Melatonin for dogs helps your pet cope with stressful situations and anxiety by supplementing much-needed sleep hormone. There are various melatonin supplements for dogs on the market, so read on to find out which one is the best!
Best Melatonin for Dogs
While most dogs are happy-go-lucky furballs whose tails seem never to stop wagging, it doesn’t mean that they don’t experience stress and nervousness as we do. Pooches can be scared and stressed out in certain situations (such as during storms and fireworks, or visits to the vet’s) or are wary and fearful as a rule, often due to past trauma- this is often seen with rescue dogs that have been abused. Some dogs are more prone than others and develop serious anxiety issues that require medication, behavioral therapy, and lots of patience and effort from their pet parents. Needless to say, there are many different approaches to the problem of canine anxiety, whether situational or chronic and what works for one dog might not work for the other. It takes time and experimenting to get results, but going the tried-and-true route is always the safest bet. For instance, many pet parents swear by melatonin for dogs and its soothing effect it has on dogs in times of duress.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin for dogs is a supplement that boosts levels of the sleep hormone your pet naturally produces in order to calm your pet. Even though dogs produce melatonin naturally, the low-dose supplementation increases the level of this hormone just enough to make your dog relax, but giving too much is not a good idea. There are potential side-effects to melatonin for dogs, and it’s crucial to give it to your pet carefully- and only after your veterinarian has given you green light to rely on this supplement for treating your dog’s anxiety. Usually, when given properly and responsibly, melatonin for dogs can be a great solution for pets with separation anxiety or severe reactions to triggering situations (loud sounds, car rides, etc).
Of course, choosing the right type of melatonin supplement for dogs can be difficult- after all, there are so many to choose from! From pure melatonin supplements to formulas that include melatonin and other stress-relieving substances for a well-rounded effect, you’ll have your hands full when you try to narrow down your choice. To help you pick the best product for your pet’s needs, we’ve rounded up the best melatonin for dogs on the market. Read on to learn more about how this anxiety supplement is used and how to know which will work best for your nervous pooch!
1. Editor’s choice: K9 Choice Melatonin for Dogs
Specially formulated for dogs, this supplement contains 3mg of melatonin per serving- which is more than enough to get your pet relaxed before a stressful event such as fireworks or visits to the groomers. As a chewable tablet with peanut butter flavor, this supplement is not difficult to administer: most dogs will see it as a treat! In case your dog suffers from chronic anxiety, has trouble sleeping or other issues that require regular use of melatonin, this dosage would translate into two chewable tablets per day if they weigh less than 30 pounds, and double that if they weigh more.
- Good for chronic anxiety or acute stress
- Affordable price
- Works fairly fast
- Chewable tablet with peanut butter flavor can be given as a treat
- Picky dogs won’t always eat them
2. Runner up: Zesty Paws Calming Bites for Dogs
It’s not easy keeping canine anxiety under control, but this potent calming supplement can certainly help minimize your dog’s symptoms. In addition to melanin, which contributes to the anti-anxiety properties of this formula, it also includes other powerful calming substances for dogs, such as L-Theanine (in Suntheanine form), organic ginger root, L-Tryptophan, organic hemp, organic passion flower, and chamomile. Together, they help sensitive and anxious pooches feel at ease in stressful situations and can soothe dogs with aggressive or hyperactive tendencies. This melatonin supplement comes in the form of turkey-flavored chewables, so your pooch is bound to love it – and, to boot, it is suitable for dogs of all breeds and ages.
- Made from natural organic ingredients
- Combines melanin with other natural calming substances
- Soothes stress, anxiety, and hyperactive tendencies
- Promotes better sleep
- Chewables in turkey or peanut butter flavor
- NASC quality seal
- Can cause gassiness in some dogs
3. Customer’s choice: Pet Wellbeing Pet Melatonin
If your pet is a picky eater or just gets fussy when you try to give him a tablet – no matter how good it smells- liquid melatonin supplement is the way to go. You can just mix in a few drops of it in your pet’s meal or some plain yogurt and they’ll be none the wiser – and still reap the benefits this calming substance offers. The best part is that this form of melatonin supplement is no less potent than most tablets and chewables on the market – one drop contains 3mg of melatonin and is equal to 1ml. .
