How to Sedate a Dog

Want to know how to sedate a dog? If yes, then this article is for you

There are different reasons why a dog is sedated, but it is for medical purposes.

Dogs can be very aggressive and hostile when they perceive you want to hurt them, making sedation an uneasy task; however, the reason is to keep the dog in a docile, relaxed, calm, or tranquil state.

There are different techniques on how to sedate a dog, which has been discussed explicitly below.

How to Sedate a Dog

Sedating a dog makes it easy and less stressful for the dog when surgical procedures, veterinary examinations, and grooming are being done.

As such, we have outlined different ways on how to sedate a dog.

how to sedate a dog

  1. Use Prescription Medications
  2. Use Over-the-Counter Sedatives
  3. Sedate your dog without medication

There are three (3) vehement tips on How to Sedate a Dog, which we have explicitly discussed below.

1. Use Prescription Medications

To start with, one of the best ways to sedate your dog is through the use of prescription medication.

Using a prescription sedative medication has proven to be one of the effective ways to sedate your dog. 

Interestingly, there are tons of sedative prescriptions that you can use to sedate your dog.

Still, most importantly, you should visit your veterinarian doctor for professional advice to get the appropriate sedative for your dog. 

However, some of the sedative prescriptions that you can use include:

  • Acepromazine: this is a widely used sedative medication because it is a strong, fast-acting sedative. The medicine has bot tablets or liquid form and can be squirt in between your dog’s gums and cheek.
  • Gabapentin: this serves as a sedative just as it is used to relieve pain, meaning that Gabapentin is both sedative and an analgesic. The drug can help to calm your dog and, at the same time, relieve pain.
  • Trazodone: This is a sedative medication that is used for a dog with chronic anxiety, especially for dogs that require regular sedation, such as before travel, noisy events, or vet appointments.
  • Benzodiazepines: These are commonly used for a single or short-term because they are fast-acting; however, they do not last long.

2. Use Over-the-Counter Sedatives

The use of Over-the-counter sedatives is one of the effective means of sedating your dog. 

As such, other than the use of prescribed sedative medication, another method on how to sedate a dog is to use Over-the-Counter Sedatives.

Tons of these sedatives can be used, including: 

  • Benadryl: you can use Benadryl if your dog is suffering from allergies. However, I’ll advise that you check with your dog’s veterinarian before giving your dog Benadryl because it cannot be used in certain situations.
  • Melatonin: this is a natural and quality over-the-counter sedative option that you can use for your dog. This natural supplement will help your dog to sleep.
  • Valerian Root: You can also opt for a natural sedative, and Valerian Root is one of them. This natural supplement is available in pill or liquid form.

3. Sedate your Dog Without Medication

Aside from using prescribed sedative and an over-the-counter sedative to sedate your dog, you can also sedate your dog without the use of medication.

Some of the steps include:

  • Exercise: taking your dog out for daily exercise or playing games to help your dog relax is another vital means to help calm your dog.
  • Getting your dog toys and anti-anxiety jackets: getting your dog toys and anti-anxiety jackets wrap around its body will help your dog calm down and feel relaxed. 

Dog Sedative for Grooming 

If you need to calm down your dog to groom it effectively, you might consider using sedatives that will help reduce its anxiety. 

As such, you can use sedatives such as Acepromazine, an over-the-counter sedative administered to nervous dogs as it works as a dopamine antagonist. 

This over-the-counter supplement is used to prevent anxiety during grooming.

Other sedatives for grooming includebenadryl, trazodone, general anesthesia, and Melatonin.

How to Sedate a Dog for Nail Clipping

Sedating a dog is done for several reasons, among which is nail clipping. Interestingly, there are three common sedatives that you can use if you want to clip your dog’s nail. These are acepromazine, diazepam, and dexmedetomidine system. 

The drugs function by blocking some signals or information from reaching the central nervous system, which results in a calming effect. 

On the other hand, you can use Sileo, a gel applied to the dog’s cheek or gums.

Natural Sedative for Dogs

Aside from using medically prescribed sedatives, you can also use natural sedative for dogs. 

We have found out that tons of natural sedatives are used for dogs. The commonest ones are Valerian and chamomile, both of which are natural sedative herbs. 

They are often used as calming supplements. 

Aside from the aforementioned natural supplements, other natural supplements come in oil and or powder forms. 

How to Calm a Dog for Grooming

It is best to condition the mind of your dog before grooming or taking it to a groomer. There are several ways you can calm a dog for grooming. These includes 

  • Touch and Treat: before grooming, you should touch the dog in different areas where it will be groomed, including his ears, his mouth, his face, paws, stomach, and the other regions.

Try to repeat the same process over and over again until your dog’s mind is fully conditioned.

  • Groom Slowly: during the grooming process, ensure you perform the process slowly so that your dog can remain slowly.
  • Praise and Reward: ensure you praise your dog for its calmness and obedience during the grooming process. 

Conclusion on How to Sedate a Dog

Sedating your dog can be an uneasy task, but it is possible to sedate your dog.

I believe you have learned something new on how to sedate a dog—having outlined the various processes you can employ to achieve that. 

All the methods listed above will ensure you sedate your dog to perform any of the actions you desire correctly. 


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Dr. Jason Williams

Dr. Jason Williams has served the veterinary field for over 26 years. After graduating from the Prestigious University of California--Davis. He has practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. His experience with Animals is immeasurable. Dr. Jason has found pleasure helping pet owners find the best information they'll ever need for their pets(companion). He currently has 20 pets and is dedicated to sharing from his wealth of experience to pet owners all over the world.

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