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Can dogs eat melatonin?

Melatonin skeletal formula and sleeping woman during the night

If you don’t like to take prescription sleeping pills, you may take melatonin. Melatonin is a neurohormone that fosters sleep in many humans by aiding in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. It can do the same thing for dogs, and it is one of the few supplements you can safely give your dog.

In smaller doses, melatonin can be used to treat a dog’s separation anxiety, phobias, or stress, and in normal doses, can further sedate a dog that won’t sleep into sleeping through the night. Melatonin has even been shown to help some dogs combat canine alopecia.

Can dogs eat melatonin?

Melatonin is known to be safe for dogs, though it has not been approved for dogs by the FDA. Here are some facts about dogs ingesting melatonin.

Can dogs have side effects from eating melatonin?

Your dog can present with a few side effects if they ingest melatonin, such as gastric upset (such as cramps), itching, increased heart rate, confusion, and changes in fertility. Also, you should buy melatonin made for dogs, since human-grade melatonin products often contain herbs that are toxic to dogs.

What is the correct dosage of melatonin for my dog?

Consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog melatonin. You will want your vet to prescribe the correct specific dosage for your particular dog. The following are only general guidelines.

Size of DogDosage of Melatonin
Dogs under 10 pounds1 milligram
Dogs between 10 and 25 pounds1.5 milligrams
Dogs between 26 and 100 pounds3 milligrams
Dogs over 100 poundsUp to 6 milligrams
The general rule is 1 milligram per 20 pounds of body weight.

You should administer melatonin to your dog no more than 3 times per day. You can give it to them on a full or empty stomach. Melatonin normally begins working within around 15-30 minutes and the effects last roughly 8 hours.

How can melatonin help my dog?

Melatonin can help normal dogs sleep, but it is especially known to help many victims of doggie dementia or canine cognitive dysfunction to sleep. It also helps with separation anxiety disorder, phobias, and stress. Melatonin can help dogs with epilepsy, and it can even help with hair loss that isn’t caused by an allergy.

When should dogs not be given melatonin?

You should never give melatonin to dogs who are pregnant or nursing. It should be kept from puppies less than 12 weeks old. Dogs with liver dysfunction should not take melatonin, nor should dogs with kidney impairment or neurological disorders.

You should also consider what other medications and supplements your dog is already taking, because melatonin can negatively interact with some drugs.

What happens if a dog eats melatonin?

Melatonin shouldn’t harm your dog in moderate doses, but what if your dog gets too much? Here are the signs of a melatonin overdose.

What are the symptoms of a mild overdose of melatonin in my dog?

A mild overdose of melatonin can cause your dog to vomit and get diarrhea, oh, and of course, become very sleepy. These symptoms usually occur within half an hour.

What are the symptoms of a serious overdose of melatonin in my dog?

Even a serious overdose of melatonin probably won’t kill your dog, but in the event this happens, get them to the vet immediately. Signs of a serious overdose include one or more of the following: drowsiness, incoordination, itchiness, vomiting, diarrhea, a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, and even seizures.

What to do if my dog eats melatonin?

If your dog has eaten melatonin, you need to know what to do. Here are the best steps to take.

Do not induce vomiting.

Do not try to do anything that will make your dog vomit, as they will be drowsy and could easily get choked on their own vomit, and this is a serious medical condition.

Try to determine the amount of melatonin your dog has eaten.

Use the number the bottle says it contained, subtract the number of pills that are left, subtract any pills you had already taken, and this will give you the approximate number of pills your dog ingested.

Try to determine the time at which your dog ate the melatonin.

You need to know approximately what time your dog ate the melatonin. Just pin it down as closely as you can.

Read the label on the melatonin bottle, and check for xylitol or other ingredients your dog may be allergic to.

It may not be the melatonin causing your dog to be in distress. Check the melatonin label for ingredients such as xylitol (an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs).

Call Poison Control or your vet.

When you call the Pet Poison Helpline or your vet, they will want all this information. They will need it to make an informed decision on advice to give you regarding the medical care of your dog.