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Last modified on November 16th, 2022
Melatonin for dogs has several different benefits. It’s a common supplement. There are brands of melatonin for dogs, specifically in fact. We cover everything you need to know including the best types of melatonin for dogs, dosages, and the benefits.
6 Best Supplements with Melatonin for Dogs
The following are the best products with melatonin for dogs. We base these rankings on ingredients, quality of manufacturing, and user reviews.
- Helps with separation anxiety and stress relief
- Formulated with veterinarian input
- Each chew contains melatonin and also chamomile and hemp
- According to reviews, these are highly effective at reducing nervous energy in dogs
- All-natural products
- Beef chews with flavors of cheese, bacon, and liver
- Made in the U.S. in a cGMP facility
- Made in a facility certified with the National Animal Supplement Council
- Made with premium ingredients and no fillers like soy, corn, or artificial flavors
- Grain-free chewable supplements
- Help with nervous, tense, aggressive, or anxious behaviors
- Includes Sensoril, a bioactive form of ashwagandha for calm and relaxation
- Can help with barking or hyperactive behaviors
- Smoked chicken flavor
- Along with melatonin, these include chamomile and passionflower
- Gentle so that it can be used every day if needed
- Top-rated by users on Amazon
- Includes hemp seed oil and hemp seed powder
- Also has melatonin, L-tryptophan, and ginger
- Reduces stress and tension
- Manufactured in the U.S.
- Flavored soft chews like a treat
- 180 tablets
- Each tablet is 5 mg
- May help with calming and sleep
- May also help with symptoms of Cushing’s in dogs
- Well-rated on Amazon
- Helps reduce stress in dogs and promote relaxation
- Includes calming L-theanine and L-tryptophan
- May help if your dog has separation anxiety or phobias
- Contain probiotics for digestive health and optimal nutrient absorption
- Cold-pressed to retain maximum benefits of the ingredients
- Can be used by dogs of all sizes
- Bacon flavor
- Each container has 90 soft chews
- Anxiety-relieving soft chews
- Can be given to puppies who are at least 12 weeks old
- Gentle enough to be used daily for nervousness
- Contains melatonin, thiamin, hemp seed oil, and hemp seed powder
- Good for dogs of all sizes
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Made in the U.S.
- cGMP compliant
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a supplement that can be used for humans and dogs.
The pineal gland naturally makes the hormone. In both dogs and humans, melatonin helps our bodies regulate sleep and feelings of anxiety and stress.
Sometimes our bodies or our dogs’ bodies don’t produce enough melatonin, or it’s not released at the right times. That’s why melatonin supplements can be helpful. Along with relaxation, they can help with resuming normal sleep patterns.
If you’ve ever taken melatonin and seen benefits from doing so, you may wonder if you can give it to your dog.
Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs?
Is melatonin safe for dogs? The answer, in short, is yes. Melatonin can be a safe supplement for dogs.
You should not give melatonin to your dog without first talking to your vet, however.
Melatonin for dogs is a hormone supplement that can help with:
- Sleep problems
If your dog has certain types of anxiety, like separation anxiety, melatonin could be helpful. Sometimes dog owners will also use melatonin if their dogs’ anxiety is triggered by certain things like thunderstorms or fireworks.
Some dogs have been cured of their phobias by regular use of melatonin, but as with humans, every dog is different, so this might not always be the case.
There’s a bit of evidence melatonin for dogs could help with some types of alopecia, and it could help dogs with epilepsy.
There’s a condition called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, similar to Alzheimer’s in humans, that makes it difficult for dogs to sleep. Melatonin may be beneficial in this situation.
Along with answering “is melatonin safe for dogs” it’s also worth talking about the potential for any side effects.
Side effects of melatonin for dogs are rare but could include:
- Gastric upset
You should not give your dog melatonin if she is pregnant unless your vet instructs you to. Melatonin in dogs also has the potential to cause changes in fertility.
Rarely, there could be paradoxical effects of melatonin for dogs. For example, the supplement could make a dog more likely to be hyperactive. The same thing can occasionally happen in humans who take melatonin.
Benefits of Melatonin for Dogs
These have been briefly touched on, but some of the possible benefits of melatonin for dogs include:
Anywhere from 20 to 40% of dogs may have separation anxiety. It is distressing for dogs and you.
Anxiety in dogs can also lead to unhealthy patterns of coping and a slew of behavioral issues.
If you’ve ever come home and found something destroyed in your home, your dog may have anxiety and, more specifically, separation anxiety.
Some owners find that melatonin significantly helps with their dogs’ anxiety. It can help your dog relax when they feel stressed. This may then help your dog avoid relying on behavioral problems as a coping mechanism.
If a dog has Cushion’s disease, their body is producing too much cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone. Normal cortisol levels regulate the immune system and stress response. If there’s too much cortisol, it can lead to symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination
- Low energy levels
- Muscle weakness
- Skin conditions
Sometimes, melatonin can help Cushing’s symptoms. For example, if the disease results from a tumor on the pituitary or adrenal gland, melatonin can block the uptake of too much cortisol.
It’s fairly common for vets to try melatonin treatments for Cushing’s in dogs before starting other medicines that might have significant side effects.
When your dog has sleep disturbances, it can then cause lethargy or anxiety.
Just like humans, dogs can struggle with insomnia. It’s often the result of disruptions in their natural rhythms.
Melatonin for dogs can help them get more rest at night and be more active during the day.
Some dogs have seasonal flank alopecia in the winter. It often doesn’t occur with other skin disorders.
Some vets will tell owners to use melatonin for this type of hair loss.
Other Calming Supplements for Dogs
If you went through our rankings for the best melatonin for dogs above, you saw that many of them have multiple ingredients.
