CBD and melatonin have been shown to have many health benefits. But does that mean they work for dogs? Learn about CBD vs melatonin for dogs today. CBD may be beneficial in alleviating numerous health issues, as well as anxiety, fear, and insomnia, and does not have xylitol, which some melatonin supplements may have. Xylitol is toxic to dogs! Is melatonin safe to give to dogs? It can be. Find out how you can give your dog melatonin.
CBD vs Melatonin for Dogs: Which is Best?
Home » Blog » CBD vs Melatonin for Dogs: Which is Best?
Shuffling feet, sporadic barks, a pool of drool collecting at your pup’s agape mouth—the signs of a well-rested dog are hard to miss. But what happens when those dreamy habits are replaced by restless wandering and nervous behavior?
Like humans, dogs may benefit from CBD products and melatonin, which may help ease your pup back into a restful sleep to dream of wide-open fields and dishes of pork chops.
While the research is still in its infancy, adding a hint of CBD or melatonin to your pup’s midnight snack may help to promote relaxation and calmness. For example, if you’ve ever wondered how to help dogs with car anxiety , CBD is a great option to explore. However, CBD may offer more potential benefits with fewer risks. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about melatonin vs CBD for dogs.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the pineal gland. Both humans and dogs produce melatonin. Its job is to tell your body that it’s time for sleep. Contrary to popular belief, melatonin doesn’t make you sleepy. Instead, it primes your body for rest.
Like humans, dogs tend to be more awake during the day and sleepier at night. And when it’s close to your dog’s usual sleep time, their pineal gland releases melatonin into the brain. In mammals, once released, melatonin binds to MT1 and MT2 receptors, which are located throughout the body. These receptors can be found in the:
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular system
Once it has reached these areas, melatonin tells your body to begin the process of getting ready for sleep. Think of it as clicking on the shutdown button on your laptop—after you push that button, everything slowly finishes its process and closes down.
What is CBD?
Unlike melatonin, CBD is not produced naturally in your or your dog’s body. Instead, CBD is derived from the cannabis plant. It is one of more than 100 different cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis and is thought to have several benefits for the body, such as promoting relaxation and elevated mood levels.
The good news for your pup? CBD does not produce the “high” you associate with THC.
When consumed, CBD binds to different receptors than melatonin does. More specifically, it interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system, which consists of the central and peripheral nervous systems. From there, exactly how CBD works in the body is a bit of a mystery. But it may help to relax you and your pup after a long day.
What Can CBD and Melatonin Do for Your Dog?
Although the research on melatonin vs CBD oil for dogs is limited, both may benefit you and your canine companion when you’re trying to fall asleep at night.
In fact, they can be used in conjunction for full-body wellness support.
Melatonin Benefits for Dogs
Melatonin supplements are often given to dogs as tablets or capsules. Veterinarians may prescribe a specific dose to your pet depending on the extent of the problem your pup needs help with.
Additionally, the efficacy of melatonin for your dog is highly dependent on several factors, including:
- Your dog’s overall health
- The prescribed melatonin dosage
- The issue you’re seeking help with
- How long the dog takes melatonin
As with any supplement, you should speak with your veterinarian before giving melatonin to your pet.
If you do choose to give your dog melatonin, they may benefit from the following perks:
- Healthy sleep cycle – Including a veterinarian recommended dosage of melatonin in your dog’s nightly routine may help ease restlessness. Older dogs are especially susceptible to disrupted sleep due to confusion or physical discomfort. Melatonin might contribute to a more restful night of sleep for your senior dog.
- Feelings of calmness – Melatonin is sometimes prescribed to dogs who experience worries and restlessness. That’s because it may encourage a calmer demeanor and help dogs relax since melatonin inhibits the excessive production of dopamine in the brain.
CBD Benefits for Dogs
Research on the benefits of CBD for dogs is limited. However, there are a few studies and anecdotal evidence that suggest there may be potential sleep benefits.
