Melatonin is a drug that is widely used by veterinarians to treat a wide array of problems that may arise in dogs, mainly to fight off free radicals in the body which may be aggravating some disease conditions in them.
Melatonin is available over the counter, but it’s recommended that you always discuss the situation with your veterinarian before you go ahead and start a course of treatment for your dog with this drug.
Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?
YES, you can safely give Melatonin to your dog , and many pet owners out there prefer to give their dogs this medication over something like Benadryl, because it is a natural substance and not a synthetic medicine like the latter.
Melatonin has become increasingly popular over recent years with veterinarians, after discovering the huge positive effects that this medicine has when it comes to training your dog and adjusting their behavior.
Why Is Melatonin Given To Dogs?
Melatonin is mostly given to canines to treat:
– Hair loss and helps regeneration of hair and growth of fur.
With that said, you should have a diagnosis done on your animal before you start a course of treatment with Melatonin, because hair loss in dogs can be a sign of many different things, such as Cushing’s disease , thyroid problems, infections from parasites, infections from bacteria and many other conditions.
– Insomnia. However, you should know that if your canine is suffering from insomnia, this is usually the result of an emotional problem or physical pain they might be suffering from (arthritis, for example).
This is why it’s always recommended that you find out the real reason behind insomnia in your dog instead of trying to temporarily, or short-cut solve the problem with Melatonin.
– Different phobias
– Separation anxiety
– Noise anxieties where your pup is afraid when they hear loud noises (such as fireworks)
– Adjust bad sleeping patterns where your dog would become extremely active and hyper at night and sleep during the day
– Cushing’s disease
– Platelet disorders such as ITP 
– Help dogs who need to gain weight after a period of sickness or surgery and are having a hard time doing so
Melatonin Dosage For Dogs
So, how much Melatonin can I give my dog? The only person that will be able to determine the right dosage of Melatonin, how long you should give it to them and all the details of the right course of treatment for your pet is your veterinarian.
Please don’t try to be your own vet and come up with your own diagnosis and course of treatment, that’s risking it way too much and may end up hurting your furry friend.
The melatonin dosage that you should give to your dog during the course of treatment depends on many factors, which include their size and what condition they suffer from.
Generally speaking, here are some basic ballpark-figure dosages that canines receive when given Melatonin orally:
- Dogs which weigh less than 25 lbs get 3 mg per dose
- Dogs which weigh more than 25 lbs get 6 mg per dose.
If you suspect or know that your canine has received an overdose of Melatonin, immediately get in contact with your veterinarian so they tell you what you have to do.
If they have a mild Melatonin overdose, side effects such as increased urge to sleep and stomach aches may arise, while increase in blood pressure and seizures happening most likely indicated more dangerous overdoses.
How Is Melatonin Given To Dogs?
Melatonin is available in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid, implant injections and powder for your dog to take, with the most popular and most recommended form being the tablet.
It’s currently available in the form of 300 mcg, 1mg and 3 mg tablets, while Melatonin implants are available in sizes 2.7 mg, 5.4 mg, 8 mg, 12 mg and 18 mg.
You can either give your furry friend the Melatonin in whatever form it comes when you buy it, or you can include it in their food if they give you a hard time when taking it.
Here are some tips on how to safely give your dog tablets!
If you choose to go with the implant injections, please don’t try to do this on your own (unless you’re a certified professional who knows what they’re doing), let your veterinarian handle the issue the right way for you.
Is Melatonin Safe For Dogs?
Generally, Melatonin is safe for you to give your dog, but there are a few side effects you should be aware of and look out for, especially if the course of treatment is longer than usual:
- Excessive sleepiness and lethargy
- Fertility changes
- Increased heart rate
- Increased nervousness and behavioral changes
- Stomach pain
- Excessive itching
- Becomes lightheaded and confused
- Digestive disorders
To ensure the utmost safety during the process of treatment of your canine with Melatonin, you should always contact your veterinarian and inform them of any medical conditions your dog suffers from, and any other medicine they take that might conflict with the Melatonin.
When Is Giving Dogs Melatonin Bad?
You should never give your pregnant dog or very young puppies (less than 12 weeks of age) any Melatonin.
Melatonin should also not be given to your pet if they suffer from any of the following problems:
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
- Brain problems
- Bleeding disorders
- Allergies or hypersensitivities to Melatonin
You should also refrain from giving your dog any Melatonin if you regularly give them aspirin, because that may lead to drastic reduction in the blood clotting process.
1. Melatonin administration to dogs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7193238
2. Cushing’s disease https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/outreach/Pet-Health-Topics/categories/diseases/cushing’s-disease
3. Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia-Current Approach by Barbara Kohn, Prof. Dr. med. vet., DECVIM https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?meta=Generic&pId=8768&id=3850070