The Ultimate Melatonin for Dogs Guide in 2024: Benefits, Dosage, and Best Supplements

A natural solution for better mood, better hair, better sleep, & better health in dogs

Published on
May 9, 2021
Updated on
April 6, 2024

You’ve probably heard of melatonin for humans — you may even take some to sleep at night.

And you have wondered before if dogs can have melatonin, or you may have discovered that they can.

You may even be at the point where you’re ready to give them melatonin, but you don’t know which one.

We wrote this guide to help you no matter what stage you are at.

We cover everything related to giving your dog melatonin from A to Z.

We will discuss a range of subtopics, which you can see in the Table of Contents below, and then list the best melatonin supplements for your dog.

Note: You can click on any subtopic below to jump to that section on this page or continue scrolling.

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Table of Contents
  1. Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs?
  2. Can You Use Human Melatonin for Dogs?
  3. Melatonin for Anxiety
  4. Melatonin for Hair Loss / Alopecia
  5. Melatonin for Cushing's Disease
  6. Melatonin for Insomnia
  7. What's the Melatonin Dosage for Dogs?
  8. Pros and Cons of Melatonin for Dogs
  9. The Best Melatonin for Dogs

1. Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs?

Learn whether giving dogs a melatonin supplement is safe or not.

Melatonin is considered safe for dogs because it is a hormone produced naturally in humans and mammals.

Serious side effects are rare.

As a matter of fact, veterinarians recommend it for numerous conditions and disorders.

About 80% of canines treated with melatonin for anxiety, hair loss, and sleep disorders have seen successful results.

Melatonin can also help manage Cushing's disease in dogs.

As a result, melatonin supplementation in dogs has increased in recent years because of its effectiveness in treating the health issues mentioned above.

No parent wants to see their dog troubled with anxiety and other ailments because it stresses them too!

We are calm when our dogs are calm.

Now you may be asking, "can you use human melatonin for dogs?"

And that is the topic of our next section.

2. Can You Use Human Melatonin for Dogs?

Get the answer to the commonly asked question of giving dogs melatonin in human supplement form.

Sure — you can give dogs human melatonin but we don’t recommend it.

It may be tempting to simply give your dog the melatonin supplement sitting in your medicine cabinet.

But we advise against it for two major reasons:

Reason #1: Your Melatonin Supplement May Contain Too High a Dose

If you have your melatonin supplement in front of you, you will probably see on the bottle that it contains a dose of 3 mg, if not higher.

3 mg and higher could be too much for your dog depending on their weight.

And it actually may be higher than what the label may state.

There are no current studies on dogs given super high doses of melatonin and its long-term effects.

Therefore, giving them “maximum strength” doses of human melatonin may cause issues.

We recommend not to do it.

Reason #2: Your Melatonin Supplement Isn't the Ideal Form for Dogs

If you've ever given your dog medicine or a supplement, you know they can be notoriously difficult to deal with.

They can refuse to take a tablet or a pill and turn their nose away or run away from you.

And some can smell or sense when you hide something in their food.

Most human melatonin supplements are flavorless and do not excite dogs to eat the tablet or pill.

And worse, the ones that contain flavors like melatonin gummies may contain xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is toxic to dogs.

Consumption of xylitol can lead to a sudden decrease in blood sugar levels in them and result in serious health issues or death.

It may be enticing to give them the same melatonin supplement you take, but we sincerely believe they're better off with their own.

3. Melatonin for Anxiety

Although widely used as a sleep aid, melatonin can also help manage anxiety in dogs.

Melatonin can help dogs with anxiety by promoting relaxation and a sense of calm.

Melatonin works by binding to receptors in the brain and affecting the levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which are involved in regulating mood and anxiety.

Serotonin is also known as the “feel-good” hormone.

Giving your dog melatonin in supplement form can reduce anxiety symptoms such as restlessness, pacing, and barking.

Like humans, dogs experience anxiety in a variety of situations and will have different triggers that make them anxious.

