Having a pet comes with great responsibility. Be it a cat or dog, or any other pet. Everything from its diet to hygiene should be perfectly balanced and carefully checked. You might have heard of the term melatonin if you are a dog owner. It is an advisable substance to feed canines at certain times. The use of melatonin can reduce anxiety and increase sleep quality, and what are the possible melatonin side effects? If you, too, have these questions, then answers to all these questions about dogs and melatonin are waiting for you ahead.
Can Dogs Have Melatonin?
Before anything, what is melatonin? Instead of using drugs or highly dosed medications, people tend to use melatonin for their dogs. However, FDA approval remains pending even though it has been clinically tested and proven beneficial for dogs suffering from certain conditions. Studies have shown that melatonin has calming effects on dogs the same way it affects humans. Besides handling noise anxiety from firecrackers and thunderstorms, it also treats owner anxiety. Some owners give melatonin at night to boost the sleep of their dogs. Generally, the effects of melatonin last seven to nine hours. So is it safe for dogs? Can dogs have melatonin? It is advisable to give melatonin when necessary and under the advice of your physician.
Melatonin sleep aid is a naturally occurring hormonal supplement. The brain produces it in response to the darkness. It helps with sleep. Melatonin sleep aid proves to boost sleep in all dogs and humans. This naturally occurring hormonal substance comes with some side effects too. It can result in increased blood pressure, and it can also lead to depression. The use of melatonin for dogs can reduce anxiety and increase sleep quality. It is safe to take melatonin every night before sleeping, especially for those who struggle with sleeping. Melatonin can also be given to dogs but only under certain conditions. Now a few important questions arise: Can you give dogs melatonin? Is melatonin safe for dogs? How does it affect them? When to give them?. Well, you can find all answers to guide in this article here.
Why Should I Give Melatonin to my Dog ?
So far, we know now what melatonin is and what it can help your dog with. Now, what does melatonin do? Since this is not a drug, giving it to your dog is safe. You can consider providing it to your dog if it is experiencing below mentioned symptoms:
- Melatonin for Sleep: If your dog is experiencing sleeping issues or cannot sleep, then melatonin can boost its sleep. You can give this drug for 10-15 minutes before sleeping as it takes 15 to 20 minutes to kick its effects.
- Epilepsy: Melatonin can also be given if your dog is hyperactive or suffering from epilepsy (a neurological disorder).
- Anxiety: Treating anxiety is one of the other melatonin uses. If your dog suffers from noise anxiety or separation, you can treat them with melatonin.
- Hair Loss: With melatonin, you can also treat some Alopecia (a state of hair loss).
- Alzheimers: Cognitive canine dysfunction is a condition similar to Alzheimer’s in humans. Also, it reduces restlessness.
If your dog shows any of the above symptoms, you can consider giving Melatonin after consulting your vet.
How Much Melatonin Can I Give my Dog?
What is the possible amount of melatonin dosage one can give to the dog? Does it depend on the condition of one’s dog or the severity of the problem? You cannot determine the perfect amount of melatonin to be given. You need to consult your vet for safety of melatonin usage. Also, the dosage depends on the weight and size of your dog too. Recommended dose of melatonin for dog weighing 10 pounds or below is 1mg. 1.5mg of dosage to dogs weighing 10 to 25 pounds. A dose of Melatonin 3 mg to 6 mg is recommendable for dogs over 100 pounds when the dosage is above 25 to 100 mg. The effects of each dosage lasts for eight hours usually. Melatonin for dogs dosages are limited to 3 doses per day. The effect of this drug takes place after 15 minutes of feeding your dog.
How Is Melatonin Given to Pets?
Now how to give melatonin? Melatonin comes in 3 forms: tablet, liquid, and powdered. Most commonly, people use tablet form. Your pets are intelligent and can predict something fishy is being fed to them if you provide them directly as tablets in that case liquid melatonin for dogs are also available. People tend to hide the pills wrapped around their favorite meals or snacks. The powdered form can be easily sprinkled over the food you feed them. Most pet owners avoid feeding melatonin to their dogs when they have an empty stomach as it may lead to vomiting. If you are giving melatonin in liquid form, then make sure to measure it correctly, as measuring powdered and tablet form is easy, but the liquid is complex sometimes. Try feeding them tablets half an hour before their anxiousness for maximum benefit. While giving this drug in the form of tablets, reward them with pet calming treats everytime they take the medication. If any of these fail, you can always consider injecting melatonin directly with the help of your vet under hospitalized conditions and in the environment.
Melatonin Side Effects
Till now, one thing is clear melatonin is a useful and strongly recommended medication. Being such a strong medicine, there must be some Melatonin side effects. Side effects of melatonin on dogs are very rare but include some possible effects:
- Confusion and hangover
- Upset stomach and gastric cramps
- Elevation in heart rate
- Fertility changes
Melatonin contains some artificial sweetener that is harmful to dogs. Pregnant dogs are recommended not to be fed until advised.
What Should I Know Before Giving Melatonin to Dog?
Firstly understand that you should not give melatonin to your dog until advised and properly consulted by your vet. Melatonin is a highly effective medicine, although it is not a drug. Also, the measure of dosage is very much important. Avoid feeding melatonin on an empty stomach, as it may lead to vomiting. Since it is naturally produced, there are rare chances of any side effects. However, still, you should note all the reactions and any visible side effects. Do not skip regular checkups; keep a keen eye on the elevated heart rate. Certain conditions may get worse if you are treated with melatonin. It is only sometimes an option. If you are opting for melatonin, then beware that there should be no extra additives, fillers, or any coating that may affect your dog.
In conclusion, melatonin is not harmful if fed within the limitations and in the right amount. Side effects, although very rare but may scare you or your dog. Stay aware of the consequences and keep visiting the vet regularly. Make sure to measure the dosage accurately based on the weight of your pet dog.