Melatonin Safety and Uses in Pets
Melatonin is an over the counter supplement often used by people to help them sleep. It is used in veterinary medicine for a variety of reasons in dogs, cats, and ferrets. Keep reading to find out about the uses of melatonin in pets.
This article was written by a FirstVet vet
Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Can pets take melatonin?
While melatonin might be used for a wide variety of health concerns in animals, it’s important to seek veterinary advice before giving your pet any type of over the counter supplement.
Some reasons your pet might be prescribed melatonin include:
- Suppress ovarian activity in intact female cats to reduce how often or how long they are in estrus (heat). The effectiveness of this varies.
- Alopecia X, Seasonal Flank Alopecia, or other pattern baldness issues in dogs
- Adrenal gland tumors in ferrets to help with coat regrowth
- Immune modulation for cases of Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia and Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in dogs and cats
- Liver disease (certain types)
- Help with sleep, but it does seem to increase dreaming or movements and vocalizing while asleep in some patients
Types of Melatonin
Melatonin is available in tablet formulations.
It is also available to your vet as a long-acting implant that slowly releases melatonin over a 2-3 month period. Melatonin implants are commonly used in ferrets and the size and placement are very similar to a microchip.
Doses of Melatonin
As you can see, there are a variety of uses for melatonin and species safety varies. Each species and disease condition has a different dose and frequency of use. Please discuss safe dosing ranges and schedules with your veterinarian.
Have questions about supplements and over the counter medications for your pet?
Schedule a video consult to chat with one of our vets.