As a whole, CBD may work to make your dog comfortable and cozy in the following ways:
- Eases joint stiffness – One four-week study of dogs and CBD suggested that a regular supplement of approximately 2 mg of CBD per kg of weight in dogs could help increase the comfort and activity level of dogs with stiff joints.
- Provides help for restless animals – Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may promote healthy, restful sleep in both dogs and humans.
- Maintains a normal and relaxed disposition – CBD may also help your dog maintain a calm and relaxed demeanor in a stressful situation. If you have an anxious pet who suffers from distress when you leave for work, CBD oil might help them have a better day, which can ease them into a more restful sleep.
- Supports the immune system – CBD might also help support your dog’s immune system for overall health and vitality.
Do Melatonin or CBD Pose Risks for Dogs?
In the limited studies performed on animals, both CBD and melatonin can pose some risks for your dog. As such, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian before adding any new supplements to your dog’s daily routine.
Your vet will be able to provide you with the best advice about which products to use and the proper dosage for your furry friend.
Melatonin Risks for Dogs
Some of the potential risks associated with giving your dog a melatonin supplement include the following:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Weight gain due to inactivity
- Itchy skin
- Fertility changes
Furthermore, any pet owner should always check the packaging on any nutritional supplements for dogs even if they are specifically formulated for their beed. Many supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA and may contain harmful ingredients.
For dogs, you want to ensure that melatonin products don’t contain added fillers. Sweeteners, such as xylitol can be toxic for your dog.
Finally, you should make sure that the melatonin dose you give your dog won’t interact with any medications they currently take.
CBD Risks for Dogs
There haven’t been any significant studies on the potential risks of CBD for dogs. However, little evidence suggests that there could be serious side effects. CBD products are thought to be safe for dogs. Some of the minor risks of giving your dog CBD may include:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Interactions with medications
The biggest risk of giving your dog CBD is often found in the reliability, or lack thereof, of the supplier. The FDA doesn’t regulate human or animal CBD supplements. This means that manufacturers aren’t always honest about what’s in their products.
As such, do your research before choosing a CBD sleep-time supplement for your pup to ensure each ingredient is of the highest quality.
Finally, your veterinarian cannot prescribe a CBD product for your pet. As a pet owner, you can ask general questions about a CBD treat for your dog but, ultimately, you’ll be the one responsible for researching the product and the company that makes it.
What Should You Look for in Dog CBD Products?
When shopping for CBD products for your dog, there are ways to ensure you’re purchasing a product that delivers what the packaging claims. A few key things to look for include:
- Quality ingredients – Pets can have serious reactions to pesticides and other chemicals. Look for CBD products that are organic and free from pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
- Lab-tested – A reliable CBD manufacturer will have their products lab-tested to ensure quality. This gives every dog owner the comfort of knowing that your dog’s CBD contains what the label claims. Look for the COA or certificate of authenticity. This document should be readily available on the product on a QR code or available on the company’s website.
- Top-rated CBD oil – As is the case with all products, the cheapest option out there isn’t always the best one. Take the time to research your dog ’s CBD product options and select one that comes from a reputable supplier. Even if you have to pay a little more, you’ll get the quality you seek for your precious pup.
What Kind of CBD Products Can You Buy for Your Dog?
As the dog owner, you can purchase CBD products in several different forms for your furry friend to try. The right one for your pet depends on how you wish to use the product. It also depends on your pet’s preference. As you probably know, some dogs have very discerning tastes, while others are very sensitive to swallowing capsules or tablets.
Some common forms of dog CBD products include:
- CBD oil sprays
- Soft Chews
- CBD oil in droplets
Luckily, some products are specifically geared toward attracting your dog’s interest. For example, our Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Spray is a convenient option that can be spritzed into your dog’s mouth or onto their food. Your dog will love the tasty bacon flavor of the product, and you’ll love how easy it is to use.
Help Your Pup Sleep Soundly with Resilience CBD
When it comes to helping your dog feel more comfortable and relaxed in a stressful situation, CBD offers more potential benefits than melatonin and may be a perfect bedtime treat for your pup.