- Easy to dose and administer
- Potent melatonin dose
- Improves sleep
- Eases anxiety and stress
- Regulates natural appetite
- Made from organically grown and selectively imported herbs
4. Best for car rides: Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Soft Chews
In case your pooch gets nervous when he needs to ride in the car or during storms, for instance, just give him the recommended dose of these flavored chewables before the triggering event and watch them enjoy a stress-free experience for a change. The secret is in the powerful formula that includes melatonin, thiamin, L-Tryptophan, and ginger root that will soothe an upset stomach (ideal for motion sickness, too!).
- Treats acute stress
- Natural ingredients
- Potent formula
- Soothes nervous stomachs
- Suited for dogs that get nervous before car trips or storms
- Soft chews easy to administer
5. Best for sensitive stomach: Dr. Lyon’s Calming Aid with Melatonin
Combining nature and science, Dr. Lyon’s calming supplement is designed to offer maximum potency with a gentle, dog-safe formula based on natural ingredients. To make sure your pet is calm, especially in stressful situations, the formula relies on melatonin, thiamine, and l-tryptophan, as well as relaxing herbs such as chamomile and ginger that calms an upset tummy. The supplement comes in the form of soft chewables with chicken liver flavor – your dog will love them! This supplement is formulated for dogs 18 weeks and older.
- Eases anxiety and stress
- Great for trips to the vets or reducing fear from fireworks
- Made with natural ingredients and herbs
- Can have a soothing effect on digestive system
- Chicken liver flavored chews
- They smell bad
6. Best for severe anxiety: Lignans For Life Melatonin Capsules
In cases where anxiety is severe, or the disrupted sleep patterns, skin issues, or Cushing’s disease require a stronger dose of melatonin, you’ll have to go for a more potent formula. Made with human-grade melatonin, these tablets contain 6mg of sleep hormone per serving and will ensure your dog gets the most out of the supplement – however, you should be aware that this supplement comes in the form of vegetarian capsules and it might be difficult to get your pet to swallow them unless he’s trained. These melatonin capsules are specially formulated for large dog breeds, and each bottle contains 120 6mg melatonin capsules – it will go a long way.
- High dose of melatonin
- Suited for more severe conditions
- Works fast
- Can be given an hour before stressful events
- Made in the USA
- Capsules can be a hassle to administer
7. Best for hair and coat: HEALTHY PETS MelaVet Melatonin Soft Chews
If you’re looking for something to help your pet grow his hair back, or don’t need a potent calming aid, these soft chews are a good match. With 2m of melatonin per serving, they’ll help maintain a healthy, shiny coat with thick hair – not a bald spot in sight. To boot, this supplement is also safe for cats to use- so a big plus if you have a multi-pet household!
- Helps promote healthy skin and coat
- Soothes mild anxiety
- Prevents loss of hair caused by melanin deficiency
- Safe for cats and dogs both
- NASC Quality Seal
- Soft chew form
- Levels of melatonin can be too low for dogs with moderate or severe stress or sleep issues
8. Best with hemp: Finn Calming Aid Calming Dog Treats
Your pooch can also be cool and relaxed in stressful scenarios- as long as you find a calming remedy that works. Melatonin-only won’t work for all dogs, and sometimes, you need something more in the formula to kick it up a notch. Finn Calming Aid Calming Dog Treats have a unique formula that combines melatonin with various natural ingredients with a proven calming effect, such as organic hemp, organic passionflower, organic valerian root, and organic chamomile. To perfect the formula even more, the list of ingredients includes organic ginger, which will help fight any inflammation and soothe an upset stomach (which often goes hand in hand with stress).
Finn Calming Aid Calming Dog Treats are made in the USA with a cold-pressing technology with premium quality ingredients- no fillers or artificial flavors. Flavored with natural cheese, real bacon, and real beef liver, these calming treats won’t have to be snuck in food to mask a weird aroma- considering how tasty pooches find these, you can dole them out as a reward!
