How To Knock A Dog Unconscious

How To Knock A Dog Unconscious?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “How To Knock A Dog Unconscious?“.

It does not matter how well trained or sweet-tempered a dog is he has its limits. 

It is the point where the line is drawn. 

How To Knock A Dog Unconscious

There are those who insist on bathing while others refuse to visit the vet or the grooming salon. 

When you have no choice but to get your dog into the car how should you proceed? 

Why would you drag the dog by the collar and have the rest of the neighborhood out in the street wondering whos trying to kill the poor animal? 

It must be possible to find another way. 

Such a situation can be handled in other ways. 

Before we move on let us be clear on one point – never give your dog human tranquilizers or even drugs for veterinary use without talking to a vet first and ensuring the dosage is correct. 

Besides natural remedies you may want to explore relaxation techniques. 

Although they would not quite knock the dog unconscious they do not have any side effects

What can you give a dog to sedate him?

Different types of drugs can be used to sedate your dog some more potent than others. 

It is always best to choose the least aggressive option. 

The dog does not have to be knocked out before you go on a car ride to calm down. 

All he needs to do is become more relaxed and drowsy. 

Alternatively if you have a large dog that refuses to go to the vet despite the fact that he needs to go then a more potent sedative may be beneficial for the dog.

Here are some options to consider.


Dogs and humans alike can benefit from Benadryls antihistamine properties. 

The drug is one of the few over-the-counter medicines that can be safely used at home. 

Benadryl is frequently prescribed to dogs with food allergies or skin problems. 

As a mild tranquilizer diphenhydramine is the main active ingredient. 

Although the dog would not be knocked out he will become more relaxed. 

Benadryl can be used when your pet needs to be calm enough for you to give him a bath or to trim his nails although it might not be enough. 

Experts believe that dogs should receive between 0.9 and 1.8 mg per pound or 2-4 mg per kilogram of body weight. 

You may want to start with a 1 mg per pound dose just to be safe. 

A 25 mg pill should be sufficient for a 25-pound dog. 

In the case of a small dog cut the tablet in half or use a 12.5 mg childrens Benadryl chewable tablet. 

Benadryl syrup should not be used since most liquid formulations contain alcohol which can be toxic to dogs.

Additionally Benadryl might have the opposite effect on some dogs agitating them instead of calming them. 

Oral sedatives for dogs

Prescription-only sedatives are the hard stuff and they do indeed knock the dog out for a few hours or more. 

Included in this category are drugs such as:

  • Acepromazine: Benzodiazepines are sedatives that are commonly prescribed to dogs. They block certain receptors in the brain.
  • Telazol: As an anti-anxiety drug it is usually used in powder form
  • Diazepam: basically an anti-sleep medication
  • Butorphanol: a pain reliever containing opioids
  • Phenobarbital: is prescribed for the prevention or treatment of seizures.

You can use these drugs alone or in different combinations but only if and exactly how your doctor prescribes them.

Before asking the vet for a sedative think carefully. 

There can be serious side effects associated with all of them. 

Low blood pressure or seizures for instance can be caused by acepromazine. 

Also it can have an unpredictable effect just like Benadryl. 

It is possible for some dogs to appear only mildly sedated while others will be completely out for a few hours. 

Always consider the risk/benefit ratio when making a choice. Could it really be so important to risk giving the dog a seizure by cutting his nail?


A hormone produced by the pineal gland melatonin is linked to sleep. 

Many people use melatonin as a sleep aid and experts agree that it is also safe for dogs. 

Melatonin can be used to calm a dog that is prone to anxiety attacks. 

Try it when you are preparing the dog for a trip or for a grooming session he does not really enjoy. 

Melatonin can also be used for treating sleeping disorders and hair loss.

Over-the-counter melatonin can be found but check the ingredients list first as some formulas contain xylitol which is toxic for dogs.

Make sure you read the label and speak to your veterinarian about the correct dosage. 