Dogs with separation anxiety, noise phobias, and other forms of stress can benefit as they become less sensitive to stressors.

Dogs become more tolerant of situations that usually make them anxious, like:

  • Separation from their owners
  • Loud noises such as fireworks
  • Unfamiliar people or other animals
  • Travel in a car or other form of transportation

And it can also help dogs with generalized anxiety or anxiety that comes from a medical condition such as:

  • Cognitive decline
  • Chronic pain
  • Thyroid issues
  • Cushing’s disease

Melatonin for dogs can be used with other forms of anxiety treatment, such as behavior modification, training, and other medications if necessary.

4. Melatonin for Hair Loss / Alopecia

Hair loss can be reduced in dogs using melatonin because it manages one of the underlying causes of it.

Melatonin can help reduce hair loss caused by stress and anxiety.

Hair loss is a common problem in dogs, and there may be several reasons.

Also known as alopecia, some of the most common causes include:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin infections
  • Underlying medical conditions (Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, cancer)

It’s crucial to distinguish hair loss from normal shedding that naturally occurs in the dog’s coat.

Signs of abnormal hair loss you should be on the lookout for are:

  • Sudden or rapid hair loss over a short time
  • Patchy or circular areas of hair loss
  • Red, itchy, or irritated skin in areas of hair loss
  • Scaling, crusting, or flaking of the skin
  • Recurrent or chronic hair loss
  • Hair loss with several symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or weight loss

However, note that some breeds are more prone to hair loss than others, like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Poodles, and others.

With that said, the relationship between anxiety and hair loss is pretty straightforward.

When a dog is under stress, it can release cortisol, a hormone that can result in hair loss.

Melatonin may help decrease cortisol levels and create a sense of peace and serenity, preventing hair loss caused by stress.

Less cortisol means dogs stop losing their beautiful furs.

5. Melatonin for Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease causes chronically high stress in dogs that melatonin can help manage.

Cushing's disease, medically known as hyperadrenocorticism, is a condition in which the body produces too much of the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is the body’s natural response to stressors, but in Cushing’s disease, cortisol is always high.

In dogs, this leads to symptoms like:

  • Hair loss (previously discussed)
  • Skin infections
  • Weight gain

How does melatonin help?

Research suggests that melatonin may regulate cortisol levels in dogs, potentially reducing symptoms of Cushing’s disease.

Not only does melatonin help manage symptoms of Cushing’s disease, but it may also help improve dogs' overall quality of life because they feel less anxiety and sleep better.

Because Cushing’s disease can be a serious condition, melatonin can help manage but not replace treatment recommended by a veterinarian.

Melatonin can help a dog with Cushing’s disease live a more pleasant life.

6. Melatonin for Insomnia

Like in humans, melatonin can manage insomnia in dogs caused by old age and other conditions.

Like in humans, sleep is important for mental and physical health in dogs.

Insomnia can be a common health problem in older dogs, dogs in pain, dogs with anxiety, dogs with respiratory or gastrointestinal disorders, and dogs in loud or noisy environments.

Insomnia happens because there is a disruption to the natural circadian rhythm, also known as the internal biological clock, that regulates the time a human or an animal wakes up and goes to sleep, their hormone production, and their metabolism.

The disruption to the natural circadian rhythm can be caused by an increase in the production of cortisol in response to stress.

With an internal biological clock that is disturbed, the body may not release melatonin or too little of it to promote relaxation and sleep.

And as you may know, a lack of sleep can cause stress.

Therefore, a vicious cycle of stress that causes insomnia that causes more stress that causes more insomnia occurs.

One way to break this stressful and tiring cycle is to supplement with melatonin because the body’s natural production has been compromised.

Not only does melatonin help with sleep, but it also increases the production of other sleep-promoting hormones like serotonin.

As a result, your dog’s natural circadian rhythm will reset.

They will feel less stressed and more relaxed and sleep deeper and longer.

7. What's the Melatonin Dosage for Dogs?

Give your dog the correct amount of melatonin for their size and weight.

