How to Knock a Dog Unconscious – Smart Dog Mom

Dog owners may have incidences where they would need to know how to knock a dog unconscious such as if they are aggressive, having an anxiety attack, or they are getting ready for a medical procedure.

If you find yourself in this situation then you should read the following article for tips and suggestions on how to solve this dilemma.

Firstly, there needs to be a legitimate reason for knocking a dog unconscious. If you need to do this you should first consult with a veterinarian. 

When a dog is unconscious, they are sedated and go into a tranquil or calm state and become docile and easier to handle. It could be used if the dog gets aggressive or anxious at a veterinarian appointment, grooming appointment, or at other times so the dog won’t bite someone.

Number one, you need a prescription for a sedative for dogs. You can’t just give them human medicine as that could harm or even kill a dog.

And you must know the proper dosage so it won’t hurt the dog. Some types of sedation are only allowed to be given by a certified veterinarian.

There are three commonly used medications for knocking a dog unconscious, to include are acepromazine (brand name of PromAce®), diazepam (brand name of Valium®), and dexmedetomidine (brand name of Sileo).

How To Knock A Dog Unconscious

These medications make a dog unconscious via affecting their central nervous system.

Here is info on each of these Medications:

Acepromazine :

This drug works via blocking certain kinds of receptors in the dog’s brain. It belongs to the phenothiazine class of sedatives, plus has been widely used by veterinarians. It comes in both oral form and in injectable form.

Many times vets may prescribe the oral type for your dog if it gets scared at things like fireworks or thunderstorms. It can be given at home, but the injectable type is given only by vets.

The injectable type works inside of between 20 and 30 minutes. However, acepromazine has been known to bring on low blood pressure in a dog or even cause seizures, so caution should be used.

Sileo :

This medication comes in a gel which is rubbed onto the inside of a dog’s cheek or on the gums. The FDA has approved it if your dog gets anxious around loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms.

Diazepam (Valium®):

This medication also acts as a muscle relaxant and can stop seizures or stimulate appetite, so it has other uses besides sedation.


This medication is an antiepileptic, anxiolytic, and pain management agent which has recently started to be used in pets as it previously was only given to humans. Sometimes it is mixed with other types of calming or sedation drugs like acepromazine.

Be aware that if you dog is given this, they will experience issues when coming out of it and be unsteady on their feet and should be supervised if they try to go up or down stairs, for instance.


This medication is a serotonin receptor antagonist and reuptake inhibitor which is mainly only given in a hospital environment. However, it is also used to treat dogs with severe anxiety. It takes effect after about an hour and should not be given to dogs known to have heart issues. Dosage starts at 5 mg/kg.


This drug is an antihistamine,  which is also used for treating both people and pets if they have allergies. It is available over the counter. The active ingredient in Benadryl is diphenhydramine, and this is a type of mild tranquilizer.

It mostly makes a dog more docile and may not totally knock them out. It is great for doing things like nail trimming.

The dose for dogs is between two and four per each kilogram of body weight, which equals 0.9 – 1.8 mg per pound. You can’t give them the liquid syrup sold over the counter as it is toxic for dogs since it has alcohol in it.

Note: In some dogs Benadryl could actually make them hyper instead of calm, so you may need to test how it affects your pet prior to relying on it.


This drug is a naturally occurring hormone formed by the pineal gland and is available over the counter. It’s taken by people and dogs alike.

Melatonin works by regulating body rhythms and reproductive cycles. It’s used to treat separation anxiety in dogs, or if they get severely scared by things like thunder or fireworks.

Dogs should get three mg for each 35–100 pounds (16–45 kg)of body weight, two times a day. Dogs under 35 pounds (16 kg) would take 1.5 mg of melatonin, and if they weigh more than 100 pounds (45 kg), they would take 6 mg two times daily.

Herbal medications

If you need to knock a dog unconscious or at least calm them down, you can also consider herbal medications. These include:


This is additionally called ‘mad dog weed’ because people believed it could cure rabies, but it doesn’t. It does make dogs get drowsy though. You can get it in several formulations for pets, but ask your vet for dosage recommendations.


Valerian root is ok for dogs unless they are pregnant or nursing. It comes in drops, pills, or tinctures. The recommended dosage is 1 – 7. 5 grams of dried valerian root or 7 – 15 milliliters of the tincture. 

Pheromone-based calming collars:

These contain hormones that put out essential oils that can calm a dog. The collar is usually effective for about a month.


How can I tell if my dog is anxious?

A dog is anxious if it has tense muscles, is panting, has its ears pulled back, whites of eyes show, is shaking, releases its anal glands, cowering or trying to hide, and trying to get away from the situation.

Should I tranquilize my dog for travel?

These days most vets say that this should not be done because then the dog can’t balance or maintain their faculties and could become injured.

Can I give my dog one of my sleeping pills?

No, you can’t. You must ask your veterinarian for the proper mediation for your dog’s needs.

Can I give my puppy Benadryl to knock them out?

Benadryl is safe for dogs if given in the proper dosage, so talk to your veterinarian to find out how much can be given to your pet.

Can I give my dog 10 mg of melatonin?

Melatonin can be given to dogs, but you must give them the proper dosage based on their weight. Check the recommendations in this article or talk to your vet.

How can I sedate my dog safely at home?

There are not many cases where sedating a dog at home is a good idea, but if your dog gets fearful of things like fireworks or thunder, there are several types of medication that can be given, so talk to your vet.

What is a natural sedative for a dog?

As stated earlier there are several homeopathic sedatives for dogs such as Valerian root and Skullcap. Talk to a vet for proper dosage.

How long can dogs be under anesthesia?

This depends on the size, weight, breed, and condition of the dog. Only a veterinarian should put a dog under as it could die if given the wrong dose or kept under too long.?

How do you sedate a dog with anxiety?

As stated in this article, there are several medications both prescription and over the counter that can be given to dogs with anxiety so ask your vet for advice.

What happens when a dog goes unconscious?

When unconscious the dog won’t respond to you, will be breathing more shallowly, and heartrate slows down. They must be monitored by a certified vet to be sure not to receive too much sedation.


All in all, the above article mentions ways to both calm and sedate your dog and shows you how to make a dog unconscious. In all cases, you should consult with your veterinarian. 


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