How Do I Sedate My Dog To Cut His Nails

How Do I Sedate My Dog To Cut His Nails header
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While you may enjoy a trip to a salon for a bit of pampering in order to get your nails done, this is not always true of your pet. Your dog may be nervous or frightened at the prospect.

This situation may require a little more than a pat on the back and some encouraging words. So, you may be wondering, just how do I sedate my dog to cut his nails?

What can I give my dog to calm him down to cut his nails?

When choosing a sedative for your dog, there are a number of options available. Some products like Benadryl or Melatonin, are available over the counter, but others, like Acepromazine, will require a prescription. Be aware that anytime you sedate a dog, you must seek advice from a professional to avoid dangerous consequences.

Be Aware!

Sedation is a complicated procedure, and should be undertaken only by a professional. You certainly wouldn’t attempt to medicate yourself at home prior to a complicated medical or dental procedure, so you should treat your pet with the same consideration.

Any substance used in this process should be considered a medication, whether purchased over the counter or by prescription, and must be treated as such.

Only a qualified professional will know how to safely sedate a dog. He can decide on the proper dosage of a drug, and advise you on how to administer it.

Moreover, your canine should be examined by a vet before you even consider any type of sedation to determine what substance will work most advantageously with the least side effects.

This is especially true if the animal is already on other medications, as some sedatives may interact adversely with other medications.

Certainly, your canine companion will need his long nails trimmed from time to time, but there is no reason to make this any riskier than it should be. So, seek veterinary assistance before you try to do anything.

how to safely sedate dog to cut the nails

Substances that can be used


This is a common medication used to sedate a dog for nail trimming. You may be familiar with the name, as it is commonly used in humans as well.

This is an antihistamine used to treat allergies, both environmental and circumstantial.

Your vet may advise you to use this substance if your four-legged buddy has been stung, or has a reaction to pollen in the spring. But it also has a mild sedative effect, and can be used to calm nervous dogs .

Most tablets are available in 25mg sizes.

But remember to seek veterinary assistance before you give your dog any medicine, as there are certain conditions which could make such use dangerous, such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease.


Melatonin is yet another commonly used human substance, available over the counter, you can use it to sedate a dog who is anxious.

Although Melatonin has not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in animals, it has been used for years under veterinary supervision, with much success and very few, and usually minor side effects.

This substance is commonly used on a continual basis to treat overactivity in companion animals, epilepsy, and even hair loss. It can also be sued as needed to ease nervousness during thunderstorms or fireworks, or simply to allow for a good night’s sleep.

As with any medicine, seeking advice will be necessary before you consider dosing up your best friend, as there are a number of things to consider.

A professional will be able to determine the safe dosage, and even if your four-legged buddy would benefit from the medication.

Melatonin has been known to work poorly with some other medications your canine buddy may be taking, and should not be used at all by pregnant dogs or puppies.

There have been some side effects reported, although rarely. These can include stomach upset and/or cramping, itching, confusion, and tachycardia. Your veterinarian will advise you how to handle these.

While the two drugs mentioned above are available over the counter, other appropriate medications will require a prescription.

What Can I give my dog to calm him?


Have you ever thought of giving your furry companion a dose of Valium ? Well, this commonly used human drug, with the generic name Diazepam, has also been used on pets who are prone to convulsions, over excitement, or who are in need of a muscle relaxant.

Just as in human usage, Diazepam comes with a plethora of warnings. It may interact adversely with a variety of other medications your animal may be on, it can leave your friend weak and uncoordinated, and, if used on a continual basis, you may find yourself dealing with an addiction. That’s right, your pup may turn into a junkie.

Despite the fact that the FDA has not approved diazepam for use on animals, your veterinarians is fully qualified to prescribe its use.

However, you can only obtain it from a licensed vet ’s office.

Diazepam is a controlled substance, and, as such, should be administered and stored with care.


Another prescription medication available is Acepromazine. This drug has been approved for administration to your canine companion before and after surgical procedures, as well as to control overly excited dogs in stressful situations.

If you are considering using this to ease the situation before attempting to clip the dog’s nails, seeking veterinary assistance will be necessary, as only a professional is qualified to prescribe the drug, advise you on its efficacy and appropriateness, and warn of any side effects which may arise.

This drug may be contraindicated if there is a history of liver disease, heart disease, seizure disorders, or if the animal in question is pregnant or lactating.

Side effects are rare, but there could be an allergic reaction. Other signs may include difficulty in breathing, swelling in the face, lips, or tongue, and hives.

This drug can be very effective, as well as affordable, since it is sold as individual tablets to be used as needed.

Keep in mind!

Sedation is complicated, and the used medications, whether available over the counter or by prescription, should only be used under the direction and guidance of a qualified veterinarian .

Calming Your Dog with natural solutions

Perhaps you’d feel comfortable dealing with the situation in a more homeopathic manner rather than using nail clippers.

how to sedate dog for nail clipping


Aromatherapy is one way to go. Try massaging a small amount of lavender oil onto the back of your pooch’s neck, or at the base of his spine. Lavender has been known to have a calming effect.


Pheromones may also be the answer to your excitable companion’s phobia of clippers.

Try a sentry calming collar, or a comfort zone diffuser with appeasing pheromones.

These products contain the same pheromones produced by mamas to comfort their puppies, and have a calming effect on adult dogs as well.


Herbal alternatives are also on the market. You could try Dorwest Herbs Scullcap and Valerian Tablets, as the herbs they contain have been proven to be effective against nervousness, excitability, restlessness, and anxiety. But don’t use this on lactating mothers or puppies under two months old.

Another herbal choice is Vetzyme Stay Calm liquid, which contains a combination of chamomile and ginger. Simply follow the dosing recommendations and mix in with your fido’s daily meals.

my pooch hates getting her nails done

Dealing with your The fear of Nail Trimming

There are certainly other ways of easing your pup’s fear of clippers , or eliminating, the anxiety involved in this terrifying experience. The most obvious way is to eliminate the need for trimming at all.

Enough exercise may lead to the wear and have the same result as if you were to clip the nails, so they will require no trimming.

You could try using rough floor mats specially designed to wear down long dogs nails . Or teach a behavior such as running the paw over a sandpaper covered board.

The latter will involve multiple training sessions, but will allow you to escape the trauma you start to trim the nail .

Finally, you could embark on a training program.

Start with a new nail grinder, as the old one may evoke bad memories. And make sure it is sharp, and continues to be sharpened regularly. A dull tool can make for a painful experience.

Start with getting your pooch accustomed to having his paw handled before you try to trim it. Then introduce him to the tool itself, but with no sound.

Gradually, while holding the operating device in your hand, put it near his legs for few minutes until he is accustomed to seeing and hearing it, and having his feet and paws handled, without concern.

When you feel he is ready, try to complete the process and avoid cutting the quick .

Remember, this is not a quick surgery. This whole routine will require more than a bit of time and patience, but the reward will be great for you both when this trick works.


Just like grooming, your pooch surely will need his nails clipped from time to time.

Whatever way you choose to alleviate your furry friend’s anxiety, be it medications, homeopathic remedies, or behavior training, it is worth the effort.

Your companion animal will be spared the discomfort of walking around the house on painfully uncomfortable nails, and your floors and furniture will be spared from the wear and tears such paws can inflict. Not to mention your own delicate skin.

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