How to Sedate a Dog Over the Counter (Sedative Medications)

Do you have a doggo at home? Are you wondering about how to sedate a dog over the counter before grooming it? Well, you must know how difficult it is to convince your furry pet for a grooming session.

If you have been a regular visitor of professional dog grooming schools, then you might have noticed that they apply various sedative techniques to calm the dog before grooming it.

Now, if you are planning for dog grooming at home, you need to learn better about how you can make your dog sit patiently for long hours until accomplishing the grooming tasks.

The best and most suitable way to make your pet sit for hours is to sedate your dog through easy means. So, the following are the options to sedate a dog over-the-counter safely at home.

Why is it Important to Sedate Your Dog for Grooming?

Sedation refers to the process of application of drugs to render a calm and tranquil state. While grooming dogs, it becomes convenient to sedate them as they get more relaxed, making it easy to treat them.

Most dog grooming professionals and veterinarians sedate the dogs to make the process of examining them less stressful.

Without knowing how to sedate a dog, it becomes quite difficult to handle them as these furry pets become too restless and scared, which, in turn, might make them hurt themselves or others around them.

How to Sedate a Dog with Over the Counter Pet Medications?

In case you are sedating your doggo using drugs, make sure you are using the over-the-counter medicines, which are safe to use without any prescription.

So, to know how to sedate a dog at home, you may use the following type of sedatives over-the-counter drugs.

  • Gabapentin: It is an antiepileptic mild anxiety over-the-counter sedative drug, which treats anxiety in pain management in your doggo. Approximately around 10-20 mg/kg dosage before 2 hours of the grooming session is enough to properly sedate your dog.
  • Trazodone: Trazodone belongs to the class of serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor. It is widely used for anti-anxiety management in pets and readily available over-the-counter. The drug is relatively safe to use with a dosage of 5 mg/kg to your dog.
  • Diazepam (Valium): Diazepam works as a sedative that relaxes your dog’s muscles. As it includes anticonvulsant properties, this drug can also stimulate the dog’s appetite, making it sustain during the sedate stage.
  • Dexmedetomidine (Sileo): Sileo is a kind of sedative gel that can be applied to your dog’s cheeks or gums. This FDA-approved gel helps your pet to cope up with its phobias and stay calm in any situation.
  • Acepromazine (PromAce): Acepromazine also helps to calm down your dog when it behaves aggressively. As it exhibits anti-emetic properties, this medicine can prevent your dog from vomiting often. This drug can also relieve your beloved pet from itching, making it an ideal over-the-counter medication to sedate a dog.

All these sedatives start their action by blocking specific signals in the dog’s central nervous system, which, in turn, calms them down.

How to Sedate a Dog at Home for Grooming?

If you are not willing to sedate a dog using medicines, then there are various other natural ways(oral sedative) that you can adopt to make your dog calm and less aggressive while receiving a grooming session. So, here is in the short term how to sedate a dog naturally.

Opt for Aromatherapy

Aromatherapies are quite effective in calming the senses in your dog. We all know how active the smelling senses of dogs are. So, place a few drops of lavender oil on your palms and give your dog a massage at the back of its head and the base area of the spine before grooming.

Lavender smells very calming with a soothing fragrance that can offer your dog a good spa treatment.

A Regular Exercising Session

Are you tired of searching for how to sedate a dog at home for grooming? Well, here we’ve come up with an effective solution to your query, i.e., regular workout sessions.

A good exercising session will allow your dog to burn off the excess energy, which helps them take proper rest while getting groomed.

An intensive running session or walking before grooming can make your dog tired enough to ensure a good sleep while undergoing hair cutting, body hair trimming, and cleaning.

Offer Them Their Favorite Blanket or a Toy

There is always that one piece of toy or blanket that your dog loves to stay hooked onto. Bring the favorite toy of your dog so that your pet sits peacefully for hours playing with it.

Also, the cozy blanket or attractive toy will reduce your dog’s anxiety, letting it undergo a good grooming session with a dog grooming kit.

Offer a Melatonin Supplement to Your Doggo

As melatonin supplements are produced from the hormones of the pineal glands, it comes with sensitive properties. It is a kind of sleeping hormone that allows animals to have a good sleep at night.

A melatonin supplement helps your dog with its sedative and anticonvulsant properties. Hence, it works well in reducing anxiety or fighting sensations in aggressive dogs.

Opt for a Homemade Herbal Concoction

Do you want to know how to sedate a dog over the counter through natural means? Well, you can try preparing a herbal concoction at home to create a sedating herbal agent for dogs.

Take a bowl and mix German chamomile, catnip, and skullcap altogether. Heat water in a container and pour the boiling water into the mixed herbs.

Then, strain the mixture properly and add honey to it. Thus, your herbal potion is ready! Store it for 24 hours before giving it to your dog.


Sedating your dog is one of the best options for making the grooming sessions less stressful. Though you might feel that giving sedative drugs might work faster and better to calm your dog, it is good to avoid such medications.

Instead, adopt the natural means to sedate a dog as they come with no side effects and benefit your dog’s overall health.