What To Do If My Dog Ate Melatonin?

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Nothing can beat the pleasure of sitting on a cozy couch and sipping on a hot cup of tea or coffee once you get back home from a hectic day at work, we bet!

But, coming home to a half-empty bottle of melatonin pills fallen on the floor and seeing your doggo right next to it gives you an instant rough image in your mind of the worst-case scenario- involving your fluffy companion. “Oh, No My Dog Ate Melatonin What Do I Do? What Is Going To Happen?”

Melatonin is harmless until and unless it is consumed in the right amount. But we advise you to first check the bottle and see if the melatonin contains xylitol. Xylitol is a natural substance extracted from fruits and vegetables. It is a refined sweetener. Xylitol is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of Xylitol consumption can cause harmful effects like seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. 

What should I Do If My Dog Ate Melatonin?

It is important to analyze the situation first before you take any step. You need to have an idea of the amount of melatonin consumed by your dog along with the dosage on the bottle. Your vet should know what to expect. Knowing the dosage will help you put a figure on the MG ingested by your dog.

In fact, Melatonin is prescribed by vets for dogs. It’s just a substance that prepares humans as well as animals to sleep. For small dogs, melatonin is given up to 1 mg per dog three times a day. Whereas, for medium-sized dogs, melatonin is given up to 3 mg per dog three times a day. For large dogs, a dose of 9 mg per dog is given three times a day. If the amount of melatonin consumed by your dog is appropriate for its size, everything is fine.

Dogs have a higher metabolism compared to people. They grow faster, pump blood faster as well as breathe faster. Having a speedy metabolism is an advantage since they can rapidly break down melatonin before reaching the stage of overdose. Even if you suspect your dog has eaten more than that, it’s not toxic. But why take a chance? Call up your veterinarian or pet poison helpline to know what to do further.

Melatonin for humans and dogs is pretty much the same. The only differentiating factor between the two is xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that is present in the melatonin meant for human beings, not dogs. So if in case, if your dog has eaten melatonin that includes xylitol, call your vet immediately since they can be at risk of severe low blood sugar. Xylitol is seriously toxic for dogs.

Can dogs overdose on melatonin? Yes, they can if they happen to ingest a whole bottle of melatonin.

Uses Of Melatonin In Dogs

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in people, dogs, and other animals. It is known as the ‘sleep hormone’. There’s quite some evidence that says it can help with various canine conditions including anxiety, noise phobia, sleep problems, hair loss, and Cushing’s disease. 

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The naturally occurring neurohormone produced by the pineal glands is supplemented and that’s how melatonin for dogs works as a sedative. Why is it used? To help those dogs feel serene and suffer from various kinds of anxiety. Anxiety such as noise anxiety produced by fireworks, thunderstorms, etc. Or. Separation anxiety. 

The use of this substance has been proved useful in fighting off various conditions that usually affect dogs. 

Melatonin is basically the hormone your body or your dog’s body produces when it’s late and your brain is telling you, “it’s time to go to bed”.  Your dog will get sick and want to throw up if he ate excessive amounts of melatonin. But he won’t be in trouble. Melatonin is a substance of low toxicity.

Whatsoever, always seek your vet’s guidance before trying melatonin for your dogs.

Anxiety

Dog Anxiety

First off, melatonin is not a cure for anxiety. Why? Because it does not work on the parts of the brain that deal with stress and anxiety. So, if you suspect your dog going through severe anxiety then you must immediately visit your veterinarian. 

Dogs tend to be anxious either by nature or breed. While many others suffer from a kind of anxiety called separation anxiety. When does this happen? Some dogs are forced to pass many hours every day all by themselves at home, that’s when separation anxiety comes into the picture. 

Some dogs are hyperactive and this substance is helpful in treating them along with the dogs going through noise anxiety. 

Insomnia

A good sleep cycle does no harm to anybody. In fact, it’s proven to be healthy and tends to keep us happier. The same goes for dogs as well. Melatonin plays a major role in regulating our internal clock, the one that lets us know when it’s time to go to bed and when it is okay to be awake. 

Dog Insomnia

If you have a puppy at home, you will notice he has trouble sleeping at night. Do you know why? Because puppies tend to sleep quite a lot during the day, which makes it difficult for them to sleep at night. But don’t sweat it out, since this is just a phase the puppies will grow out of when they turn into adults. 

The Levels of melatonin in your dog’s body fluctuate as seasons change and daylight time along with it. At times, this may lead grown-up dogs to develop insomnia. 

Dogs that are aging start developing cognitive dysfunctions. These dogs may tend to have trouble regulating their internal clock. In this case, melatonin will work its magic well.

Side Effects Of Melatonin In Dogs

When your dog doesn’t agree with melatonin or has consumed way too much melatonin that is required, it may go through a variety of symptoms. That is why it is important to consult your veterinarian before administering melatonin to your dog. 

The common side-effects of melatonin in dogs include: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Insulin resistance 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Allergies

What Happens If Your Dog Ate Melatonin With Xylitol?

It is a bigger issue if your dog has consumed melatonin that contains certain amounts of xylitol. It can lead to a decrease in blood glucose levels, and liver damage. Xylitol is toxic for dogs as well as cats. It’s as good as giving your dog chocolate.

The initial symptoms of xylitol poisoning include weakness and vomiting. Some dogs may exhibit symptoms of liver injury alone and not low blood glucose levels.

There are delayed signs as well that include: loss of coordination, drowsiness, and in extreme cases seizures and death. Internal bleeding, complete liver failure, and impaired blood clotting can cause death.

How long does it take to show the effects of xylitol? 

Between 15 minutes to 12 hours after consumption anytime between that time period the effects of xylitol can begin.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate Melatonin With Xylitol?

If your dog ate melatonin that is meant for a human, and consists of xylitol, make sure to immediately call your vet. They may or may not ask you to induce vomiting using 3% hydrogen peroxide. But if in case you do not know how to do this, please don’t take this step. Induce vomiting is a process that is also recommended when your dog eats a non-food item like a balloon.

The veterinary hospital will induce vomiting and give your dog IV fluids, test their blood, and give you medications to deal with the symptoms and eliminate xylitol. Why will they test your dog’s blood? To know the glucose levels.

Under What Circumstances Should You Be Extra Careful With Melatonin Around Dogs?

At any cost, melatonin should not be given to dogs if they are: 

  • Pregnant 
  • Below 12 weeks of age 
  • Taking other medications since can interact with melatonin and lead to bigger issues. 

If your doggo is suffering from these particular medical conditions mentioned below, do not give them melatonin: 

  • Liver problems 
  • Brain complications 
  • Bleeding issues
  • Seizures
  • Hypersensitivity 

Conclusion

Small amounts of melatonin do no harm to dogs. However, it is important to keep all medications out of reach for your dogs. Dogs are like toddlers, they want to munch on anything and everything around them if given the choice.

Remember to consult your vet before administering any kind of medication to your dog. Especially in cases like high quantities of melatonin or melatonin with xylitol consumption. 

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