- Made with a cold-pressing technology
- Potent formula with a calming effect
- All ingredients are natural and organic
- Soothes and upset stomach
- Very low melatonin levels so not suited for severe anxiety
9. Best for picky dogs: ThunderWunders Melatonin Calming Dog Chews
These calming dog chews come from the company that created Thundershirt for dogs and has a rep of having the best aids for anxious pooches. Needless to say, they’re quite popular with pawrents and pets alike! The formula unites melatonin with other nerve-soothing ingredients such as thiamine, L-Tryptophan, ginger, passion flower, and chamomile. The combination is ideal for treating chronic anxiety and situational anxiety both.
- Tasty soft chews
- Natural ingredients formula
- Can be used in advance of stressful events for instant effect
- Helps anxiety and optimizes sleep quality
- Suitable for dogs of all sizes
- Can be used on puppies over 12 weeks of age
- Might not be potent enough for some dogs
10. Best sleep aid: Dr. Oscar Organic Dog Sleep Aid for Dogs
For those dogs whose sleeping patterns are more of a concern than their anxiousness, this supplement is ideal: it’s specially formulated to help your dog’s sleep disturbances. Whether it’s regulation of the sleep-wake cycle or reducing nighttime waking up, this supplement promises to help. The 3mg of melatonin per serving will put your pooch in a mood for a nap, and additional calming substances such as organic valerian root, organic passion flower, organic ashwagandha, and many others will make him feel at ease and stress-free.
- Formula optimized to improve sleep
- Reduces nighttime waking up
- Eases stress, restlessness, and anxiety
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Great choice for all ages, but particularly senior dogs
- Tablets might be difficult to administer
11. Best for small dogs: Nature’s Synergy Hemp Oil & Melatonin for Dogs
When you have a small breed dog, chewables and tablets can be a hit and miss: more often than not, these can be too big for your pet to swallow and require some maneuvering from your side to break off or crush the supplement to administer it, making the whole process messier and more hassle than it should be. This is why a liquid supplement is great for small dogs! It is easy to dose, easy to mix in with food or give on its own, despite your pet’s size. Nature’s Synergy Hemp Oil & Melatonin for Dogs has 3mg of melatonin per serving and is enriched with calming hemp seed oil, which only contributes to the potency of this supplement.
- Easy to administer and dose
- Potent calming and soothing effect
- Rich in essential fatty acids
- Some pets can be bothered by the smell
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What is melatonin supplement used for?
The primary use of melatonin supplement for dogs is to treat anxiety, both that caused by a triggering event and chronic anxiety. Seeing your pet shiver and cower when there’s a storm or being witness to their everyday struggles when you go to work is not easy on the pet owner – even less so on the dog himself. Finding a viable solution for your pet’s anxiety that’s not full of chemicals and comes with a serious list of side effects is not always easy, so it’s easy to see why melatonin for dogs is a popular alternative.
In addition to its relaxing properties, melatonin for dogs has other uses as well. You can supplement melatonin to improve your pet’s sleeping patterns, help with seasonal hair alopecia (bald patches), or symptoms of Cushing’s disease if your dog has it. If you’re unsure if your dog could benefit from melatonin supplements, talk to your veterinarian. A professional that has your dog’s health record is the only one that can know for certainty which supplements are needed and which could do more harm than good.
Benefits of melatonin for dogs
Melatonin is widely known as the sleep hormone- everyone knows that a healthy production of melatonin is required to regulate sleep patterns, but not many know that the same goes for our four-legged friends. Not unlike us, dogs rely on melatonin hormone to relax their body and mind enough to go to sleep, and that’s where its applicability in treating anxiety comes from. Even though your dog might be producing enough sleep hormone on his own, when melatonin is introduced through a supplement, it will have a calming effect on your pet. Studies have shown that the use of melatonin can increase GABA levels in the brains of animals, which is the same effect strong anxiety medications have (such as the benzodiazepine class of sedatives). In theory, this would mean that melatonin supplements for dogs offer a viable alternative for meds, but it’s important to consult your vet before trying anything on your own. Despite being a milder alternative, you can still overdose your pet on melatonin and cause adverse effects, so it’s best to be cautious when adding this supplement to your pet’s routine.
