A trip to the vet is recommended to sedate a dog, as only a veterinarian can prescribe sedatives. After a thorough examination, the vet can prescribe a sedative from among acepromazine, benzodiazepines, opioids and alpha-2 agonists.
Sedatives are typically indicated if the dog exhibits extreme anxiety during visits to the vet or while traveling. The ASPCA recommends trying positive reinforcement — using treats and vocal encouragement — before resorting to sedation.
While many sedatives can be given to a pet at home, handlers should keep in mind that it takes time from ingestion to onset of sedative effects and should plan accordingly.