Humans normally take melatonin supplements to aid poor sleep, but you might find your vet prescribing similar supplements to your dog! Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in both humans and dogs. It’s becoming more and more popular as a way to treat certain conditions.
There still needs to be more research on how melatonin affects dogs, but it’s usually safe for your canine to consume. Despite this, you need to administer the right dosage, as a melatonin overdose could be seriously harmful to your dog.
10mg is usually too much for dogs to consume, though every dog will need a different melatonin dosage depending on a few factors. Your vet will determine whether your dog needs melatonin or not, but you may worry about accidentally giving your dog too much of the hormone.
To put your mind at ease, we’ll cover signs of a melatonin overdose in this article, so you know what to look out for. You’ll also learn how to work out how much melatonin you should give your dog, as well as how to prevent overdoses in the first place.
What Does Melatonin Do?
Melatonin is a hormone that helps us fall asleep. It is released in our brains in the evenings which helps the body know it’s time to go to bed. Melatonin can also reduce anxious feelings and help people calm down.
You can purchase melatonin supplements that can help treat sleep-related conditions. Synthetic melatonin is available as pills and chewable gummies, but you can also find it within tinctures and teas.
In most cases, melatonin is quite affordable and readily available, so it can help those suffering from poor sleep or insomnia.
Does Melatonin Work On Dogs?
Like it does with humans, melatonin has been known to have soothing properties that calm dogs down. Research has shown that dogs prescribed melatonin before surgery were a lot more relaxed, so they needed less anesthesia.
Other than being relaxing, melatonin has other effects on dogs. Another study found that dogs who consumed melatonin after neutering could regulate their hormones which are normally unbalanced after the procedure.
Is Melatonin Safe For Dogs To Consume?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals claims that melatonin is safe for your dog to consume. One side effect is lethargy when the dog wakes up the next day, but there’s a low risk of serious side effects occurring after administering the supplement.
Melatonin is available to purchase over the counter in the United States and Canada, but it is more difficult to attain in other locations. Even if you can purchase melatonin freely, you need to consult your vet before even thinking about giving it to your dog.
Melatonin may be safe, but it’s important to make sure your supplement is free from coatings or fillers that may be dangerous. You should also make sure your melatonin doesn’t contain xylitol, as this can harm your dog.
Although the risk is rare, there is a small chance that the dog may have an allergic reaction to melatonin. Monitor your dog carefully after the first few times they take the supplement.
There’s a low risk of dangerous side effects with melatonin, but there is a possibility that it may affect any medications your dog uses. Make sure you talk with your vet before giving your dogs melatonin, as well as any other new supplements.
The Right Melatonin Dosage For Your Dog
There isn’t much research that has looked into the right amount of melatonin for a dog to consume.
These guidelines are vague, but single oral melatonin doses are normally 3 milligrams for dogs under 25lbs, and 6mg for dogs over 25lbs.
Some guidelines recommend dogs with sleeping disorders should take between 3-6 milligrams of melatonin. Similarly, dogs suffering from anxiety should consume 0.1 milligrams of melatonin per kilogram of their body weight.
These dosages shouldn’t be given more than three times a day.
These guidelines may be different for your dog, so always talk to your vet to discuss how much melatonin your dog should take. This will vary depending on the dog’s weight, age, breed, and any medications or health issues the canine is experiencing.
If your vet does prescribe your dog melatonin, make sure you buy the supplements in the correct amount. Pre-weighed supplements will make it easier to give out the right dosage to your dog.
When To Give Your Dog Melatonin
If you’re going to give your dog melatonin to calm them down before they sleep, give them the correct dosage around two hours before bedtime.
Similarly, if you’re giving your dog melatonin to reduce anxiety before a procedure, give them their prescribed dosage two hours before their appointment.
Two hours is a decent amount of time for your dog’s body to absorb the substance. This will help it deliver its maximum effects when needed.
You can give your dog melatonin tablets as you would with other pills. This may involve crushing the pill into their food, placing it in a treat, or simply giving it to them orally.
If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak to your vet who can offer you more specific and tailored advice.
Signs Of A Melatonin Overdose
Melatonin can offer your pup many amazing benefits, but like any medication, it’s possible to consume more than needed. You can help prevent a melatonin overdose by figuring out your dog’s right dosage with your vet.
Nevertheless, accidents can happen. Whether you think you may have given your dog too much, or your canine has snuck into the medicine box and eaten a few more doses, it’s important to recognize the signs of a melatonin overdose and know what to do afterward.
If your dog has eaten a little more than the recommended dose, it won’t usually experience many severe symptoms. They may be particularly sleepy and suffer from an upset tummy for a while, but this should resolve itself within a day or two.
However, if the overdose is much larger, this can have particularly harmful effects that need urgent treatment. Keep monitoring your dog for signs like weakness or sleepiness.
Melatonin overdose symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- Loss of coordination
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, notify your vet immediately or contact a poison control service. They will advise you on what to do next and how to take care of your dog.
How To Prevent A Melatonin Overdose
Here are some guidelines that can help your dog consume too much melatonin.
- Never judge your dog’s melatonin dosage yourself. The correct dosage and guidance on administering the hormone should only come from your vet.
- Avoid curious pets by keeping the supplements well out of reach.
- Always note down the date and time when you give your pet melatonin. This will prevent you and other owners from administering a second dose.
- Notify other household members when you give the dog melatonin. Tell each person how much you’ve given and when they had the supplement.
A good way to know how your dog will react to melatonin is by beginning with a lower dosage, then gradually increasing it over the week. Look out for any side effects like sluggishness or confusion. If these occur, contact your vet before giving your dog any more of the hormone.
Can Puppies Consume 10mg Of Melatonin?
As mentioned above, dogs shouldn’t consume melatonin more than three times a day. At the upper level, a single dose for larger dogs over 25lbs is 6 milligrams.
Puppies are much smaller than 25lbs, so if they are prescribed melatonin, this will be in very small amounts. 10 milligrams of melatonin is too much for a dog, especially a puppy that’s still growing.
If your puppy or dog consumes 10 milligrams of melatonin, they will be at risk of serious health issues. Always contact your vet if you think your dog has consumed too much of the hormone.
Melatonin is considered safe for your dog, but it’s important to give them the right dosage. Giving your pup more melatonin than necessary can lead to serious health consequences.
Never give your dog melatonin unless you’ve discussed the right dosage with your vet. You should also make sure the supplement is free from fillings, coatings, and xylitol, as this could harm your dog.
If your dog does consume too much melatonin, look out for the symptoms above and notify your vet immediately. You can avoid melatonin overdoses by keeping the medicine well away from curious pets and notifying household members each time you administer the supplement.