can dogs have melatonin

Can Dogs Have Melatonin?

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Humans have been using melatonin supplements for several decades, but recently, there has been some evidence that proved melatonin can actually be helpful to dogs who suffer from insomnia, hyperactivity, and other conditions. But, can dogs have melatonin safely? Keep reading to find out...

First of all, what is melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural hormone both humans and dogs produce. The pineal gland, which is located in the brain, is in charge of producing this hormone, in response to darkness. How does melatonin work? It basically helps with the timing of the circadian rhythms, and it’s involved in initiating and maintaining sleep.

Usually, melatonin supplementation is helpful to treat sleep disorders in humans. It comes in tablets, gummies, and liquids. However, many pet-parents of anxious dogs are interested in supplementing their furry babies with melatonin, in order to get a sedative aid to help them calm down. So, the question arises…

Can dogs have melatonin?

Yes, according to the APSCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) dogs can be supplemented with melatonin, but you should be very careful with the dose.

5 Things to take into account before giving melatonin to your dog:

  • Like humans, dogs already produce melatonin which means supplementation can sometimes be unnecessary or even harmful.
    • If your dog suffers from anxiety or hyperactivity, there other ways of calming him down. Our Hemp Calming Treats for dogs contain adaptogens, super herbs, and amino acids that gently and naturally help calm your dog down, without any side effects. We focus on nature's super-nutrients such as GABA, L-theanine, magnesium, and valerian root for kaleidoscopic sleep benefits.

  • The right dosage is about 1 mg of melatonin per 20 lbs. of your dog’s weight. Take into account that it takes about 30 to 45 minutes for the effects of melatonin to kick in and the effect lasts for approximately 8 hours. However, we strongly recommend you consult with your veterinarian before administrating melatonin supplementation.

  • Avoid giving melatonin to pregnant dogs and puppies under 12 weeks old.

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

  • Last but not least, it is very important to read the labels of melatonin supplements before administrating them to your dog. Some of them might contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.

Benefits of melatonin in dogs

can dogs have melatonin
  • Alleviates insomnia and sleep disorders, and calms anxiety: Melatonin helps regulate the sleep cycle and your dog’s sleep schedule while calming him down.

  • Relieves symptoms of Cushing disease: Melatonin might help dogs who suffer from mild Cushing disease by alleviating their symptoms. This disease is caused by an overproduction of cortisol, and melatonin helps reduce its levels.

  • Improves coat condition: If your dog suffers from hair loss or alopecia, it has been shown that melatonin can help improve the coat condition.
  • Helps cognitive dysfunction in senior dogs: There is some evidence that suggests melatonin helps alleviate symptoms in dogs who suffer from CDD.

  • Help dogs with impaired vision: Sleep cycles can be altered due to blindness or impaired vision since the brain does not receive the signal of the light to start producing melatonin. Supplementing blind dogs with melatonin helps restore their normal sleep cycle.

Possible side effects

Even though melatonin is a natural hormone, its supplementation can cause some side effects, among which we can find:

  • Upset stomach
  • Lethargy
  • Cramps
  • Itching
  • Tachycardia

So, can dogs have melatonin? Yes, but bear in mind melatonin is not recommended for dogs with bleeding disorders, as it can worsen symptoms, as well as those with depression, high blood pressure, and seizures.

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