Melatonin For Dogs | Veterinary Place (2023)

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the pineal gland. Though most people are only aware of its use as a sleeping aid, it has many other applications when given to dogs, including the ability to help treat separation anxiety, several forms of canine alopecia (hair loss), and phobias. It can even aid in weight gain following the malnourishment associated with surgery and sickness.

Being a natural substance makes it a preferable choice for owners who wish to avoid synthetic medicines for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. Please be aware that the use of this hormone to treat dogs is still considered experimental despite its apparent safety.

We recommend: For the treatment of anxiety in dogs we recommend Anxietrex, a natural remedy with no side effects. Anxietrex relieves anxiety without the rapid heart rate, headaches and itching that is possible with the use of melatonin.

Recommended Dosage


The melatonin dosage is dependent on several factors including the size of the dog and the condition being treated. It should not be used until you have spoken to your vet due to the many variables involved. The route of administration can also differ. For example, implants which slowly release the substance over time are injected subcutaneously (under the skin).

ConditionSuggested dosage plan
Atypical Cushings DiseaseOne 8 mg 18 mg Dermatonin implant every ~4 months (frequency may vary).
Insomnia or PhobiasA dosage of 0.45 mg/lb is suggested (rounding up to the nearest 1 mg), and should be given by mouth every 8 to 24 hours.

For night waking, 1 9 mg may be given roughly 30 minutes before bed. The amount needed will vary based on the size of your dog.

Thrombocytopenia (ITP)Because there is some evidence showing that melatonin stimulates the production of platelets, dogs with this condition could be given 3 mg if they weigh less than 9 lbs, and 6 mg if they weigh 9 lbs or over.

These doses should be given by mouth every 12 hours.

(Video) Melatonin: Top 5 Uses For Dogs and Cats


In general, when given orally, dogs under 25 lbs should receive 3 mg per dose, while those over 25 lbs should be given 6 mg per dose. Some sources recommend an even lower dose of 1.5 mg for small breeds and up to 9 mg for large breeds. Melatonin can be given with or without food.

Melatonin For Dogs | Veterinary Place (1)The injection of subcutaneous implants will need to be repeated several times a year. When treating atypical Cushings (sometimes known as Alopecia X, pseudo-Cushings, Nordic breed alopecia, congenital adrenal hyperplasis-like syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia-like syndrome and CRFA) you can also try the oral route of administration.

The recommended dosage of orally administered melatonin for the treatment of atypical Cushings is 3 12 mg every 8 to 12 hours. Use should be continued for at least 4 months to determine whether it is effective.

What about typical canine Cushings disease?

According to sources including Dr. Scott Nimmo, melatonin is also useful for treating typical canine Cushings. Dr. Jack Oliver recommends using melatonin with lignans for this purpose.

Melatonin helps with Cushings by blocking the uptake of cortisone. However, if the condition is caused by a tumor on an adrenal gland, surgery is recommended.

(Video) Melatonin For Dogs: Is It Safe & How Can It Help?

What is the correct way to administer a subcutaneous shot?

When it comes to administering shots subcutaneously we recommend following your vets directions. Some vets will have you come into the clinic and perform the injections themselves, but if not, there are several helpful videos on YouTube which show you how to do it yourself. Dont forget to sterilize the injection site and change the needles after use to minimize the chance of infection.

How Safe Is It?

There is not much information regarding the safety of melatonin when given to dogs. However it is a substance naturally produced in the body and appears very safe, with few reports of side effects (even during longer term use although a decrease in lutropin levels can be expected in these cases).

(Video) Is human melatonin safe for dogs?

Many vets have successfully and safely used implants to treat atypical Cushings with no adverse reactions, and each implant can last up to 4 months at a time.

Pregnant pets and very young puppies (12 weeks and under) should not be given melatonin. Based on human contraindications, it is also advised that you notify the vet if your dog suffers with liver problems, issues affecting the brain, bleeding disorders, seizures, or poor kidney function. Because melatonin can slow the blood clotting process, its best to avoid use alongside other drugs with anticoagulant properties such as aspirin.

Safety Guidelines


To increase the safety of treatment you should always speak to the vet before giving melatonin to your dog. You should disclose any medical conditions your dog suffers with and any other medicines/supplements he or she is taking. If you are planning to use subcutaneous implants, make sure you understand the guidelines of safe injection and avoid accidentally injecting the substance into muscle tissue or the bloodstream. In most cases the vet will inject the implants for you.

If your pet is suffering from hair loss its strongly recommended that you seek a diagnosis, as this symptom is associated with various conditions including thyroid disease, parasite infections, and bacterial infections, all of which require other forms of treatment.

