How to Sedate a Dog for a Haircut

While it would be nice if every dog sat quietly without wriggling, twitching, scratching, whining or howling during a haircut, that's simply not the case. New places like a grooming salon are often a source of anxiety for dogs. Add a new person who's trying to cut the dog's hair or nails and the situation can become unbearable. But unless you're a veterinarian, don't try to calm your pet with chemical-ridden sedatives. Instead, try one of several natural pet sedatives that will partially or completely sedate your dog before a haircut.

Groomer with a dog
credit: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Step 1

Take your dog outside for a long walk or run. Bring a toy if your dog likes playing with toys. Exercise your dog for twice as long as normal. The goal is to tire your dog.

Step 2

Give your dog a 15-minute massage. Rub gently along its spine and neck and legs. Hum in a soft, soothing tone if you'd like.

Step 3

Read the directions of your natural pet sedative and decide if you want to partially or completely sedate your dog. Partial sedation means your dog will be calm but drowsy. Complete sedation means your dog will be asleep.

Step 4

Place the recommended dose of your natural pet sedative in your dog's food or on a special treat. Give your dog the food and make sure it eats all of it.

Step 5

Stroke your dog and encourage it to lie down. Continue to pet your dog until it reaches the desired stage of sedation.