In addition to aiding relaxation, a CBD treat or soft chew may ease joint stiffness and support a healthy immune system to keep your dog feeling great day and night. And the key to safely giving your dog CBD is purchasing high-quality products from a trusted manufacturer.
Our premium CBD products are designed to promote overall health and vitality, and we use ingredients you can trust, so you know you’re only giving your pup the very best. Explore our collection of CBD pet products today.
CBD as an Alternative Supplement to Melatonin
If your dog is having problems sleeping, melatonin or CBD may be the answer. Both can help with Cushing’s Disease, noise phobia, as well as separation anxiety. That said, a healthy alternative to melatonin for dogs is CBD oil.
CBD may be beneficial in alleviating numerous health issues, as well as anxiety, fear, and insomnia, and does not have xylitol, which some melatonin supplements may have. Xylitol is toxic to dogs!
What is Melatonin?
The Merck Veterinary Manual explains that “ Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland and is involved in the control of photoperiod-dependent molting of some mammals. Secretion is inversely related to daylight length and is highest during the winter. Various canine hair-growth disorders including recurrent flank alopecia, pattern baldness, and excessive trichilemmal keratinization have improved with melatonin supplementation. Recurrent flank alopecia may be treated with 36-mg SC implants. Oral melatonin is also available; an empirical dosage of 3–6 mg/dog, tid-qid, has been used successfully.”
Melatonin is a natural hormone and supplement and affects sleep in dogs and people. It is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan in the pineal gland at the back of the brain. You can also find melatonin in some foods. It is a safe and natural supplement that regulates sleep and wake cycles, and also helps to support normal immune function in pets and people. Melatonin also has the potential to protect cells against free radical damage.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a component of the cannabis plant, but without the tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC), the component of the cannabis plant that gives you the “high”. With no THC, there is no psychoactive reaction.
- CBD comes from the hemp plant, but can also be extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD oil is the liquid that comes from the cannabis plant, with the best form of extraction being the CO2 method.
- Cannabidiol oil for dogs may be beneficial for many health problems in dogs including cancer, arthritis, to stimulate appetite, and may also help treat tumors, and ease anxiety and depression.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol, most often referred to as THC, is the psychoactive compound that is derived from the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the “high effect”, and is federally regulated in the U.S, yet is legal in Canada for recreational and medicinal use, and also in some US states.
- Hemp has higher levels of CBD and low levels of THC. For hemp to be classified as such, it has to contain only 0.3% of THC. 0.3 % THC yields no “high” effect. Hemp was made federally legal in the US through the Farm Bill in 2018.
CBD offers numerous other health benefits
We love our dogs and want them to feel relaxed and happy. So far, CBD has demonstrated numerous health benefits with little to no side effects. The latest 2019 pilot study on the benefits of Cannabis oil for dogs by the Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital demonstrated that “ scientists have found in a small study that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. Nine dogs were treated with CBD, while seven in a control group were treated with a placebo.” via Science Daily. We are learning new things every day about the benefits of this natural supplement.
The following are some of the important findings to date from in vitro and animal studies:
- CBD affects the growth of tumoral cell lines but has no effect in most non- tumor cells. However, a pro-apoptotic effect has been observed in lymphocytes.
- It has no effect on embryonic development (limited research)
- Evidence on potential hormonal changes is mixed, with some evidence of possible effects and other studies suggesting no effect, depending on the method used and the particular hormone
- It has no effect on a wide range of physiological and biochemical parameters or significant effects on animal behavior unless extremely high doses are administered (eg, in excess of 150 mg/kg iv as an acute dose or in excess of 30 mg/kg orally daily for 90 days in monkeys)
- Effects on the immune system are unclear; there is evidence of immune suppression at higher concentrations, but immune stimulation may occur at lower concentrations.
- There is potential for CBD to be associated with drug interactions through inhibition of some cytochrome P450 enzymes, but it is not yet clear whether these effects occur at physiological concentrations.
- CBD was also not associated with abuse potential
According to a study, CBD may also be beneficial for depression in pets. The study adds that “cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotomimetic component of marihuana, exhibits anxiolytic-like properties in many behavioral tests, although its potential for treating major depression has been poorly explored.”