Uses


There are several possible uses of melatonin for dogs. It can be used to treat:

  • Atypical & Typical Cushings
  • Insomnia
  • Phobias
  • Anxiety
  • Thrombocytopenia (ITP)


Owners should remember that insomnia is often brought on by emotional distress or physical pain (for example, pain associated with arthritis). We recommend trying to find the underlying cause and treat that instead of masking the issue with supplements. Some key things to consider are recent moves, new tenants, emotional tension in the household, and the age of your pet (because old age increases the likelihood that he or she is suffering from joint-related pain).

If you suspect arthritis take your dog to the vet for a professional opinion. Supplements such as Dasuquin簧 (containing glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM) are better choices than melatonin for treating joint pain as they can address the cause of the issue instead of masking one of the symptoms. By relieving your dogs pain, not only will he get a better nights sleep, but he will also be able to enjoy a more active lifestyle during the day.

(Video) Is human melatonin safe for dogs?

Side Effects


When given orally, adverse effects appear to be rare. However, based on the reports of owners and the side effects seen in humans, the following should be anticipated:

Most Common

  • Sleepiness


Others

  • Changes in fertility
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headaches
  • Itching
  • Confusion
  • Gastric upset


If subcutaneous implants are used, abscesses are also possible. These are abscesses which develop around the injection site where the drug has remained and caused irritation.

Overdose:

(Video) The Best Melatonin for Dogs Ultimate Guide

In the case of an overdose please get in contact with your vet for advice on how to proceed. You may also call the ASPCA poison control hotline on (888) 426-4435. Mild overdoses are not expected to result in complications beyond an increase in sleepiness and stomach discomfort, but could potentially result in more serious issues such as high blood pressure and seizures in susceptible pets. Its best to practice caution and seek help when an overdose is suspected due to the limited knowledge regarding melatonin use in animals.

Sources

Dr. R. Paradis
Plumbs Veterinary Drug Handbook (sixth edition)

FAQs

Does melatonin for dogs really work?

Melatonin can be an excellent supplement for your dog. The sedative qualities in melatonin make it effective in calming down and soothing anxious dogs.

How much melatonin should you give a dog?

According to Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, the appropriate dose for dogs with sleeping disorders is between 3 and 6 milligrams12. If your dog is suffering from anxiety disorders, then Plumb's Handbook indicates 0.1 milligram of melatonin per kilogram of body weight.

How long does melatonin take to set in for dogs?

Yes, melatonin is safe for dogs when administered properly. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that can also help dogs with separation anxiety and stress. For dosing, the recommendation is 1 mg of melatonin per 20 pounds your dog weighs. It takes about 30 minutes for the effects of melatonin to kick in.

How long does it take melatonin to make a dog sleepy?

This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.

Can you give a dog melatonin everyday?

No matter the size of the dosage, you should never give your dog melatonin more than 3 times a day.

What are the side effects of melatonin in dogs?

Side effects of melatonin in dogs, although rare, include:
  • Changes in fertility.
  • Gastric upset and stomach cramps.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Itching.
  • Confusion.

Is 10 mg melatonin too much for a dog?

10 Mg of melatonin usually doesn't affect a large dog but can have a significant effect on smaller dogs. The therapeutic dose is 1 mg/10 lbs. of body weight, meaning smaller dogs can overdose on 10 mg of melatonin. Contact your veterinarian if your dog shows symptoms of a melatonin overdose.

How long does melatonin last in a dog?

Melatonin comes in tablet, capsule, powder, and liquid forms that can be given with or without food. It usually starts working within ten to 15 minutes after a dog takes it. Effects last for about eight hours if dogs take the correct dosage.

Is 5mg of melatonin too much for a dog?

Dog owners that supplement with melatonin report normal hair growth, normal energy levels, and normal appetite and urination in their dogs. Veterinarians recommend giving dogs over 30lbs 5mg melatonin (1 tablet) every 12 hours. For smaller dogs visit our Amazon storefront for other dosages and flavors.

How often can you give a dog melatonin?

Melatonin Dosage for Dogs

General recommendations are to give 1 to 6 milligrams orally every eight to 24 hours. Typically, doses are lower and less frequent when used for sleep than for skin conditions and behavioral concerns.

How can I get my dog to sleep fast?

Music, lights, even relaxing scents can help your dog fall asleep while you offer him a relaxing massage. If your dog is mobile, getting him exercise before bedtime might help him relax more. A dog who is tired will be more eager to lie down and relax while you massage his tired muscles.

What can I give my dog to calm down?

Give them calming supplements.

Chamomile, pet-friendly CBD oils, and melatonin are all good options for helping lower your dog's heart rate. Check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter supplements to ensure you're giving your dog the correct dose.

Can melatonin cause seizures in dogs?

Based on evidence from laboratory animals, melatonin may have an anticonvulsant effect and alter the threshold at which seizures may occur.

