Melatonin for Dogs – Natural Treatment for Anxiety, Stress, Phobias, and Separation

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies. It’s part of a dog’s system too.

So when asking the question, “Is Melatonin for dogs, safe?” the simple answer—in a word is- YES!

It’s best to consult your veterinarian before administering any new supplement to your dog’s health care regimen.  Here are some of the most common uses for the substance.


As a supplement melatonin can help our dog’s de-stress… relax… and sleep better. Proper use of melatonin for your pet can help her feel happier and healthier.

Melatonin treatments for your dog can come in tablet, capsules, drops, or chews. Be careful with yummy chews as unsuspecting house guests may subject your pet to elevated dosages… if they over medicate by accident


Many holistic veterinarians recommend Melatonin for to dog’s who suffer from anxiety.

Melatonin is a great option as a calming aid and stress-reliever.  It’s a natural and effective dog anxiety relief treatment.

The supplement can assist a high-strung dog to “mellow out” a bit… when faced with a potentially stressful situation on the horizon… such as travel or a trip to the vet.

Many pets get stressed during noise anxieties such as fireworks or thunderstorm activity.  Big booms and flashing lights send them over the edge.

Thunder phobia or thunderstorm phobia is a terrible condition.  If you ever had a dog that suffered from this then you know how painful it is to watch… they tear around the house… climbing under furniture… and digging at the carpets.

Separation anxiety is very real for some dog’s… and often result in inappropriate and destructive behavior. Melatonin has been used to lessen the symptoms of pets who suffer from anxiety.

Cushing’s Disease

Using Melatonin to treating Cushing’s disease in dogs is by far the top use of this supplement.

This supplement helps ease the disease…Melatonin blocks the increase of cortisone in benign tumors in the pituitary or adrenal gland… which causes this disease.

One of my dog’s has Cushing’s disease and I use melatonin as part of her long term treatment. I did a review on the melatonin chew that I give her… and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.

Typically, when an animal is diagnosed with Cushing’s… the medication prescribed is pretty brutal. Side effects include vomiting and diarrhea…even organ failure and shock.

Many vets are open to trying a natural treatment first, but some aren’t, so don’t be afraid to insist on a natural treatment form. Remember, you are your dog’s advocate. You’re in charge!


Melatonin is most commonly known for helping people get some sleep. Maybe you’ve tried it yourself in the past. I have… and it puts me out.

Scientifically, this hormone is present to help our bodies regulate internal processes. Those are the “switches” that tell us whether it’s day or night.

Melatonin is a great supplement to help regulate your dog’s biorhythms and help them get a good night’s sleep


This hair loss condition in dog’s is fairly mysterious. Usually this condition shows up as bald patches on one side of the dog’s stomach.

Researchers are still unclear on “why” the hair loss happens… no one knows why melatonin helps with the condition.  Using melatonin to treat this condition comes with a very low chance of side effects.

Melatonin – Side Effects in Dogs

So we’re back here with the question of… “Can I give my dog Melatonin”? We covered that the short answer is… Yes!

It’s highly recommended that you speak with your veterinarian before administering melatonin… or any supplement or medication.

You not only want their thoughts on the safety factor of melatonin but also to make sure there is no negative interaction with other medications your dog is taking. They will give you valuable information of the correct dosage as well based on your pooches weight and overall health.

So for side effects the big one is Drowsiness. This could be a hazard if your dog loses some body control when… for example… they navigate stairs or try to jump on or off a favorite chair.

Melatonin also sometimes can cause tummy upset or an increased heart rate. Some studies have shown that melatonin also may affect the reproductive cycle of female dog’s. It also on rare occasion causes insulin resistance in diabetic animals.

Pregnant pets and very young puppies should not be given melatonin.

This substance is produced naturally in the body… and appears very safe with very few reports of side effects (even after long-term use).   As a 100% natural substance this should be a good stress and anxiety reliever for your dog. These can be an excellent  support supplement for your dog.

Other Melatonin Concerns

In case of accidental overdose contact your veterinarian immediately or you can call the Pet Poison Helpline. They offer a 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center at (855) 764-7661.

Be aware that some brands of over the counter melatonin meant for humans contain Xylitol (look at the ingredients on the packaging). Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and is extremely toxic to dog’s. Makes you wonder why we would eat it?

Feel free to read my review of the Melatonin dog product that I have tried personally with my dog.  It really has helped to ease some of her Cushing’s disease symptoms.

Ellie Mae is 13 years old and her Cortisol levels are super high, causing her to have an insatiable appetite and she can’t stop drinking water.  Melatonin…has helped to block some that uptake in cortisone…resulting in the easing of some of her symptoms.

If you have any experiences with your dog that you would like to share with our community… please feel free to add them down below in the “comments” section.

The more information that is available can help other pet parents…who may be running into the same things that we have gone through.

Best regards and thanks for visiting!  Tim

10 Comments on “Melatonin for Dogs – Natural Treatment for Anxiety, Stress, Phobias, and Separation”

  1. This is an awesome article! I’ve taken melatonin myself for years, but I hadn’t considered that it could be useful for my dog. I really appreciate that you took the time to make people aware of the possible (albeit rare) side-effects and provided the number for Poison Control. I love discovering new websites made by people who care about the well-being of their pets!

    1. Hey Khiori,
      Funny you say that about melatonin. I’ve used it before as well…it works. Ha! So I was happy to see some positive results for my dog! I’m a believer. Thank you for the feedback! Tim

  2. Good information for as a dog gets older as well as keeping your dog from being over stressed. I didn’t know anything about a lot of supplements that you can give to dogs.

    I have had dogs all my life, just didn’t know too much about them. I just kinda fed them and let them go. Thanks for the information.

    1. Hi Todd,
      You said it well. Dogs are low maintenance so we usually just feed them, love them, and do dog things with them. Sometimes they need more and it’s good to know there are some options for improved health and comfort. Thanks again for visiting!

  3. I am glad to hear that I can give melatonin to my dog, but also be wary of the side effects. Too much melatonin for anyone is a bad thing. My friend gave melatonin to his dog for thunderstorm scares and it worked wonders. He always had to be careful not to give her too much.

    I do have a question though. Are there any alternatives to Melatonin to calm my dog down? I want to make sure my dog Rex gets the best treatment possible for his crazy spurts. I want to weigh all my options before I choose a medicine.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    1. Hi Alex,
      Yes, melatonin is just one treatment option for dogs with anxiety or stress. Just like people, dogs are all different and finding the right option can be a challenge. Some have allergic reactions or sensitive systems which can make it even harder. You’re smart in doing your research to find the right product for Rex.

      Funny you should ask about alternatives. I’m actually writing a new article on other all-natural calming aids and that should post in the next week (I’ll list the good and the bad).

      Until then here are a few I have used or heavily researched and are my top recommendations. Good luck and thanks for visiting!

      Stress GOLD For High Stress Situations in Dogs
      PetCalm for Pet Anxiety
      Calming Care for Dog Anxiety and Stress

  4. This is interesting as I never knew that what my dog was feeling during fireworks was dog anxiety. I myself have anxiety so if I can help my dog feel better, I 100% want to give this a try. What signs should I look out for? How will I know to give my dog this natural treatment?

  5. I don’t know if I’m just ignorant, but I did not know that you could give dogs Melatonin. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had a dog but all I remember giving him was vitamins that the vet gave me. Thank you for including what side effects this could have on dogs, I’ll be sure to tell my sister because she still has one dog. 

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