Melatonin, a neurohormone produced naturally by both animals and humans in their pineal glands, is responsible for sleep regulation. It is no wonder that the body produces it the most in the evenings –compared to what it produces during the day. It is taken by quite many people as a sleep inducer or enhancer. It is also taken to ameliorate anxiety. You can read more about it here.
This efficacy of melatonin in helping with anxiety is being exploited in the treatment dogs having separation anxiety, and dogs experience stress as a result of noises generated by thunderstorms, fireworks and other sources. Used as a supplement, it can be employed to help our canine friends to relax, sleep or simply come out of stress. It can also be useful for other medical conditions. Some claims put the effectiveness of using melatonin in treatments for canines at about 80 percent.
Melatonin can be employed to help our canine friends to relax, sleep or simply come out of stress — as well as for other medical conditions.
Some Known Benefits
It is true that you should consult your veterinarian before getting your dog to take any new medications, supplements or treatments. However, nothing stops you from going ahead to know how melatonin can be helpful to your pet. Truly melatonin, when properly administered, will leave your canine friend much healthier and consequently much happier.
Here are some conditions where melatonin has been helpful to dogs:
- Anxiety – when given to dogs suffering from anxiety, the supplement helps in easing symptoms associated with separation anxiety. This can be the result of a pet parent’s long stay away from the home such as during long office days or family vacations. The supplement also helps with the anxiety some canines face when taken to a hair groomer or when taken for long rides. In addition to all these, it produces a calming effect during thunderstorms, fireworks or other types of loud noise that ordinarily would have caused it stress.
- Insomnia – melatonin also comes handy for sleep disorders, being known as a regulator of sleep by its ability to tell the body when it is day or night and the kind of activities that suit those times. When given to dogs having cognitive dysfunctions, it helps in the regulation of their biorhythms, enabling them have better sleep at night.
- Alopecia – seasonal alopecia, also called flank alopecia, observable by the bald patches on the abdomen’s sides, can be helped with melatonin.
- Cushing’s Disease – other drugs administered to treat Cushing’s Disease produce harsh reactions such as diarrhea, vomiting and in some instances like kidney failure. Melatonin, on the other hand, does not produce these harsh reactions, yet it is effective in blocking increased cortisone intake by some pituitary gland’s benign tumors. These tumors are what bring about Cushing’s Disease. Melatonin is very appropriate with moderate cases of the disease or in cases with elevated production of sex hormones, also known as ‘atypical’ cases.
To know more about these interventions read more here.
Applying the Right Dosage for the Best Results
In considering dosage, one chief factor to consider is the weight of the animal. Another factor would be his sensitivity towards the drug. Due to sensitivity issues, it is necessary to go through the supplement’s ingredients list with your vet to be sure it doesn’t contain substances that may be harmful to your pet.
Your expectations from a particular day can help you plan on how to administer this supplement. For instance, you may be expecting a noisy day, a stressful event or a long evening ride. You can then administer the drug to help your pet cope.
When considering the dog’s weight, just know that the obtainable rule is that you give 1 milligram for every 20 pounds your dog weighs. You should also take into account that the administering of this supplement should be done along an eight hours spacing between each take. Your dog will be better served if you mix it in with his food.
Some Side Effects to Be Aware Of
Melatonin is generally safe, but that does not mean that it is absolutely without side effects. Some side effects to look out for are:
- An increase in heart rate
- Stomach upsets
- Insulin resistance
- Reproductive cycle disruptions in females
You should also discuss with your veterinarian how it reacts with other treatment and medications your pet may be on. You can read this post here to learn a lot about this medication.
Melatonin is generally safe for your canine, but it is advisable to talk with your veterinarian before getting your pet involved in any new treatment, medication or supplement.
Melatonin is generally safe for your canine especially when given properly. As always advised, discuss with your veterinarian before getting your canine involved in any new treatment, medication or supplement. This advice should be considered more if your dog is already living with any medical condition like diabetes, is pregnant, nursing or undergoing other treatments. Do not forget also to purchase only supplements made especially for dogs and approved by your vet, to avoid a sorry situation where you give your loved pet melatonin made for humans with added ingredients toxic to dogs.
You will find that with melatonin, your dog is seriously helped to find greater peace despite how stressful a time it might be going through.
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