If you are considering melatonin for your furry friend, we recommend you consult the veterinarian.

The amount of melatonin to give your dog depends on their weight and medical needs.

Dog melatonin supplements contain the appropriate dosage according to body weight.

Some may contain more milligrams of melatonin and others contain less, but the amounts are generally within the safety limits.

And because melatonin is naturally produced in the body, side effects are rare.

If you are considering giving your dog your own melatonin, which we do not think is the best choice, as we explain in 2. Can You Use Human Melatonin for Dogs? of this guide, you can follow the general dosage guidelines below:

Dog Weight Melatonin Dose
10 pounds or less 1 milligram
10 to 25 pounds 1.5 milligrams
26 to 100 pounds 3 milligrams
100 pounds or more 3 to 6 milligrams

When you give your dog melatonin for the first few times, it’s important to keep an eye on them and how they react.

Whether the melatonin comes from your own or a dog supplement, you can increase or decrease the dosage until you see that it works.

And you will know that melatonin works for them when they are calm and do not stress about the things that they usually do.

8. Pros and Cons of Melatonin for Dogs

Weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks of giving your dog a melatonin supplement.

We want to summarize the positives and considerations of this natural hormone before you make a decision.

We have established that a melatonin supplement can help dogs with the following:

  • General or separation anxiety, noise phobias, and situational stress
  • Abnormal hair loss or alopecia
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Insomnia

In almost all dogs with these conditions, the stress hormone cortisol is critical in contributing to them.

When melatonin is produced normally in the body or is supplemented, it helps reduce cortisol production, and this helps manage the conditions we’ve discussed.

To sum it all up:

Pros of giving your dog melatonin
  • Melatonin as a supplement is effective because it can help regulate the body's circadian rhythm, hormones, and metabolism, which promotes relaxation and sleep in dogs.
  • Melatonin is generally considered safe because it is a hormone produced by the body, and there is no evidence of severe adverse effects.
  • Melatonin may contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may have health benefits beyond relaxation and sleep.
Cons of giving your dog melatonin
  • Melatonin may cause daytime drowsiness if you give your dog too high a dose, but this can be avoided by following instructions or general dosage guidelines.
  • Melatonin may interact with other medications, so consult your veterinarian if your dog is on prescription medicine.

As you can see, giving your dog melatonin has more benefits than drawbacks.

Now let's review the top melatonin supplements for your dog.

9. The Best Melatonin for Dogs

Pick the best melatonin supplement for your dog based on effectiveness, ingredients, and reviews.

1. Melatonin for Dogs from Tails 'N' Tummies

Best Review :)

"We tried everything for our 1yr Bernese and these work so he sleeps throughout the night!"

Worst Review :(

"These maybe touched my Goldens anxiety by maybe 1/4% while company was here, but slept good when everyone left!"

Ingredient List

Main Ingredients: Melatonin, Chamomile Flower Powder, L-Tryptophan, Ginger Root Powder, and Passion Flower Powder

Other Ingredients: Brewer’s Yeast, Citric Acid (As Preservative), Glycerin (Vegetable), Lecithin (Sunflower), Natural Chicken Flavor (Vegetarian), Organic Flaxseed, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Pea Protein Concentrate, Sweet Potato Flour

What We Like:

  • It includes more ingredients than just melatonin to promote calmness, like chamomile and more.
  • Chews do not contain many ingredients, which is good for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.
  • The product contains ginger root powder which can reduce discomfort and stress associated with pain, muscle soreness, and indigestion

What We Don't Like:

  • The product, but not the brand, is newer than the others reviewed here.
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2. Calming Chews for Dogs from Doggie Dailies

Best Review :)

"Liked that they do work and my doggies calm down for bed but does take some time to take effect."

Worst Review :(

"First, he didn't like them. I had to wrap them in cheese but after struggling with that for a few days, I really didn't notice ANY change in him. It's not worth the struggle if it's not helping him."