For dogs under 25 pounds 3 mg of melatonin is commonly recommended. 

For large breeds you can use as much as 6 mg of melatonin. Melatonin should be administered twice a day.

Melatonin is considered a better option than many other drugs but it can create some side effects. 

Overdoses of melatonin can cause vomiting diarrhea or even seizures. 

Herbal remedies you can use to calm a dog

You should try a more gentle approach before giving your pet sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs which by the way can turn your pet into a junkie. 

Dogs with anxiety hyperactivity and other behavioral problems can be treated using various plant-based supplements that have a calming effect. 

These products can also be used if your dog gets nervous when there are loud noises such as fireworks or when it is time to go on a family trip. 

Valerian root 

While valerian root supplements are generally considered safe for dogs they should not be given to pregnant or nursing women. 

Based on the root of Valeriana Officinalis a plant native to Europe and Asia this supplement has sedative properties. 

The herb is available in a variety of forms such as drops tablets tinctures etc. 

Doses between 1 and 7 are recommended. Five grams (dried valerian root) and seven to fifteen milliliters (tincture). 

When treating a small dog start with the lowest dose and keep an eye on him. This herb can cause drowsiness in a dog. 

Starting giving him valerian root a few days before a stressful event will let you know how well he tolerates it and how it affects him.


Skullcap was once thought to cure rabies so it was also known as ‘mad dog weed’. 

Although it does not make a dog drowsy it does have a calming effect. 

Some veterinarians recommend skullcap for epilepsy and it is available in various forms for pets. 

Consult your veterinarian about the dosage recommended on the label. 

Keep Skullcap out of your pets reach since an overdose can cause stomach problems seizures or confusion. 

The effects of skullcap and valerian root can be enhanced when they are combined.

Pheromone-based calming collars

Essentially pheromones are hormones produced by mammals. 

Pheromones released by a mothers body allow a puppy to recognize his mother. 

Consider buying a collar that releases calming pheromones at a pet store or online. 

Prepare him for the stressful event by getting him one a few days before it occurs. 

This collar which sometimes releases essential oils as well can have a calming effect for four weeks.  


Aromatherapy is also a gentle method of calming an anxious dog. 

Why not give your dog the best lavender oil which is also used to help relax humans? 

Massage a few drops of lavender oil into your dogs fur at the back of its head after putting a few drops on your hands. 

Also you can put a few drops on the dogs blanket. One study has found that lavender oil is quite effective at relieving a dogs travel anxiety.

You should be careful not to let the oil get into the dogs mouth or into its skin as it is toxic. 

How to use massage to help a dog relax

After getting a massage do not you feel completely relaxed? 

The same goes for your dog. 

Its not necessary to take him to the spa. 

Its something you can do at home. 

There are also other pressure points you should pay attention to when you massage your dogs ears. 

Rub the area just between and slightly above his eyes. 

You will notice the dog relaxing and even falling asleep if you apply just a little pressure.

It also works with acupuncture but you’d need to find an expert on that and you’d need to convince him to accompany you there.

Can you use exercise to calm a dog?

It would actually be a good idea to start by trying that. 

Dogs without exercise and mental stimulation are more likely to suffer from anxiety. 

Be sure to give your dog plenty of energy when driving for five hours straight with him in the backseat. 

Walk him for as long as you can have him run around a bit and play a game of fetch before you put him in the car.

Donot forget to give him a nice chew toy to keep him occupied.


Just like humans dogs are prone to anxiety. 

Dogs can become agitated for a number of reasons including anxiety attacks. Talk to your veterinarian about this. 

Most likely he will recommend sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs. 

The use of drugs should be reserved for last resort however. 

In addition to these methods there are many other ways to calm a dog. 

Melatonin and natural supplements can be used as can aromatherapy calming collars etc. 

They would not knock the dog out but at least they would not cause any serious side effects.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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