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.
For that, there’s Resilience CBD.
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.
Sleep Foundation. Can Dogs Have Melatonin? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/animals-and-sleep/can-you-give-dogs-melatonin
PubMed. Physiology of the Pineal Gland and Melatonin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK550972/
American Kennel Club. Melatonin for Dogs: Uses, Benefits, and Dosage. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/melatonin-for-dogs-uses-benefits-and-dosage/
Veterinary Information Network. Nighttime Waking in Senior Dogs. https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952996
Hills Pet. Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/healthcare/is-melatonin-safe-for-dogs
Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full
VCA Animal Hospital. Melatonin. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/melatonin
Veterinary Information Network. CBD Use in Pets. https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=9123378