Melatonin is a natural hormone that is found in humans. Studies have shown that the same hormone that helps humans sleep could be used to help man’s best friend too. Dogs can be given melatonin to help with a few different things that they may encounter in their lives. Let’s take a look at melatonin for dogs.
Uses And Benefits
Humans use melatonin to help themselves get to sleep. For dogs, there are a variety of purposes that melatonin can help with. One of the ones that is most commonly known is to help with sleep. When a dog is given melatonin it helps to improve their REM sleep.
While some people may laugh at it, pet owners know that their dogs can suffer from separation anxiety. Veterinarian experts backup the fact that dogs can suffer from separation anxiety just like humans. They also suffer from other sources of anxiety such as load noises. Melatonin has been found to work as a mild sedative to help reduce the amount of anxiety that your dog feels.
Cushing’s disease is a condition that is known to strike dogs of most breeds and causes excess production of hormones. Cushing’s tends to strike as your pet grows in age. Melatonin, when combined with other treatment, is often used to help ease Cushing’s Disease in dogs.
Dogs can also suffer from hair loss just like people do. Melatonin has shown potential in assisting your pet with their hair loss issues. Vets believe that melatonin may also help boost your pet’s immune systems and help them to be able to fight off unwanted conditions. Studies are still being conducted into this but there are a variety of immune boosting solutions for your dog that contain melatonin.
As with any kind of herbal remedy you might give your pet, the amount of melatonin that you should give your dog varies. The two factors that you are going to want to think about are: 1) how big is your dog and 2) what are you giving them the melatonin for. Let’s take a quick look at melatonin dosage in dogs.
Dogs that are under 10 pounds should take around 1 milligram of melatonin. Between 10 and 25 pounds a dog can take 1.5 milligrams. For those dogs that are between 25 and 100 pounds, they can take 3 milligrams. Any dogs larger than 100 pounds can take between 3 and 6 milligrams. The dosages listed here are the limits for the listed size of the dog. You should always start with the lowest level of melatonin and work your way up until you find an amount that works for your dog.
It is recommended by vets that you speak with your vet before starting to give your dog melatonin. Your vet will help you to decide what they exact dosage for your pet should be.
Many natural medications that you can find for your dog may already come with melatonin in them. Make sure that you read the labels on anything that you might be giving your dog to ensure that they don’t have anything else with melatonin in their diet.
Whenever your dog starts a new natural remedy or a medication it is always a good idea to speak with your vet. There is always the chance that you could miss dose your pet if you do not know what you are doing. A wrong dose could also cause the melatonin to not be effective.
If your dog should start exhibiting any unusual symptoms while taking melatonin you should stop it immediately. Melatonin has been known to cause some issues. Melatonin is not good for dogs that are pregnant, less than 12 weeks old, have organ problems, bleeding problems, seizures, or allergies.
Melatonin can sometimes cause the following side effects:
- Behavioral Differences (that were not desired)
- Digestive issues
- Excessive Tiredness
- Fast Heart Rates
- Fertility Issues
- Headaches and/or stomach pain
No medication is without its potential side effects and warnings, even natural ones like melatonin. That doesn’t mean that melatonin isn’t safe for most dogs. Most dogs will have no problems taking melatonin and the melatonin could end up improving their life.