How To Sedate A Dog Without Harming Him?

When does your dog need to be put under sedation?? Or, what compels you to sedate your dog?? Well, there can be many occasions when sedating the pet becomes relevant.

  • When taking your dog to vet for some medical treatments (that’s quite obvious why dogs need sedation here).
  • When traumatic situations happen and you need to calm him when he becomes anxious and requires tranquilization.
  • When he is a peevish pet fretting you time and time again with his ill-temperateness.
  • While grooming him; trimming toenails, giving clipper training.
  • Soothing his noise anxiety, travel anxiety and what not!

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In light of all these situations, I would like to share my personal experience with you. My dog when he was about 3 had a fear of getting his nails trimmed, and whenever I did it, he freaked out. He used to yell so loud that neighbors viewed me as a ruthless dog owner!!

Because of that, I tried to avoid the activity as much as possible; until his toenails were in a very bad situation, and I was left with no choice but to trim them. So at that time it was only sedation I could think of.

My vet’s guidance helped me a lot in doing’, ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’. I often come across people asking how to sedate a dog, how can it be done appropriately, how can it be done in the safest possible manner and what are the related do’s and don’ts

Under all of the above situations “sedation” is the only solution that strikes your mind​. however, also brings certain question marks with it relating to ‘how to', ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do.' I often come across people asking how to sedate a dog, how can it be done appropriately, how can it be done in the safest possible manner and what are the related do’s and don’ts.

This article answers all your questions and provides the safest and best ways to sedate your dog without inflicting any sufferings on him.​

Steps You Need To Do (Pro Tips)

  • Analyze the prevailing situation properly
  • Select the most appropriate sedative for your dog according to the demand of the situation prevailing. You can either use natural sedative methods, or you can choose medications; all depends on the prevailing condition.
  • Choose suitable: prescription medication or over the counter (OTC) medication.
  • Consider the precautions while giving drugs to your dog.
  • Opting for natural sedative methods.
  • Try to modify your dog’s behavior by following simple techniques.
  • Ensure that you do no harm to your beloved pet.

Before moving on, watch how an aggressive dog is getting his nails trimmed

Get, Set And Go!! (Step By Step Detailed Instructions)

Situation Analysis

This is the most important step that needs to be performed before you go on for sedating your dog. By situation analysis, I mean to watch your pet’s activities and behavior attentively to confirm whether he really needs sedation or not!! For this, ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Is your dog being peevish and behaving irritable from the very beginning or is it a sudden transformation? If he’s this way from the very beginning, then you need sedatives!! Still, if it’s a sudden transformation, then consider the possible reasons that are inflicting pain on him; it may be an illness or an infection troubling him!
  • How often do you groom your dog yourselves? How does he react to it?
  • Does he get nervous when you take him out for vet visits?
  • Is he anxious being in a strange and unknown environment?
  • Does he remain incredibly restless and nervous?
  • Does he have a noise anxiety?

You can find out answers to these questions only if you watch your dog carefully and understand his actions in different situations. A careful analysis of situation lets you choose the most appropriate sedation technique.

Selection Of The Most Appropriate Sedative

You always have alternatives whenever you go for attempting something new. Your decision depends on your skill and precise judgment abilities. So, here we have two main options available:

  • Sedation with medication.
  • Sedation without medication, i.e., naturally.

The decision entirely depends on the effectiveness of the above methods in light of the prevailing situation.

Prescription Medication Or Otc Drugs; Choosse Wisely

There are some situations like surgeries, difficult grooming, prolonged trips, over anxiety where you need to sedate your dog using medications. This is because medicated sedatives make dogs sleepy and calm so that these complex situations can be tackled with great ease.

Watch this video that shows how a dog behaves after being sedated by owner.

Coming to the topic, choosing between prescription medicine and OTC is surely a tedious task that needs to be performed carefully. Medications prescribed by the vet are after making a careful examination and accurate conclusions.

It is always preferable to choose these, but in certain situations like a normal noise anxiety or thunderstorm fear, one need not consult a vet and can buy the necessary drugs from a chemist nearby.

This video shows whether OTC medication is safe for dogs or not.

Some of the commonly prescribed drugs are: Melatonin supplements, Acepromazine, Diazepam. Diazepam is an apt choice when sedating your dog for nail trimming as it has muscle relaxing properties.

Acepromazine is recommended for travels; it is mainly used to calm and relax fractious dogs. It also prevents vomiting and always leaves a reassuring impact.

Take These Safety Measures

Considering the safety of your dogs, we recommend these safety measures that you need to take while giving medication:

  • Consult your vet and give drugs according to his prescription in complex situations.
  • Some drugs have side effects like nausea, overweight, insomnia, constipation, etc. So check your dog after giving him medication for any of these.
  • Avoid giving sedative drugs to pregnant dogs as it leads to other problems.
  • Over dosage of these drugs is detrimental to dog’s health. Give drugs as per the directions specified by the vet.

Opting Natural Sedative Methods

Natural sedative methods are those which do not employ the usage of medication or drugs for sedating dogs. Some of these methods are explained as follows:

  • Exercising - According to experts, when a dog undergoes a physical activity or any exercising just before he is taken out for trips, he can feel calm and composed. This is because exercising utilizes his excessive energy and exhausts him. This avoids his over excitement or restlessness when traveling. A brisk walk will work well here.
  • Try the range of herbal oils and products that have a calming effect on your dog. Herbal products like Chamomile, oat, wood betony, Ginger oils, California poppy, Skullcap and Valerian Tablets have proved to be effective in calming dogs with noise and travel anxieties.
  • Massaging lavender oil on dog’s back is a relief to him. It helps him to get rid of anxiety because of its pleasing scent.
  • When visiting an unknown or strange place, carry a blanket or your dog’s favorite toy. It makes him feel comfortable in an alien place!
  • Another great natural sedative is pheromone. Pup's mother secretes this hormone, and when the little ones sniff it, they feel calm and composed. This can be given in the form of sprays or diffusers and even in the dog’s collar. It is effective in the case of calming dogs during storms or a long drive.
  • Enjoy watching this video that shows the use of natural sedatives used for traveling with dog.

Some Other Simple Techniques

The following modifications in dog’s behavior can be brought about gradually to make him well- behaved and calm:

  • You can try to make your dog feel comfortable in an alien environment by providing him exposure to in the outside environment. Don’t just keep him confined to the four walls of your home rather take him outdoors, but . But don’t force him against his will…be patient and give your dog time to adjust.
  • You must know what your dog is scared of and you have to help him in overcoming this fear. For instance, if he’s afraid of nail clippers, try to be calm with him and make him believe that this thing isn’t harmful at all. Gradually all his fears will be shattered.

Make Sure That You Do Not Harm Your Dog At All

All dogs are not same in all respects. Every dog has different fears and anxieties, so . So understand your dog’s problems and then choose the suitable sedative. In my opinion According to me, natural sedatives are the best and safest; free of any side effects, but !! But if the problem is severe it is better to consult a vet and choosing prescribed medications.

Watch this dog that shows how to sedate a dog safely


I hope these steps help you and your dog. Sedating a dog is not harmful anyway if done with care and diligence. If not sedated properly, then dogs can hurt themselves, so . So, choose the sedation technique accurately after careful examination of your dog.

You may discuss your problems with us in the comments below. Feel free to add your suggestions/experiences in the comment section and do share this article if you like it.


Hello there, I am an animal lover, especially of dogs. I have over two years experience of working and taking care of dogs in animal protection society. What I look forward to my share is useful to you, because I know you also love dogs. If you interested in my article, please share it with everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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