Melatonin Dosage for Dogs

Melatonin Dosage for Dogs

The pineal glands in both humans and dogs produce melatonin naturally. It regulates the sleep-wake cycle and helps to maintain a regular circadian rhythm. However, some dogs may need additional melatonin supplementation due to medical conditions, anxiety, or sleep disorders. From understanding what melatonin is to considering factors before giving it to your furry friend, we'll explore all you need to know about this powerful supplement. How Does Melatonin Work? Both humans and animals produce melatonin naturally; this hormone plays an important role in controlling the body's sleep/wake cycle. It is produced in the pineal gland, located deep within the brain, and its production increases as darkness falls and decreases when light returns. Melatonin works by controlling shifts in hormone levels that affect wakefulness and fatigue. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it also helps prevent cell damage from free radicals. While melatonin supplements are generally safe for most canines, it is always best to check with your vet for specific dosing advice. With the right dosage and usage instructions, melatonin can be an effective natural solution for many canine-related issues.

Benefits of Melatonin for Dogs

Melatonin can be a great supplement for dogs, with numerous potential benefits. Lignans for Life’s melatonin for dogs is specially formulated in chewable tablets that come in two delicious flavors: beef and peanut butter. They are carefully formulated to:
  • Maintain a healthy sleep-wake pattern 
  • Provide natural hormone support 
  • Enhance comfort, calm, and relaxation
  • Support general wellness and promote skin and coat health *
When used for dogs, melatonin can be administered orally or topically to help them establish a regular sleeping pattern and reduce stress-related behaviors such as barking or pacing at night. It may also be helpful for dogs with separation anxiety, noise phobias, or other issues causing restlessness.  Studies have also shown that melatonin can reduce symptoms of stress in canines, including refusal to eat, excessive pacing or panting, as well as whimpering and licking. Melatonin may also help reduce aggressive behavior in dogs. Because the body responds to stress by producing additional cortisol, the reduction in stress, anxiety, and aggression that results from melatonin supplementation may have a secondary effect (beyond the direct effects noted above) of lowering cortisol levels. 

Melatonin for Canine Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is a debilitating disease that typically strikes older dogs. The condition occurs due to a malfunction in the endocrine system, resulting in the overproduction of cortisol, a stress hormone.  Symptoms of Cushing's disease in dogs include:
  • Excessive panting
  • Increased thirst
  • Excess hunger
  • Lethargy
  • Potbelly
  • Frequent urination
  • Hair loss
  • Thinning skin
Melatonin provides relief to dogs with Cushing’s disease by regulating hormones, maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm, and providing antioxidant benefits. The supplement aids the body in blocking the uptake of increased cortisol caused by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland or adrenal gland. Melatonin can also help treat hair loss in dogs, especially in those with Cushing’s.  Furthermore, research has shown that combining lignans and melatonin helps lower the production of aromatase enzymes, which in turn helps lower cortisol and estradiol levels—estradiol is the hormone responsible for the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. They also help to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by the disease.  Since both lignans and melatonin are natural substances and less expensive than other synthetic drugs and treatments, they make for the ideal first line of defense against Cushing's disease. 

Factors to Consider When Determining Melatonin Dosage for Dogs

Several factors must be taken into account when deciding how much melatonin to give your dog. These factors include:

Age and Weight of the Dog

The dosage of melatonin for dogs varies depending on their age and weight. Typically, a smaller dog will require a lower dose than a larger dog. The general guideline is to give 1-6 mg of melatonin for every 10 pounds of body weight.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Dogs with certain medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, may require a lower dosage of melatonin. For this reason, it is crucial to discuss dosing options with your vet according to your dog's individual medical needs.

Purpose of the Melatonin Supplementation

Melatonin supplements can be used for several reasons, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and separation anxiety. The dosage may vary depending on the purpose of the supplement. For instance, a higher dose may be required for a dog with severe anxiety.

Formulation and Concentration 

Melatonin supplements come in various forms, including tablets, liquids, and chews. The concentration of melatonin in each form may also vary. Therefore, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate form and concentration for your dog.

Interaction with Other Medications or Supplements

Melatonin may interact with other medications or supplements your dog is taking. It's essential to inform your veterinarian of all the medications and supplements your dog is currently taking to avoid potential adverse reactions. 

Melatonin for Dogs Dosage and Frequency Guidelines

When it comes to melatonin for dogs, the right dosage is key. However, determining the correct dosage and frequency of melatonin for your pup can be tricky because every dog is different.  Generally, the recommended dose of melatonin for dogs is 1-3 mg per 10 lbs. of body weight, given twice a day or as needed. However, some vets may recommend higher doses based on your pup's age, size, and medical history. It's important to remember that when giving your pup supplements like melatonin, it's best to start with a lower dose and work up gradually if needed. Here is a melatonin for dogs dosage chart by weight as recommended by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dog Weight Melatonin Dosage Frequency
Over 30 lbs. 6 mg Every 12 hours
10 - 30 lbs.  3 mg Every 12 hours
Under 10 lbs. 1 mg Every 12 hours
Melatonin usually starts working within 10 to 15 minutes after a dog takes it. If you’re using melatonin for sleep issues or anxiety, give it to your dog 30 minutes before bedtime or an anxiety-inducing event like going to an unfamiliar place, meeting new people, or leaving them alone at home. It's also worth noting that you should never give your pup more than the recommended dosage of melatonin, as an overdose could cause severe side effects, including: 
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Lethargy
If you're unsure about the correct dosage for your pooch or have any questions about frequency guidelines, always consult your vet before administering any supplement. 

Lignans for Life Melatonin for Dogs

Melatonin is great for your dog’s health in many ways. And with Lignans for Life, you know your pets are getting the best supplements possible. Our melatonin supplements for dogs are carefully formulated to deliver therapeutic doses of the hormone, improving sleep quality and promoting general health. Our products have been subjected to stringent testing to ensure their high quality, purity, and performance standards.