Dog Melatonin: The Benefits

Dog Melatonin: The Benefits

Alpha Paw Sale

Oct 11, 2021

  • Melatonin can be used to help your dog sleep better and even help with hair loss
  • This is a very safe supplement to give to your dog every day.
  • Signs that your dog is not tolerating Melatonin are sleepiness and weight gain.

What Is Melatonin for Dogs?

Melatonin is a hormone supplement that is commonly used in both dogs and cats.  While these are sold over the counter, and you do not need a prescription from your vet to purchase these supplements, it is best to only give them to your dog after talking about it with your vet.

For certain skin conditions, your vet may have even recommended that you give this supplement to your dog to help. While there is very little research on the uses of Melatonin in dogs, these are some of the uses for Melatonin.

Melatonin is a great supplement to give your dog every day to not only help them sleep better but also help with hair loss. Before giving any supplement, talk to your vet and watch for and GI issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Dog melatonin: the benefits

What Are the Key Uses Of Dog Melatonin?

There are many reasons that your vet may have recommended that your pet take Melatonin.  This is commonly given to dogs who have issues sleeping or to help with hair loss not related to allergies.  In cat’s Melatonin is given to help also treat behavioral disorders and suppress their heat cycle. Melatonin is very commonly found in over-the-counter sleep and anxiety supplements for dogs.

How do I give My Dog Melatonin?

Melatonin can be given as a liquid, capsule, tablet, or treat.   This will be given to your dog by mouth.  You can give this with or without food.  If your dog shows any GI issues, it would be best to make sure to give the next dosage on a full stomach.

Your vet may also recommend giving your dog a melatonin implant.  This would be an injection that they would give to your dog at the vet clinic. This implant is mainly used for dogs with Alopecia X. This is a condition where your dog loses their hair. It is commonly seen in Pomeranians. This implant would last about six months. Some can last for up to one to two years.

Melatonin usually starts to work very fast, and you may see results in as little as two to four hours.  For hair loss issues, it can take a few weeks for your dog’s hair to grow back.

How much Melatonin does my dog need?

The exact amount will be based on your dog’s body weight.  Small dogs will need about 1mg were large dogs will need 3mgs.  You can slowly work up to higher dosages if it does not seem to help your dog with its condition.  You should not give Melatonin to your dog more than three times a day.

As you are increasing their dosage, it is best to monitor them for and GI side effects or lethargy.  If you notice anything abnormal with your dog, it is best to stop this medication until your dog has improved.

Even though Melatonin is very safe, it is recommended to not give melatonin to puppies under 12 weeks of age. They are developing and growing at this time and there are no studies showing the safety of this medication at this age.

Dog melatonin: the benefits

What are the side effects of Melatonin in dogs?

Melatonin is a pretty safe medication to give to your dogs. There is a very wide safety margin meaning that if you accidentally give your dog too much they will usually be okay. While there are not many know side effects, but there are a few that can happen especially if your dog took too much.

If you notice any side effects, you should stop giving this medication and contact your vet.  This medication does wear off very quickly.  You should notice that this supplement is out of your dog’s system in as little as 24 hours.

If your dog does have any other health issues, it would be best to talk with your vet before starting this medication.  This will help make sure that your dog is healthy enough for this medication.

Dog melatonin: the benefits

Can I Give my dog Human Melatonin?

Yes, human Melatonin is commonly used for dogs.  There are treats made specifically for dogs that contain Melatonin, but the Melatonin that you see at the drug store is okay to give your dog.

Just make sure that there are no artificial sugars such as xylitol, as these are toxic to dogs. Many of the melatonin gummies that people take do contain artificial sugar. When in doubt it is best to not give it to your dog and look for a dog formulated supplement for your dog.

Final Thoughts

If your dog is having trouble sleeping or has anxiety, you should try melatonin supplements. These supplements can help your dog rest and not be as anxious.  When your dog first starts to take these supplements, it is best to watch for any issues and contact your vet right away if you notice anything is wrong.

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Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM is a board-certified, licensed, and USDA-accredited small animal and exotic animal veterinarian. Dr. Sara graduated from St. George's University in 2015 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, she joined the team of pet experts at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she treats all species that walk in the hospital. Dr. Sara’s professional interests include surgery and exotic animal medicine. She enjoys developing positive relationships with her clients, sharing her passion for animals, and helping pet parents provide excellent care for their fur babies. She is passionate about helping our four-legged family members return to a happy and healthy life - making her a perfect fit for Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts!

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