There are quite a few calming supplements for dogs you might want to consider.
Calming supplements have been growing in popularity, and some owners find they do have substantial benefits for their dog’s anxiety, nervousness, and in some cases, behavior problems.
- Valerian root: Several of the best melatonin for dogs that we ranked above includes valerian root. Valerian root is a wonderful calming supplement for humans as well. In research published in Applied Animal Behavior Science, valerian extract helped reduced barking and activity in a kennel environment. Valerian root doesn’t work for all dogs, however. It may have some side effects, so speak to your vet before giving your dog valerian.
- L-tryptophan: This supplement may increase brain serotonin levels. As a result, it can help regulate a dog’s anxiety. It’s been discussed in scientific research and there was a promising study published in 2000 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. In that study, it did seem to reduce hyperactivity and aggression.
- L-theanine: This amino acid can improve dopamine levels in your dog’s brain, which can reduce anxiety. A study in 2015 published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found L-theanine reduced anxiety in dogs where storms were a trigger. There was also a high rate of owner satisfaction in this particular study.
- Chamomile: When you’re feeling stressed or you want to unwind at night, you might prepare a glass of chamomile tea. It also works well for many dogs because of its anti-anxiety properties.
- CBD: You’ll also often seem calming supplements for dogs include CBD or cannabidiol, which is again a popular way humans treat their anxiety as well.
- Passionflower: This plant extract is used in human and animal homeopathic medicine because it’s believed to have calming and sedative effects.
- Thiamine: Sometimes, calming supplements for dogs have thiamine, which is also known as vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 may reduce anxiety symptoms.
Melatonin Dosage for Dogs
If you’re considering melatonin for your dog, you need to ask your vet about the proper dosage. When you buy a melatonin product for dogs, you should also follow the dosage instructions for that particular product.
The melatonin dosage for dogs tends to depend on your dog’s size. You should also gradually get your dog started with melatonin. Give the lowest possible dose at first, and watch for any side effects or adverse effects. Then, go up very slowly and gradually from there.
If your dog is less than 10 pounds, they should typically take around 1 mg of melatonin.
A dog anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds might take 1.5 mg.
Dogs from 26 to 100 pounds might take 3 mg of melatonin.
Dogs over 100 pounds may take 3 to 6 mg.
You should not give these dosages more than three times daily.
You can find melatonin in tablet, powder, liquid, and capsule form. Most of our picks for the best melatonin for dogs are like a treat with food flavors to make it easier for you to give the supplement to your dog.
The effects of melatonin for dogs may last around eight hours, and you can almost always give it with or without food.
You might plan to give your dog melatonin right before bed.
Melatonin for Dogs Dosage Chart
The following is only meant as a general guideline. You should always follow your vet’s instructions regarding the proper dosage of melatonin for a dog.
Recommended Melatonin Dosage
|Less than 10 pounds||1 mg|
|10-25 pounds||1.5 mg|
|26-100 pounds||3 mg|
|Over 100 pounds||3 to 6 mg|
Are There Side Effects of Melatonin for Dogs
There are very few if any reported adverse effects of melatonin for dogs, but you should still talk to your doctor first.
Possible side effects of melatonin for dogs can include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Upset stomach
- Changes in fertility
Be careful when you’re choosing dog melatonin that you look carefully at the ingredients. You don’t want melatonin that contains artificial sweeteners and ingredients like xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs.
If your dog is on any medications, you should also talk to your vet about the potential for any interactions to occur.
Pregnant dogs should typically not take supplements, including melatonin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The following are answers to some of the questions people most commonly have about melatonin supplements for dogs.
What does melatonin do for dogs?
The primary reason people use melatonin for dogs is to help their dogs sleep. However, melatonin for dogs can also reduce anxiety symptoms, may help with Cushing’s symptoms and may also help in some types of alopecia.
Melatonin can help with separation anxiety. It can also help with noise-related phobias. For example, some people give it to their dogs for fireworks and thunderstorms.
How much melatonin is safe for dogs?
You should talk to your vet before giving your dog melatonin. However, starting doses for small dogs start at around 1 mg and go up to 6 mg for larger doses.
What is the dosage of melatonin for dogs?
See our above melatonin dosage chart for dogs to get a feel for how much melatonin you can give your dog.
How long does it take for melatonin to work for dogs?
If you’re giving your dog melatonin for sleep or relaxation, it should start to work fairly quickly. It usually starts to work within an hour, and the effects may continue for up to eight hours.
What does melatonin do for dogs’ skin?
Melatonin for dogs’ skin may include benefits such as improving coat condition. It can help with the treatment of hair cycle arrest alopecia like cyclical flank alopecia and pattern baldness.
Vets think it may help with certain types of alopecia because it inhibits the secretion of follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones.
Melatonin may also work at a cellular level, directly impacting hair follicles. For example, it might modulate certain hormones that play a role in hair follicle stimulation like melanocyte or prolactin.
What is the max amount of melatonin for dogs dosage?
The max amount of melatonin for a dog should be around 1.5 mg a day for a dog that’s 25 pounds.
For a 50 pound dog, the maximum dosage of melatonin is around 3 mg a day.
For a 75-pound dog, the max dosage of melatonin is also around 3 mg a day.
For a 100+ pound dog, the max dose of melatonin is 3 to 6 mg a day.
Where to buy melatonin for dogs?
You may be able to buy melatonin for dogs through your vet or specialty pet shops. For our rankings of the best dog melatonin, all of the products are available on Amazon, and most have Prime Shipping available.
Melatonin for dogs may be a good supplement to consider for dogs who have sleep problems, and also for dogs who have anxiety problems such as separation anxiety or phobias. Consult your vet before giving your dog melatonin or any other natural supplement.