A pet owner giving a black and white chihuahua a tablet.

We’ve all heard about humans taking melatonin to ease their sleep difficulties, but what about melatonin for dogs? In some cases, melatonin might help your dog calm down, but when is the best time to give it to them?

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone responsible for regulating your sleep. Humans frequently take melatonin supplements to improve symptoms of insomnia or other sleep-related problems. According to 1-800-PetMeds, in dogs, melatonin can treat:

  • Restlessness
  • Separation anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Symptoms related to Cushing’s disease, a disease that causes hormonal imbalance
  • Alopecia (hair loss)

Please note this list may not be comprehensive.

Is melatonin safe for dogs?

In some cases, yes, but you should always talk to your pet’s veterinarian before administering melatonin to your pet. Melatonin is FDA-approved for veterinary use.

Dosage

Dosage may differ depending on a dog’s age, weight, any present medical conditions they have and any medication(s) they take. Your dog’s veterinarian will be able to provide the best dosing instructions.

Having said that, 1-800-PetMeds outlines a general dosing guideline as follows:

  • 1mg for dogs less than 10 pounds
  • 1.5mg for dogs 10-25 pounds
  • 3mg for dogs 26-100 pounds
  • 3-6mg for dogs over 100 pounds

Still, always consult your pet’s veterinarian for personalized dosing instructions.

Side Effects

Some dogs might experience side effects after taking melatonin, including but not limited to:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Digestive problems, including diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Change in mood/confusion

If you notice your dog experiencing any side effects as a result of taking melatonin, call their veterinarian immediately.

Final Thoughts

Although melatonin has the potential to benefit your dog’s health, you should always talk to their veterinarian before administering the supplement to your dog.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute professional medical advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed professional.

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