You may be wondering if you can give your dog Melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced naturally in both our furry friends and us. But can you safely give it to your pooch?
This article contains the important information you want to know.
Can You Give Melatonin To Your Dog?
To start, let’s look at whether Melatonin is safe for your dog, or not.
It’s important to state first, the FDA has not approved the use of Melatonin for dogs. Therefore, you shouldn’t really be giving it to your dog without at least consulting a professional veterinarian first.
Despite it being a somewhat mild supplement that’s easily bought over the counter, there are no guarantees how it will interact with your dog.
Many pet owners do use Melatonin with their dogs, but it doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe for yours.
It could react badly with current medication, it may worsen ongoing medical conditions (perhaps ones you don’t even yet know about) and it may pose a risk to pregnant dogs, or puppies.
However, most concerned owners would still rather opt for a supplement like Melatonin to treat certain conditions than using medical drugs.
Drugs often contain strong chemicals and produce worse side effects. You must really speak to your veterinarian first.
To conclude, the supplement Melatonin, is widely used, and it may be less strong than harsh medical drugs, BUT at the same time, it has not been approved by the FDA for use in dogs.
How Melatonin May Benefit Your Dog
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland. It’s the hormone that makes us sleepy as the sun goes down and it becomes nighttime.
For us, a Melatonin supplement is commonly used as a sleep aid for those who struggle to get a good night’s rest, and for dogs, it could be used to treat anxiety, stress, insomnia, and even reduce hyperactivity.
Melatonin is said to be particularly useful for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, which we all know is quite prolific in many working breeds.
Most dogs don’t cope well if left alone for too long, and separation anxiety can easily develop if your job requires you to be out of the house for many hours every day. Therefore, in a situation like this, Melatonin could be used to mellow down your dog and reduce his nerves. Whether or not it’s the correct thing to do, is your and your veterinarian’s decision.
Is it effective in dogs? It is typically effective, and it does what it’s supposed to do as a supplement. But the lack of research and investigation into the long-term side effects of this supplement causes room for concern.
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Melatonin Side Effects in Dogs
It’s important to check out the ingredient list of the Melatonin supplement you buy or wish to buy. Some ingredients within the supplement are toxic for dogs, Xylitol being one of them. This isn’t in all Melatonin supplements, so be careful which one to pick. Any toxic substance should be avoided for various obvious reasons!
Some of the basic side effects include drowsiness, digestive issues, and in some cases a raised heart rate.
It may also impact any medication your dog is currently on and may worsen various ongoing health issues, that you may not even be aware of.
Also, just like with many other supplements or medications, it could cause an allergic reaction. This would likely be rare, but still a possibility.
For female dogs, it may upset the reproductive cycle, so that’s something else to keep in mind.
Apart from the basics, it’s hard to determine further possible side effects. This is because not much research has actually been carried out for the supplement and its effects on dogs (which isn’t a good thing!).
Aside from the ingredients, you will need to speak to your veterinarian about dosage size. Dosage size will change according to the size, weight, and age of your dog.
Does Your Dog Actually Need Melatonin?
I personally see both sides of it, I understand the need to use supplements, but I also think that there may be some alternatives.
It all depends on your own situation with your dog.
It helps to ask a few important questions first, why does your dog need a Melatonin supplement? Is it because he’s suffering from stress? or anxiety, hyperactivity, or insomnia?
If it is, it may not be the quick solution, but it would be a good idea to try fixing the root cause of those issues, rather than resolving to supplementation. But I don’t know the situation, everyone is different.
For example, if your dog is suffering from anxiety, why is that? It could be because you work long hours or your dog for whatever reason goes for long periods of the day on his own.
In this example, the best approach would be to try and change that situation, as the anxiety will never really go away, even with supplements.
Fixing the anxiety by ensuring he isn’t left alone for more than 1 or 2 hours anymore, maybe a better approach. This is just an example and likely isn’t why you’re after Melatonin, but hopefully, you see where I’m going with it.
If your situation does still need a supplement, that’s fine, but I strongly talking to your veterinarian about it.
To conclude with a more finalized answer, Melatonin can be given to dogs, but it may not be a good, healthy fit for all dogs. Melatonin has not been officially approved by the FDA as safe for use with dogs, but many veterinarians do themselves approve the use of it.
Due to this level of uncertainty, it’s important to first speak to your veterinarian if you are interested in this type of supplement. It may end up that there is an alternative way to help your dog from whatever issue he may have.
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DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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