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Should You Give Your Dog Sleeping Pills?
While many people turn to sleeping pills to help them sleep, it is not necessary or recommended for dogs. If your dog is having trouble falling asleep at night, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. In this article, we will discuss practical solutions to help your dog sleep better and provide information on safe sleeping pills that can be used if necessary.
Why is Your Dog Having Trouble Sleeping?
It is uncommon for dogs to experience sleeping disorders, so if your dog is having trouble sleeping, there may be an underlying issue. Here are some possible reasons:
- Younger dogs tend to sleep less during the night compared to older dogs. This is normal as younger dogs may need to go to the bathroom more frequently. However, they will eventually start sleeping through the night after around 4 months.
- Older dogs may experience cognitive decline, leading to disorientation and more frequent waking up during the night. They may also have underlying health conditions that cause them to need to go to the bathroom frequently.
- Separation anxiety can cause restlessness and disturbed sleep in dogs. When dogs are separated from their owners, they may exhibit symptoms of anxiety such as pacing, panting, and vocalizing.
Note: It is important not to give your dog sleeping pills without a veterinarian’s prescription. Before considering medication, try implementing comforting measures to help your dog sleep better at night.
Comforting Measures to Help Your Dog Sleep Better
Ensure that your dog’s bed is clean and comfortable. Just like humans, dogs need a comfortable place to sleep.
If you have a new dog or a young dog, provide them with a dark and secure space where they feel safe. You can also include toys to make them feel accompanied.
It is important to remember that dogs have different needs than humans. While we may be content with staying in one place, dogs require physical activity and playtime. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise by allowing them to run around or taking them for walks.
Note: Never give your dog human medications, including sleeping pills or anti-anxiety pills. Always consult with a veterinarian before administering any medical treatment to your dog.
Safe Sleeping Pills for Dogs
Before considering any medication, it is crucial to seek advice from a veterinarian. However, here are some over-the-counter options that are generally safe for dogs to help them relax and sleep better at night:
Pheromones are chemicals that can influence the behavior of animals by mimicking the hormones they naturally secrete. Dog-appeasing pheromones, available in the form of sprays or plug-in diffusers, can have a calming effect on dogs due to their familiarity.
There are readily available dietary supplements composed of natural herbs and proteins that target and interact with the soothing neural pathways in a dog’s brain. These aids effectively promote relaxation and facilitate a restful sleep experience for your canine companion.
Melatonin supplements are used by both humans and dogs to help regulate sleep-wake cycles. These supplements can be found in stores specializing in health-oriented products, but it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage for your dog.
Side Effects of Sleeping Pills in Dogs
If an overdose occurs or if a medication does not suit your dog, you may observe the following symptoms. If these symptoms are unmanageable, it is important to seek immediate veterinary consultation:
- Lethargy and sedation
- Agitation and destructive behavior
- Low body temperature
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Vomiting, excessive salivation, and diarrhea
- Lack of muscle control
- Tremors and lack of coordination
- High doses may cause collapse
Over-the-counter sleeping pills are generally safe for dogs. However, if they do not work for your dog or if there is a specific health condition, it is important