What to give dogs to make them sleep?

Melatonin is commonly used as a sleep aid, and is sometimes used to treat certain hair disorders, cognitive dysfunction and separation anxiety in dogs, as well as sleep cycle disorders in dogs and cats.

What can I give my dog to sleep through the night?

What Can I Give My Dog to Sleep at Night? 7 Common Sleep Aids
  • Calming Chews.
  • Melatonin.
  • CBD Supplements.
  • Injectable Dog Sedatives.
  • Benadryl.
  • Organic Over-The-Counter Sleeping Pills.
  • Prescription Medication.
22 Nov 2021

Can you give a dog Benadryl to sleep?

The sedative properties of Benadryl can also make it an effective treatment for anxiety. Some pet parents give it to their dogs during high-stress situations like fireworks or storms that may induce an anxiety attack. Insomnia can also be treated with Benadryl, as it often helps the user fall asleep.

Does melatonin help with dog aggression?

While melatonin has proven beneficial in the management of certain endocrine disorders, it is a helpful adjunct in canine stress disorders. Therefore, melatonin is offered as an over-the-counter recommendation for the dog with hospital associated aggression and anxiety (Table 1).

How much melatonin can you give a 50lb dog?

A dosage of 0.45 mg/lb is suggested (rounding up to the nearest 1 mg), and should be given by mouth every 8 to 24 hours. For night waking, 1 9 mg may be given roughly 30 minutes before bed.

Does melatonin give dogs diarrhea?

Your dog may experience drowsiness or an upset stomach after ingesting melatonin. Watch out for other changes, too, including allergic reactions like vomiting, diarrhea or general itchiness. Contact your veterinarian if your dog starts showing any of these signs.

What brands of melatonin are safe for dogs?

The 10 Best Melatonin for Dogs
  • Zesty Paws Advanced Calming Bites Best Overall. ...
  • waggedy Calm Stress & Anxiety Relief Melatonin Dog Supplement Best Value. ...
  • Pet Wellbeing Pet Melatonin Bacon Flavored Liquid Premium Choice. ...
  • Nature's Synergy Hemp Oil & Melatonin for Dogs Best for Puppies.
3 Aug 2022

What sleeping pills can I give my dog?

The most common type of sleep medication given to pets is diazepam (Valium簧), although longer acting benzodiazepines may be used (eg temazepam). The symptoms of cognitive dysfunction are sometimes treated with a drug called selegiline.

Is there a natural sleep aid for dogs?

Natural Dog Health Remedies suggests valerian, chamomile, and passionflower have calming properties effective in helping canine insomnia. Combine equal parts of valerian and passionflower (or chamomile) and give 4 to 8 drops of the herbal mixture to your dog (depending on his size).

How can I sedate my dog at home?

Supplements, such as L-theanine, melatonin, Zylkene (hydrolyzed milk protein), or other calming supplements formulated for dogs. Pheromone products (DAP or dog appeasing pheromone), which emit calming dog scent signals. A Thundershirt or other body wrap, which can provide comfort by mimicking swaddling.

Can Benadryl calm a dog?

One of the side effects of Benadryl is drowsiness, which helps to calm anxious dogs. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that diphenhydramine may relieve symptoms of mild-to-moderate anxiety in pets associated with travel. It also may help relieve motion sickness.

What dog breeds have the most anxiety?

The dog breeds that are more likely to have this problem are the German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Jack Russell Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, and German Shorthaired Pointer.

Is melatonin or CBD better for dogs?

Both can help with Cushing's Disease, noise phobia, as well as separation anxiety. That said, a healthy alternative to melatonin for dogs is CBD oil. CBD may be beneficial in alleviating numerous health issues, as well as anxiety, fear, and insomnia, and does not have xylitol, which some melatonin supplements may have.

What medications should you not take with melatonin?

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may lower levels of melatonin in the blood. Steroids and immunosuppressant medications. Melatonin may cause these medication to lose their effectiveness. DO NOT take melatonin with corticosteroids or other medications used to suppress the immune system.

How much melatonin do you give a dog for seizures?

Many dogs who typically have seizures at night or in the early morning can benefit from a small snack and some melatonin before bedtime. The food helps to keep blood sugar stabilized and the melatonin assists in maintaining a regular sleep pattern. A dose of 1.5 mg of melatonin for dogs under 40 pounds, or 3 mg.

How much Benadryl do I give a dog to put down?

According to this scientific paper, the lethal dose for diphenhydramine in dogs ranges between 24 to 30 mg per kilogram of body weight by IV administration. For a 40-pound dog, this would equate to about 430 to 540 mg, or 9-10 tablets (for tablets with 50mg diphenhydramine note that some tablets are 25mg only).

