Supplements for dogs, contain essential vitamins, minerals and ingredients that help maintain optimal pet health. Melatonin supplements work in various ways to control neurological problems and anxiety issues. Melatonin acts as a powerful antioxidant and also helps to regulate the circadian cycle (24 hour cycle) of various functions and processes of the body.
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the pineal gland (an endocrinal gland) which is based at the base of the brain. It’s a safe and drug-free supplement for pets that’s available as an over the counter product. The supplement is recommended for dogs that exhibit anxiety, hyperactivity, separation anxiety, or suffer from epilepsy. It’s also recommended for older dogs whose sleep patterns are disrupted.
Melatonin supplements are available in the form of a tablet, a capsule, a powder, and a liquid that can be administered directly or incorporated into pet food. The plain tablet form is recommended for dogs in particular, in place of the capsule, sublingual or time release forms. Melatonin takes effect in the dog’s body within 10 to 15 minutes. It works within the body for 8 hours and is safe to use, for as long as is necessary. It may be given on a regular basis or when the dog starts to exhibit signs of fear and panic.
Effectiveness of Melatonin for Dogs:
- Melatonin helps regulate the sleeping pattern (circadian rhythm) of dogs. However it doesn’t induce drowsiness.
- It’s used medically for the re-growth of hair in dogs with pattern baldness.
- It acts as a sedative and calms your pet, and is used to treat stress issues such as accident trauma and anxiety.
- It’s also used to alleviate the fear of loud booming noises such as thunder or fireworks and in the treatment of conditions such as epilepsy. In the case of epileptic dogs, melatonin should be administered at night as it effectively reduces the risk of epileptic seizures at night.
- Puppies have very sharp hearing and generally panic when they hear loud sounds. They tremble and hide under chairs or beds. It’s advisable to use melatonin rather than tranquillizers or sedatives to combat this condition.
- It has been known to help dogs overcome their fear of loud noises permanently.
- Some dogs suffer from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction which is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Administration of melatonin helps them sleep better and become less restless.
General Dosage Guidelines:
- 1 mg for dogs weighing less than 10 lbs
- 1.5 mg for dogs weighing between 10 to 25 lbs
- 3 mg for dogs weighing between 26 to 100 lbs
- 3 to 6 mg for dogs weighing over 100 lbs
It’s best to discuss with the vet, the benefits of melatonin supplementation and inform the vet of other medication administered to pets, before staring any treatment. Caution should be exercised if there’s a pre-existing medical condition. This supplement is also contraindicated in pregnant and lactating dogs.
Since loving care and attention aren’t always helpful to ward off fear or anxiety responses triggered by environmental stimuli, supplements like melatonin work effectively to keep pets calm.