Side-effects of melatonin for dogs
While melatonin for dogs can be an extremely beneficial supplement that improves the quality of your pet’s life, in this case, there can be too much of a good thing. Overdosing on melatonin is easier than you’d expect, and if you go overboard with the amount of melatonin supplement you’re giving to your pet, they could experience an array of side effects. The adverse effects that result from too much melatonin range from mild, that include drowsiness and vomiting, to more severe, such as lack of coordination, seizures, and high blood pressure. Luckily, it’s not common for pets to experience this, as it takes a lot of melatonin for a dog to overdose. Just make sure to stick to the recommended amount of supplements per day and you’ll be safe- also, be sure to keep your pet’s supplements out of his reach, just in case.
What to consider before using melatonin for dogs
Making sure your pet is getting the right kind of supplements is not always easy – they are not prescribed, so unless you get a concrete tip from your vet, you’ll be left to your own devices. Melatonin for dogs is available in various different formulas, many of which include different calming agents, too, so picking up a melatonin supplement is not a straightforward process. You will have to consider your pet’s unique situation and needs before you pick, and it will require a bit of research. There are many features to consider, from form to formula, before you make the purchase: here are some of the most important factors that could influence your decision:
More often than not, melatonin is just one of the ingredients in various supplements for dogs, although it can be given on its own where applicable. If you’re looking for calming dog supplements, there are dozens of different formulas, from those that include hemp to naturally relaxing herbs such as chamomile to boost the effects of melatonin. Before you settle on a specific anti-anxiety dog supplement, be sure to do some research and figure out which combination would do best for your pet’s needs. After all, there are many unique situations to consider: he might need something a bit more potent to soothe him or a supplement that’s suited for everyday use, etc.
In case you need melatonin for dogs due to its other beneficial properties, such as its effect on seasonal balding or to include in the treatment of epilepsy, it’s best to go for supplements that contain only melatonin. Just be sure to double-check if the dosage is right for your pet’s size – you don’t want to overdo it.
Regardless of the formula, the levels of melatonin in each supplement can vary greatly, and it’s important to check the doses to make sure your pet is getting enough to treat his health issues. Too little and the melatonin supplement will fail to deliver the promised benefits and too much and you risk serious adverse effects. Naturally, the dosage will depend on your pet’s weight and it can be particularly difficult to determine the exact amount your pet needs without consulting a veterinarian, especially if your pet is a small breed dog.
Not all doggos will gladly swallow everything you give them- even though their appetite might make you think differently. Dogs can be quite finicky when it comes to taking medicine, and supplements fall into that category. It might take some coaxing to get your pooch to cooperate! To minimize the hassle that administering melatonin can be, it’s smart to go for a delivery method that suits your pet the most. Melatonin for dogs is available in the form of pills and tablets, flavored chewables, liquids, powders, and even injections and subcutaneous implants. For most dogs, the most convenient options are chewables (in a flavor they love) or powdered and liquid supplements that are tasteless and can be mixed in with their food.
Is human melatonin safe for dogs?
No, you shouldn’t give your pet your own supplements. The formulations are quite different so is the dosage of the melatonin – your pet could overdose from human melatonin, which would result in drowsiness, fatigue, and digestive issues. But that’s not the only potential problem. Human supplements can often contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as xylitol, and giving your dog human melatonin could end up causing serious health issues.
How much melatonin can I give my dog?
It all depends on your pet’s needs, age, and their weight. A general rule of thumb is 1 mg for dogs under 10 pounds, dogs up to 25 pounds can be given 1.5 mg and dogs that weigh between 25 and 100 pounds are OK with up to 3mg of melatonin, and those extra-large doggos over 100 lbs can be given anywhere between 3 to 6 mg of melatonin. If you go overboard with melatonin, your pooch might feel drowsy, lethargic, and extra sleepy.
How long does it take for melatonin to work on a dog?
Luckily, melatonin is a fast-acting supplement that will quickly show results. Usually, it takes an hour or two for melatonin to be in full effect, but it can take as little as 15 minutes for it to kick in for some pooches (particularly smaller ones). In any case, it’s best to give your pet melatonin at least an hour in advance so they can get a good night’s rest.
How long does melatonin last?
It all depends, but as a general rule, melatonin should be in effect for about 8 hours – if properly dosed. This should be more than enough to get your pet through the night and give them the rest they need. Just don’t up the dose to prolong the effects of melatonin – not only that it won’t work, but it can bring about side effects ranging from drowsiness to increased heart rate.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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