Melatonin is a helpful supplement for us if we find it difficult to sleep. Thus, it’s not surprising to find one in many homes. Moreover, such a supplement can also apply to our pets. The only thing to note is that its usage should be under the vet’s approval.
Now, you may ask: my dog ate melatonin: what should I do now? Melatonin is a safe supplement to dogs, but only until it takes the right amount. If your dog ate a lot of melatonin, it would be best immediately to consult the vet. Moreover, some melatonin brands may contain xylitol. If your pet ingests one, take it to the vet or directly contact pet poison.
Melatonin is a useful supplement for us and even for our pets. However, such a drug can put our pets in danger, especially in large amounts.
In this article, we’ll tackle all the things you need to know about melatonin and its effects on our dogs. This way, you’ll learn how to respond if the situation happens.
Does that mean that it’s safe for me to give my dog melatonin?
Melatonin is generally considered to be safe and under the right circumstances it may be beneficial to your dog. However, there are circumstances under which it should not be used.
Pregnant or nursing dogs should not be given melatonin, nor should puppies under the age of 3 months. Melatonin is metabolized by the liver, and it should therefore be used with caution in dogs with liver dysfunction. It should also be used with caution in dogs with kidney impairment as well as in patients with a history of neurological disorders due to its central nervous system depressant qualities.
Melatonin can also negatively interact with some drugs. If your pet is receiving medication for anxiety, melatonin may cause an increase in side effects such as drowsiness.
It’s a good idea to always check with your veterinarian before starting treatment. Your vet can advise whether or not your dog can benefit from treatment.
It is critical to note that many human grade melatonin products include herbs that are toxic to dogs. They can also contain sweeteners such as xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. More on that topic later in the article.
What should I do if I discover that my dog has eaten melatonin?
Before phoning your local veterinarian or pet poison helpline, remove any uneaten melatonin so that your dog and other animals in the house cannot eat any more.
Don’t try to make your dog vomit without the consent or instruction of your veterinarian. Inducing vomiting can be dangerous if your dog is drowsy or unconscious and may result in them choking or inhaling their own vomit.
Try to determine the amount of melatonin that your dog has eaten. The label on the bottle should state the amount of melatonin contained per tablet, chew, or capsule. Multiply this by the amount of melatonin missing to get an estimate of the dose that your dog has eaten. The more information you have, the better the advice that your veterinarian or poison control helpline operator will be able to give you. Don’t worry if it’s not possible to do this.
Try to work out the time at which your dog ate melatonin. Take note if your pet is currently showing any signs of an overdose. Symptoms start to show roughly 20 to 30 minutes after ingestion.
Check the label on the melatonin bottle and determine if there are any other ingredients included such as xylitol. As previously mentioned, many human grade melatonin products contain this artificial sweetener. If your dog ingests xylitol, this is a true medical emergency, and your dog should be rushed to the closest veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
Call your local veterinarian or pet poison helpline. Depending on the dose of melatonin that your dog ate as well as whether it contains any harmful additives, you may be advised to take your dog to your local veterinarian. If it has been less than two hours since ingestion, your vet may induce vomiting. Your vet may also want to hospitalize your dog for observation and for treatment of any side effects that may arise from the melatonin overdose.
Melatonin is a hormone produced primarily by the pineal gland. This naturally occurring hormone helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle in both humans and animals.
Melatonin levels rise in the evening in response to darkness. At nighttime, melatonin levels are up to ten times higher than during the day. The increase in melatonin brings about a feeling of calm and signals to the body that it is time for sleep.
Melatonin also influences reproductive cycles, especially in animals that are seasonal breeders.
My dog ate 35 mg of melatonin.
Since 10 mg is the largest safe dose, 35 mg can already be dangerous to your pet.
For this reason, expect your pet to show some severe symptoms such as seizures, confusion, vomiting and diarrhea, and others.
As always, contact your vet right away and have your pet checked as soon as possible. Leaving your pet unattended may cause the situation to get worse.
How much melatonin is toxic to dogs?
Is 5mg of melatonin too much for a dog?