Ingredient List

Main Ingredients: Melatonin, Organic Chamomile, Organic Passionflower, L-Theanine, Valerian Root, L-Tryptophan, Organic Ashwagandha

Other Ingredients: Carrot, Coconut Glycerin, Fenugreek, Flaxseed (Ground), Garbanzo Flour, Lecithin, Mixed Tocopherols, Mono and Diglycerides of Edible Oils, Natural Peanut Flavoring, Pea Flour, Peanut Flour, Powdered Cellulose, Rosemary Extract, Salmon Oil, Sorbic Acid, Sweet Potato, Whole Egg Powder

What We Like:

  • It includes more ingredients than just melatonin to promote calmness, like chamomile and more.

What We Don't Like:

  • Chews contain a large number of other ingredients that could be problematic for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.
  • The product's smell and flavor can put off some dogs.
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3. Pet Melatonin for Dogs from Pet Wellbeing

Best Review :)

"We bought this when our dog was diagnosed with diabetes, and was getting up at 3 am almost every night, on the advice of our vet. It worked on Night 1. There is no need to build it up in his system. He won't drink it unless we hide it, so we use solid coconut oil. Must not be a good flavor to him. But it works great!"

Worst Review :(

"You eye dropper is difficult to use because air bubbles keep one from getting the proper dosage in the dropper, therefore making the product difficult to administer. Would like to hear from the seller with a reasonable solution to this problem so that I can actually use the product."

Ingredient List

Main Ingredients: Melatonin

Other Ingredients: Deionized Water, Natural Bacon Flavor, Vegetable Glycerin

What We Like:

  • The product comes in liquid form, which differs from the other products reviewed here.
  • Out of all the products reviewed here, it contains the least number of other ingredients, which is great for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

What We Don't Like:

  • It only contains melatonin and no additional ingredients to promote calmness.
  • Using a liquid dropper may be a hit or miss depending on how difficult feeding your dog is.
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4. Melatonin for Dogs from Nutrition Strength

Best Review :)

"I purchased this at my veterinarian’s recommendation for my dog with flank alopecia. Results are not quick, but when given consistently I’ve seen a definite improvement. Her coat is softer, shedding is far less, and her bald spots are filling in nicely - one side has almost completely resolved."

Worst Review :(

"For anyone who has a small dog these are not right for them. The pill is chalky and thick and hard to swallow/chew. You literally have to break them in pieces. And good luck if your dog even wants to chew them. My dog does not like the taste. I would buy something else."

Ingredient List

Main Ingredients: Melatonin, Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus acidophilus

Other Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate, Brewer’s Yeast, Natural Chicken Flavor, Silicon Dioxide, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate

What We Like:

  • In addition to melatonin, the product contains probiotics for faster absorption.
  • The product contains a small number of other ingredients, which is great for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

What We Don't Like:

  • It only contains melatonin and no additional ingredients to promote calmness.
  • Tablets may be a hit or miss depending on how difficult feeding your dog is.
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5. Calming Chews for Dogs from Healthy Solutions for Pets

Best Review :)

"My dog likes it and takes willingly. This also appears to help with her anxiety. I would recommend for dogs with chewing and other anxiety issues. Worth the price to give it a try!"

Worst Review :(

"This supplement did not do much for my Aussie doodle. He is super hyper and has anxiety, and this product didn’t calm him down at all. It also took him a minute to eat it as well and he loves to eat everything so for me, this product was a waste of money."

Ingredient List

Main Ingredients: Chamomile, Thiamine Mononitrate, Passion Flower, Ginger, L-Tryptophan, Melatonin

Other Ingredients: Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Canola Oil, Dried Potato Product, Flaxseed, Glycerin, Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Mixed Tocopherols, Natural Flavoring, Rosemary Extract, Sorbic Acid, Tapioca Starch, Vegetable Oil, and Water

What We Like:

  • It includes more ingredients than just melatonin to promote calmness, like chamomile and more.

What We Don't Like:

  • The product contains a tiny amount of melatonin per chew compared to the others reviewed here.
  • The product contains canola oil, a seed oil that may increase inflammation in the body.
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