Melatonin to Help Your Dog With Anxiety
February 19, 2008
Do you have an anxious Chihuahua? Does your dog bark all the time, or shake during a thunderstorm, or does your poodle tremble when you go to the groomer? Rather than using tranquilizers many people are turning to a more natural sedative such as Melatonin.
These are all signs of anxiety in dogs and like people they are certain situations which cause them anxiety. A painful injury or trauma also causes your dog great anxiety. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland which is part of the endocrine system and also carries beneficial anti oxidant that fights free radical cell damage.
It helps to produce sleep for insomnia and reducing hypertension, high cholesterol, as well as anti-aging properties like preventing brain deterioration. It increases immune function and induces relaxing sleep for people as well as pets. In humans melatonin is used as a sleep aid but in dogs it has a great application in reducing stress.
It is well known that the body produces Melatonin at night especially at 3:00 a.m., and if there is not enough production people cannot get their biological clock back to normal. This is often the case when you go through time zones while traveling and its often termed Jet Lag.
Melatonin is often used to reduce anxiety, phobias, and other fearful conditions but mostly to induce sleep. It can also be used to help older dogs and cats who suffer from lack of sleep or other forms of dementia.
It is unknown as to why this happens but it is a mystery of medical science that some people and pets grown worse after the sun goes down or in the evenings. It can be as some have determined the accumulation of all the activities of the day which can be overwelmning and cause stress in your pet.
Precautions and Side Effects
I use Melatonin regularly to reset my sleep clock I have found no side effects. While Melatonin is safe and available over the counter you should only use it with the help of a Veterinarian or Holistic Veterinarian. Melatonin may interact with other medications such as corticosteroids and oxidase inhibitors. Check with your veterinarian and other medications you give your dog and if your dog has allergies to similar medications.
Melatonin Dosage Information
Melatonin is prescribed in a 300 mcg, 1 mg and 3 mg pill.
A small dog dose is .5 to 1 mg every 8 hours. A large dog dose is 3 to 9 mg, taken orally or whenever it is necessary.
For cats, use a dose of .5 to .8 mg per cat every 12 hours.
If your dog or cat has had a problem settling down at night to sleep or is a restless sleeper you can get benefit of a relaxed sleep for your pet.
Once the pet starts to get onto a more restful sleep you can wean it off the Melatonin and just use it when needed. Melatonin has produced positive results for 75 percent of dogs who were given the supplement just before a thunderstorm. Other dogs gained relaxation as they stared to show signs of anxiety but you will find it works for your dog’s anxiety. To see online see: Melatonin Pet Care, and key in Melatonin.
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