. Always make sure to follow the directions given by your veterinarian to avoid any complications.

Final Thoughts

Melatonin for dogs is a safe and effective way to help your furry friend relax and ease anxiety. Be sure to always follow the dosage recommendations from your veterinarian to avoid any complications.

Usually, melatonin is given to dogs who are going through anxiety or stress. It can also be used for dogs who have trouble sleeping due to things like separation anxiety, loud noises, or travel. Melatonin is also a common treatment for thunderstorm phobia in dogs. If your dog is dealing with any of these issues, speak with your veterinarian about whether melatonin would be a good option for them.

If you decide to give your dog melatonin, you should start by giving them the lowest possible dose and then increasing it if necessary. The most important thing is to make sure that you follow the dosage recommendations from your veterinarian to avoid any complications.

The chart above is only a general guide for melatonin dosage for dogs by weight. If you have any questions, always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication.

With that being said, melatonin is generally considered to be a safe supplement with few side effects. The most common side effect of melatonin is drowsiness, so make sure that you don’t give your dog this supplement if they need to be up and alert. Other possible side effects include upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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