Why does my dog wake up at 3am every night?

Adjust their schedule. If your pet is constantly waking you up at 3 am because they are hungry, then adjusting their feeding schedule can help them sleep throughout the night. Or your dog may be waking you up because they have to go outside to use the bathroom.

How do I stop my dog waking at 5am?

5 Ways to Stop Your Dog from Waking You Up Early:
  1. Make Sure Your Dog Isn't Sick.
  2. Turn the Room Into a Sleepy Environment.
  3. Take Your Dog Out Right Before Bed.
  4. Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise.
  5. Put Your Dog on a Schedule.
28 Jul 2022

Is 10 mg melatonin too much for a dog?

10 Mg of melatonin usually doesn't affect a large dog but can have a significant effect on smaller dogs. The therapeutic dose is 1 mg/10 lbs. of body weight, meaning smaller dogs can overdose on 10 mg of melatonin. Contact your veterinarian if your dog shows symptoms of a melatonin overdose.

What to give dogs to make them sleep?

Melatonin is commonly used as a sleep aid, and is sometimes used to treat certain hair disorders, cognitive dysfunction and separation anxiety in dogs, as well as sleep cycle disorders in dogs and cats.

What can I give my dog to calm them down?

Give them calming supplements.

Chamomile, pet-friendly CBD oils, and melatonin are all good options for helping lower your dog's heart rate. Check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter supplements to ensure you're giving your dog the correct dose.

Does melatonin help with dog aggression?

While melatonin has proven beneficial in the management of certain endocrine disorders, it is a helpful adjunct in canine stress disorders. Therefore, melatonin is offered as an over-the-counter recommendation for the dog with hospital associated aggression and anxiety (Table 1).

How long does melatonin last in a dog?

Melatonin comes in tablet, capsule, powder, and liquid forms that can be given with or without food. It usually starts working within ten to 15 minutes after a dog takes it. Effects last for about eight hours if dogs take the correct dosage.

Can I give my dog 5mg of melatonin?

Dog owners that supplement with melatonin report normal hair growth, normal energy levels, and normal appetite and urination in their dogs. Veterinarians recommend giving dogs over 30lbs 5mg melatonin (1 tablet) every 12 hours. For smaller dogs visit our Amazon storefront for other dosages and flavors.

How often can you give a dog melatonin?

Melatonin Dosage for Dogs

General recommendations are to give 1 to 6 milligrams orally every eight to 24 hours. Typically, doses are lower and less frequent when used for sleep than for skin conditions and behavioral concerns.

What is a natural sedative for a dog?

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Valerian is the most widely recognized herbal sedative. It's safe and gentle and calms the nerves. It also promotes physical relaxation. Use it for stressful events or if your dog gets hysterical or overexcitable.

How can I put my dog to sleep at home fast?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no humane way to put a dog to sleep at home. The drugs used to put dogs to sleep are controlled substances that only veterinarians have access to.

How much Benadryl do I give a dog to put down?

According to this scientific paper, the lethal dose for diphenhydramine in dogs ranges between 24 to 30 mg per kilogram of body weight by IV administration. For a 40-pound dog, this would equate to about 430 to 540 mg, or 9-10 tablets (for tablets with 50mg diphenhydramine note that some tablets are 25mg only).

What dog breeds have the most anxiety?

The dog breeds that are more likely to have this problem are the German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Jack Russell Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, and German Shorthaired Pointer.

Can Benadryl calm a dog?

One of the side effects of Benadryl is drowsiness, which helps to calm anxious dogs. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that diphenhydramine may relieve symptoms of mild-to-moderate anxiety in pets associated with travel. It also may help relieve motion sickness.

How do I teach my dog to calm down and relax on cue?

In a distraction-free environment ask her to lie down and then gently stroke her and see if she responds by lying on her side. When she does so, say the word relax. When you have repeated this exercise a number of times over a few days ask her to lie down and then say the word relax.

What type of melatonin is best for dogs?

The best overall melatonin supplement for dogs is Zesty Paws' calming soft chews. These small bites are packed with ingredients to help calm your dog, induce a relaxed state, and keep his composure.

Can melatonin make a dog hyper?

To date out of 1000s of dogs taking melatonin (some taking it daily for months and even years) this is the sum of reported side effects: 3 dogs were reported to be hyper. Two of these belonged to the same owner, who said melatonin had the same effect on her. One dog seemed to become disoriented.

Is melatonin or CBD better for dogs?

Both can help with Cushing's Disease, noise phobia, as well as separation anxiety. That said, a healthy alternative to melatonin for dogs is CBD oil. CBD may be beneficial in alleviating numerous health issues, as well as anxiety, fear, and insomnia, and does not have xylitol, which some melatonin supplements may have.

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