What Can I Give My Dog To Calm Him Down And Cut His Nails?

Medically reviewed by Nicole Wanner, DVM

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Regular trimming of your dog's nails is essential to keep them in good health, but it can be a stressful experience, especially for your pup!

Fortunately, there are some things you can give your dog to calm him down before you cut his nails. From prescription drugs to natural remedies, we explore all of the best options in this blog.


Before giving your dog any medications, take them for a long walk. Tiring them out with exercise will always be the healthiest option, and you might even find that it's all that's needed to get them calm enough to cut their nails.

It's natural for your dog to be apprehensive the first time you trim its nails. Take your time, and if you can successfully clip even one nail, reward them with a treat. Reward-based training will make the process positive for your dog. It might take a long time with many pauses at first. Eventually, they won't mind getting their nails trimmed at all.

If you've tried all of this and still feel like a little extra help is needed, you might consider giving the following to your dog to calm them down before you cut their nails.


If you can give your dog something natural to calm them, that will generally be safer than over-the-counter or prescription medication.

The following is a list of calming ingredients which you can purchase in stores or online. If that sounds like too much trouble, we have already combined them in our vet-approved CBD calming chews for dogs.

  • Chamomile – You might have had chamomile tea; the good news is it has the same calming effects for dogs as it does for humans.
  • Ashwagandha – An ancient herb often used as a stress relief aid.
  • Tryptophan – This is the reason you feel tired after eating turkey on thanksgiving.
  • Hemp Extract – CBD works with your dog's endocannabinoid system, which has been linked to stress relief, sleep, and much more. For an even more concentrated dose of CBD, you can try our CBD oil for anxious dogs, either on its own or in combination with the chews.

If using CBD to calm your dog down makes you pause, then check out our article on the subject for more information: Can CBD Increase Anxiety in Dogs?


Benadryl is often given to dogs as a calming aid, but even though it's safe for humans, it can be dangerous and even fatal if incorrectly given to dogs. Both the dosage and type of Benadryl you give to your dog are critical. We cover both of these in more detail in our blog on Benadryl for dogs.


If you've tried absolutely everything else and are still having no success with your pup's nail trimming, the following is a list of prescription medications you can get from your vet. We consider these somewhat of a last resort, as while they will very likely sedate your dog, they also come with a higher risk of negative side effects.

They should only ever be given to your dog under the guidance of a veterinarian, as an overdose could lead to serious health issues or even death.


There are several things you can give your dog to calm them down before cutting their nails. We suggest you start with exercise and then explore the natural options. If those don't work out, you can always call an experienced groomer or take your pup to the vet.

If you aren't comfortable cutting your dogs' nails, then it's probably best for everybody involved to take them to a professional. Most groomers will charge a relatively small fee to trim your dog's nails, and in all but the most extreme situations, they will be able to take care of it.

However, if your dog is extremely aggressive, you may have to take them to the veterinarian to be sedated.

References https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com


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