Benefits of melatonin for dogs
- Melatonin may be beneficial for certain anxiety issues, sleep disorders, and neurological problems in both people and pets.
- Melatonin is available in a capsule or tablet form.
- It helps with hair growth in dogs.
- It may be effective for thunderstorms and noise phobia issues.
- You’ll need to consult with your vet for any side effects with other meds before using them.
- Melatonin is a safe and natural supplement and is a safe alternative to traditional pet meds that may have side effects.
According to a 2018 study published in the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA), 20% of dogs suffer from anxiety. Dr. Daniel Mills, DVM, and a professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at the University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences in England, adds that “ Separation anxiety has several distinct forms based on a mixture of emotional and motivational states, he said. About 20 percent of dogs are affected. Consistently across studies, he said, 15 percent of dogs aren’t responding to medication, and 15 percent aren’t responding to behavioral treatment.”
Melatonin adverse reactions
If you’re worried that your furry best friend has experienced an adverse reaction or that you may have administered the incorrect dosage, consult with your veterinarian. What’s important is to never double up on a missed dose. As with all meds, veterinarians recommend waiting until the next succeeding dose so that your dog does not experience an adverse reaction.
CBD as an alternative solution for some shut-eye or anxiety relief
We all want our dogs to be healthy and stress-free, and would much rather give them natural supplements to traditional meds. Since there are no long term side effects with either CBD or melatonin, you’ll need to examine both supplements to see which one is best for your pet. When looking for an alternate supplement for sleep relief or anxiety, you’ll also need to consult with your vet to make sure that your dog has no underlying health issues.
A 2019 CBD study about CBD for dogs with insomnia added that ‘ On average, anxiety and sleep improved for most patients, and these improvements were sustained over time. At the first monthly assessment after the start of CBD treatment, 79.2% (57/72) and 66.7% (48/72) of all patients experienced an improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively; 15.3% (11/72) and 25.0% (18/72) experienced worsening symptoms in anxiety and sleep, respectively. Two months after the start of CBD treatment, 78.1% (32/41) and 56.1% (23/41) of patients reported improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively, compared with the prior monthly visit; again, 19.5% (8/41) and 26.8% (11/41), respectively, reported worsening problems as compared with the prior month,” via NCBI.
Can you give a dog melatonin?
Melatonin is a commonly used supplement among humans, and while most human supplements aren’t safe to share with dogs, melatonin is on the safe list. In fact, melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain by both humans and animals. In our bodies, melatonin helps regulate the circadian rhythms of the body, meaning our sleep cycles.
How does melatonin benefit my dog?
Melatonin can be an excellent supplement for your dog. The sedative qualities in melatonin make it effective in calming down and soothing anxious dogs. Melatonin helps improve your pet’s mood and relieve your pet’s anxiety issues, including hyperactivity, restlessness, separation anxiety, and any kind of phobias like loud noises. Giving your dog melatonin before events of high stress like a thunderstorm, fireworks, or leaving the house can help your dog destress, relax and sleep soundly. It even helps older dogs suffering from insomnia experience a more regular sleeping cycle. Melatonin is actually known to help ease some of the symptoms of mild Cushing’s disease, a disease that causes a hormonal imbalance in dogs. Lastly, because melatonin promotes hair growth, it is a great supplement to use in dogs with alopecia.
- Dogs less than 10 lbs should be given 1 mg
- Dogs weighing 10-25 lbs should be given 1.5 mg
- Dogs weighing 26-100 lbs should be given 3 mg
- Dogs weighing over 100 lbs should be given 3-6 mg
If you do give your pet melatonin, check the label first to make sure the ingredients don’t contain xylitol. This is a commonly used artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs. Also, as with any new medications or supplements you give your dog, keep an eye on them after the first administration in case of an allergic reaction. After administration, melatonin starts to work within about 15 minutes and lasts about 8 hours.
What should I watch out for when giving my dog melatonin?
Because melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in the body it’s rare to see side effects when given as a supplement. However, there are side effects that can occur: