HEALTH & CARE

How to Sedate A Dog: Conventional And Natural Sedatives

Calm dog
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

A sedative is any substance that can reduce irritability or excitement by inducing sedation, i.e. it puts the brain to sleep in both animals and human beings. This specific type of medication, which also includes anesthetics are used to either calm down a dog or put him or her to sleep for a short duration of time.

There are also pills designed to calm down a dog with allergies that usually come with itchy skin, watery eyes, and other issues which tend to lower down the general comfort level. These pills may not be sedatives, but they are amazing in helping poor Fido get a few moments of rest and calm. Click here to see more details on how they work and prices.

All in all, sedatives are used for a wide variety of reasons, including nail trimming, travel, and many others, but while choosing sedatives, dog owners should take some precautions.

Research has shown that an animal’s heart rate, temperature, and respiration all drop once the animal is under sedation. In some very rare cases, the animal may also become dehydrated.

When an animal becomes dehydrated while under sedation, its general health and well-being are usually at risk. Also, if the pet wakes up, feeling alone and confused after sedation, the grossness and panic that may follow is usually much worse than the one you were hoping to avoid.

Sedativ for dogs

All in all, dogs can suffer different types of anxiety such as social anxiety, where they tend to become anxious and nervous around humans or other dogs. Also, they can suffer noise anxiety where they tend to become afraid of unusual or loud noises.

Finally, they are also prone to separation anxiety where they become afraid and anxious when left alone. The long-term solution to all the three type of nervousness is proper constructive training.

The proper positive training usually takes some time, hence as a dog owner you will be forced to take some actions before the dog becomes fully trained. Nonetheless, there are several sedatives and anesthetics that you should know. Depending on their functionality or intended functions, sedatives and tranquilizers can be divided into several groups.

Still, if you’re not the type of owner who believes in medication and training takes too long, you should check out this anxiety jacket. It is quick and doggies don’t have to take any medication to overpass their fear of anything.

3 broad categories of conventional sedatives

Sedatives and tranquilizers

Sedatives and tranquilizers are mainly used to cool down an animal for various procedures such as x-rays, drawing of blood and trimming of nails. However, medication can also be prescribed for a sensitive dog who gets too excited in various normal situations.

Usually, the treatment is prescribed for at home and comes as pills which are difficult to administer, especially if the dog doesn’t like them. That’s why you should check out these pill pocket treats which cover the pill taste and scent enough for the dog to gobble it up.

For a much faster result, sedatives and tranquilizers are usually injected directly into a muscle or into the bloodstream through the veins. Furthermore, sedatives and tranquilizers are also used as pre-anesthetics so as to calm down the dog before the anesthesia is administered.

One good example of a pre-anesthetic is Diazepam/valium that is mainly used to calm down the dog before surgery. When administering sedatives and tranquilizers the animals must not be pregnant because the sedatives can lead to birth defects.

Another commonly used pre-anesthetic is Acepromazine, but like Diazepam, Acepromazine still has its limitations; should not be used on dogs that are prone to seizure attacks.

Analgesics

Analgesics are mainly used to provide pain relief that is also commonly known as analgesia in the field of medicine. Among the analgesics, there is a group of short-acting drugs that are mainly used to bring an animal back to alert state because they have reversal agents. One good example of analgesics is Medetomidine Hydrochloride also commonly known as Domitor and is mainly used as a sedative and an analgesics in animals.

All in all, analgesics are mainly used for minor procedures that may not require muscle relaxation such as the removal of porcupine quills.

There are mainly two ways through which analgesics are mainly administered, intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM). After administration of the drug, the animal is usually allowed to calm down for 5 to 10 minutes as the drug is taking effect. After the completion of the procedure, the dog will be given Antisedan (Atipamezole Hydrochloride) which usually reverses the effect of the analgesia that was previously administered.

General anesthetics

General anesthetics are mainly used when the dog is required to be unconscious for a long duration of time such as surgery. Once they have been fully absorbed into the bloodstream, general anesthetics will block any pain sensation, cause muscle relaxation and prevent movement during the surgical procedure.

One good example of a commonly used general anesthetic is Thiopental, which is a short-acting barbiturate that is commonly used for very short procedures such as the removal of porcupine quills.

When injected into the vein, unconsciousness usually occurs within a minute after the drug has been administered. But for certain dog breeds such as gray hounds, the recovery period is usually much longer when compared to other dog breeds. The long recovery period is usually attributed to the differences in the way the body disintegrates the anesthetic and also the animal’s low body fats.

Tatazole and Ketamine are also good examples of injectable general anesthetics. The two anesthetics are mainly used for short medical procedures such as restraint or the Draining of abscess. Nonetheless, Ketamine and Tatazole usually function in a slightly different manner when compared to other injectable anesthetics; they usually produce a dissociative anesthesia.

After the production of the dissociative Anastasia, the animal becomes unaware of what is happening though the eyes will still be open, and all the reflexes will be fully functional.

When a gas anesthesia is used, the dog is usually given a stimulation agent, like the commonly used thiopental to make him unconscious. The anesthetic gas is usually mixed with oxygen gas, then administered through a facial mask.

Stress medication

While sedatives and analgesics have their specific effect, most of our dogs are stressed. They are not used with loud noises, people discussing on a passionate tone, other pets who are more energetic, and so on. This leads to anxiety which can lead to various health issues.

To calm a nervous pooch down, there are various treats on the market which contain substances designed to relief or cut down the stress level. You should take a look at some of the products out there like these soft chews or these natural chillout treats.

6 herbal sedatives and home remedies

Apart from being some depressants, most conventional drugs are also likely to come with undesirable side effects. The various unattractive side effects that conventional drugs may cause include nausea, insomnia, constipation, weight gain, increased appetite and many others.

Hence, most dog owners have now turned to natural remedies as a suitable alternative to conventional medicines. Apart from being reliable, natural sedatives are also very effective when it comes to alleviating or minimizing anxiety attacks. Also, most of the natural sedatives will have very minimal side effects and in some cases, no side effects at all.

Sedatives for dogs

A good example of a conventional sedative is Acepromazine, which is often prescribed to treat anxiety in dogs. The side effects that come with Acepromazine include an increased heart rate, allergic reactions, depressions, and finally a lack of coordination. Furthermore, like discussed earlier, conventional sedatives such as Acepromazine should not be used on dogs that are prone to seizure attacks.

All in all, there are several natural therapies such as herbs and essential oils that can be used to alleviate or lessen the various symptoms of anxiety attacks. The various side effects that are usually caused by conventional sedatives are one of the main reasons why most dog owners are opting for herbal sedatives as an alternative.

If you are looking for an ideal way to calm down nervous dogs that may be prone to anxiety, then herbs are just what you need. Apart from being mild, herbs are also non-addictive with no or very minimal side effects. Furthermore, most of the herbs that are used as natural also contain essential nutritious tonics that play a key role in supporting a dog’s nervous system.

All in all, there are several types of herbs that are used as natural sedatives. So as to achieve a synergistic effect, some of the natural nerve-calming herbs are combined then administered to the dog. All in all, here are five herbs that are widely used as sedatives, especially if the dog is aggressive, overly excited or anxious.

Chamomile

Chamomile is an herb that contains the active ingredient Apigenin, which is mainly used on to reduce anxiety in dogs and humans that are either stressed out or easily stressed. Apigenin is one of the most research elements in the field of medicine because it works in the same way aspirin does, by inhibiting the production of chemical inhibitors.

Furthermore, apart from containing the active ingredient, Apigenin, Chamomile has another chemical ingredient, called Chamazulene.

Chamomile tea for dogs

Chamazulene plays a bigger role especially in cases where the anxiety may lead to gastrointestinal disorders such as bloating, pain or gas. All in all, Chamomile can be given to the dog as tea, or you can soak a treat in the tea.

Skullcap

Regardless as to whether it is in its raw form or as a processed product, skullcap is an effective sedative that can be used to treat anxiety and hyper excitability in dogs. As a medicinal herb, skullcap is made up of some valuable constituents such as Catapol, Scutellaria, volatile oils, Tannins and bitter iridoids.

Nonetheless, despite all of Skullcap’s medicinal values, most veterinary officers warn against the prolonged usage of this herb either as a sedative or any other medicinal purpose. Prolonged usage of skullcap can lead to liver damage both in man and dog.

Valerian

Apart from reducing tension, the valerian herb is also effective in alleviating anxiety and over excitability in dogs. Unlike alcohol and all the other pharmaceutical sedatives, the valerian herb is a safe and gentle sedative that does not affect the brain in any way.

The fall root of the valerian herb is the part that is usually used in the formation of various treatment options. In some cases, the upper part of the plant can be used though the final product is usually much weaker.

Valerian oil

All in all, this herb is used to alleviate anxiety in dogs and is also used to reduce physical pain in dogs. Like any other medicinal herb, the correct dosage must be observed at all times.

Oat

Like most of the aforementioned herbal medicines, oat was previously used on humans to soothe itches, flakes, and dryness. It is the soothing property that drove many researchers to try this herb on dogs as a safe alternative to herbal medicine.

Currently, Oat is used on dogs to relieve depression, calm down their nervous system and ease stress. If the dog is stressed out due to dry skin or itchiness you can alleviate his or her stress by giving him a rubdown with the oat seed tea.

California Poppy

Regardless as to whether the stress that your dog usually experiences is part of his day today disposition or triggered by any other factor, California Poppy can be essential in alleviating anxiety and stress. Poppies are widely known for their ability to produce heroin, which are very strong painkillers that are used in the field of medicine.

California Poppy sedative

When given to the pet in the right amounts, the effects of California Poppy is truly remarkable. California poppy is widely used to alleviate tension, anxiety and reduce any difficulty in sleeping, in dogs by stabilizing his or her mind’s emotional working.

Wood Betony

Wood Betony is mainly used as a sedative when a dog’s inner uproar leads him or her to have very tense muscles. When a dog experiences tension headaches, the discomfort of the face and head nerves only contributes to the throbbing headache.

All in all, wood betony not only assists easing a dog’s tension but also alleviate any form of discomfort.

How to administer natural sedatives

Natural sedatives are preferred by many dog owners because they are user-friendly and very easy to deliver. If it is your first time to administer natural sedatives to your dog, then you should use his or her level of stress as a guide.

For a dog that is completely hyped up, you will want to calm him down as quickly as possible. Also, if this is your first time, you may want to consider a homeopathic remedy which was already mixed for you. Click here to see some more information if you are interested.

First and foremost you will be required to combine all the necessary herbs then squirt a few drops of the herbs in the dog’s mouth for a faster effect. If you are administering the herbs to a puppy who is always stressed or worked out on a day to day basis.

Herbal tea for calm dog

Then, you might want to squeeze a few drops of the mixture in his day-to-day water bowl, or you can design a tube collar for him or her to put on.

All in all, if you are looking for an efficient method that is going to guarantee result then herbal tea is the way to go. By steeping the herbal medicine into a tea then give him or her a spa bath with the tea, he or she will be relaxed for the whole night.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • Jemma Mayer

    I think that before giving your sedatives, it would be best to first consult a vet regarding dosages and all that. It’s a good alternative but I don’t really support giving one’s dog a sedative without a vet’s all-clear.

  • CyndyPrinceton

    When my mother in law takes her poodle along for a ride, the dog gets jittery and nervous. Although the dog is not vomiting or dizzy, she makes this soft distressful noise that’s heartbreaking. Are there natural sedatives that the dog can take to ease out her anxiety? I know that some pet owners do sedate their dogs on long-distance travels. Any thoughts?

    • You can discuss this concern with your veterinarian. While I would not recommend any promoted natural supplements or sedatives to help ease the agitation on the first medical management, your veterinarian might prescribe a mild artificial sedative not just to alleviate your dog, but your worries as well.

  • Joann

    Can anyone tell me what kind of dog that is in the background of the prescription bottle picture (next to the collie) ? We just rescued a dog that looks exactly like him but all the pound could say was that he was a stray Shepard mix (which doesn’t seem likely)
    Thanks

  • When introducing any type of medication, it would be best to consult it to the veterinarian. This simple practice saves you from all the trouble and guesswork.

  • It can be a shepherd mix, although its features show that it can also be a terrier or mastiff mix.

  • Darinel

    Should i consult a vet before giving my Labrador Retriever chamomile tea?

  • Absolutely! You just need to make sure that the tea packet does not contain anything artificial. It is a very effective tea variant that is safe for dogs.

  • grumbles

    My shar-pei does not like his nails cut.what herbaL sedative is recommended .he is45lbs.

  • CallumF

    I have some questions about my Alaskan Husky, regarding his anxiety, heart, and also long-distance travel.

    Any chance i can come in contact with Wyatt himself?

    Thank you.

  • ray

    what is the best sedative to give my border collie so i can clip her nails ? she is super hyper

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