This is my first time posting, although I've visited and read the senior forum many times before. This is a wonderful place for support and help.
I'm wondering if anyone here has any advice on giving a senior Melatonin to help them calm down at night. Our 13 year old WGSD/Malamute mix has always been a VERY active girl. Which has kept us active, too!
The problem is, now that our baby is 13, she's not able to get the amount of activity that she's used to and that she craves. She still is quite active, though, with 3-4 slowish walks per day (sometimes she'll even feel good enough for a little trot). We walk her in different parks and neighborhoods each time, so that she has "new" smells and things to see each walk. She also gets the added bonus of her nose out the car window as we drive to our destination. We also play games with her (hide the treat, guess which hand the food is in, etc.) for mental stimulation. We wrestle with her, and let her lay in the front yard (leashed) to watch the neighborhood activity. She also goes on errands with us most days. There's more, too, but I could type forever listing all we do with her. Over all, she has HOURS of activity, but still has trouble settling down at night.
She's on Rimadyl for pain (she has some arthritis and has had a TPLO on each knee when she was about 2 or 3).
I've searched the internet for advice, and all I can find is that dogs who are restless at night might be in pain or discomfort. Being on Rimadyl, and not seeing any other signs of distress, and our vet not seeing anything wrong overall, I don't think she's in any pain. I truly think she just doesn't quite know how to relax unless she's absolutely exhausted.
She's not a big snuggler, so it's rare for her to allow me to just sit next to her and stroke her to sleep.
So, the only other thing I've seen online, is to try Melatonin, or some people have even said they use Hyland's Calms Forte 4 Kids to help their dogs relax. I just don't know how I feel about this, even if these are natural/homeopathic supplements. Am I horrible for even thinking of trying this? Thank you in advance for your thoughts!