How Much Does It Cost To Sedate A Dog For Nail Trimming?

Dog grooming is one of the top priorities of people that love their pets to look healthy and neat. One very important aspect of dog grooming is trimming their nails which tend to grow long if left unattended. However, this isn’t an exercise that all dogs fancy. Some may even get aggressive to avoid getting their nails trimmed. This makes sedation the best option for dogs that are hesitant to get their nails trimmed. But how much does that cost?

Today, we’ll explore the expense of sedating your dog for nail trimming. Typically, the cost of sedating a dog ranges anywhere from $10 to $350 depending on what method you use and the size of your dog e.g. over-the-counter sedatives cost much less than using a groomer or vet’s services would cost. We’ll go over these methods one by one. Let’s dive in…

Over-The-Counter Sedatives

The price for over-the-counter sedatives can range from $10 to $75 depending on the brand and number of capsules inside. For example, the popular product Composure for medium and large dogs retails for $10 to $25. This is a bag filled with 60 soft chews that can help your dog with anxiety, hyperactivity, and nervousness. Benadryl and melatonin supplements can also be used to calm your dog if it’s nervous about getting its nails clipped.

Aside from chemically produced sedatives, natural alternatives also help sedate a dog. For example, different types of natural dog sedatives use CBD which can help your dog stay calm during nail-trimming sessions. These natural products retail for about $20 to $30 per bottle. 

Nevertheless, it is very important to consult a vet before giving your dog any type of medicine. Extra care should be taken when dogs are given sedatives because overdoses can lead to seizures or even death. You should also be aware of any underlying health complications that can cause issues if you sedate your pet. Getting adequate information before you sedate your dog is a good way to make sure that nothing bad happens.

If your dog has a hard time swallowing the tablet, wrap it in a piece of lunch meat or cheese. Make sure you have the accurate weight of your dog because most sedatives are given according to that.

Using A Groomer’s Services

If you regularly take your dog to a professional groomer, nail trimming is almost always part of the package. Of course, the costs vary from one groomer to the next, but the average cost of nail trimming at a groomer is $15 to $20. However, this depends on the difficulty and whether or not sedation is required.

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The cost to sedate your dog can range anywhere from $45 to $100 at the groomer’s, depending on the size of your dog. For instance, the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) charges $45 to sedate a small dog that weighs less than 10 pounds, whereas a larger dog that weighs more than 100 pounds can cost $90 to sedate.

Trimming Your Dog’s Nails At The Vet’s

Taking a dog to the vet is a regular thing that most pet parents do for necessary procedures, comprehensive examinations, and immunizations. You can choose to have your vet clip the nails during any of your frequent visits. The cost of the clipping exercise will depend on the personality and breed of your dog and whether or not they need sedation.

If your dog needs anesthesia (heavy sedation) at the local vet’s office, then you are charged by the half-hour, usually around $45 to $70 per 30 minutes. During anesthesia, a professional will need to monitor your dog to make sure it’s breathing properly and this can be another $15 to $30 per 30 minutes – bringing the total cost for the anesthesia alone to $60 to $100 per half hour. However, most dogs don’t need to be fully anesthetized for grooming since this can take a toll on your dog’s health (and your wallet) if done every few months.

As an example, Whole Pet Veterinary Care charges $122 for the first 30 minutes and another $89 for maintenance. Sedation, on the other hand, will cost $110 for a large dog and $97 for a small dog.

Why Trimming Your Dog’s Nails Is Important

Nail trimming is one of the most important parts of dog grooming and is essential to maintaining good hygiene standards for your dog. The following are some of the reasons why trimming your dog’s nails is so important:

  • Comfort – when nails grow too long, they curl into the paw pads and lead to pain and discomfort. Curled up nails also stress the leg muscle because the dog has to walk in a particular way to avoid the pain.
  • Reduced chance of injuries – if you let your dog’s nails overgrow, it could lead to the dog injuring itself. Long nails make it hard for your dog’s feet to grip the ground which leads to regular slipping and sliding. The dog constantly fights to gain control over their feet and slipping can cause extensive damage to its body. 
  • Reduced chance of scratches – if you don’t trim your dog’s nails, they can end up scratching whoever they are playing with. A dog’s nails are very tough and sharp and can tear up human skin in case of a scratch.
  • Prevent damage to your carpets and bedding – your dog’s long nails can also damage your carpet, sofas, and bedding. 
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The Dangers Of Trimming Your Dog’s Nails At Home

Even though it is possible and done by many pet parents, trimming your dog’s nails at home (especially if you’re not used to it) is not a safe thing to do. Dog nails contain blood vessels called quicks – they run along the inside of the nail and are very soft. If you accidentally cut these vessels, you will hurt your dog and cause the dog’s foot to bleed. It will be traumatic and painful for your dog and it will associate the nail clippers with the trauma, making any future grooming exercises even harder.

Using over-the-counter sedatives such as Benadryl can also have dangerous and fatal consequences for your dog if not used correctly. Moreover, some dogs could have underlying health complications that make sedatives detrimental to their health. When using these drugs to sedate your dog, always seek advice from your vet regarding the correct drug and dosage.

How To Deal With An Accident

Even if you regularly trim your dog’s nails, accidents are inevitable. If you realize the nail is bleeding, do not panic. Here are some steps you can follow to manage and treat the injury.

  • Put some pressure on the tip of the nail to stop the bleeding. It will be difficult to get your dog to stay still, so use treats and have someone else help you hold them down.
  • If your dog is panicking, it can worsen the bleeding so calm them down and apply some styptic powder to stop incessant bleeding.
  • When the bleeding stops, you can use a gauze bandage to wrap up the injured area after applying some antibiotic ointment to prevent infections. Remove the bandage and clean the wound regularly.

If the bleeding does not stop at all, you should visit your veterinarian immediately. Wrap up the paw in a bandage and give your dog a painkiller for the time being.

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Susan Dorling

I am a pet expert with years of experience working with a variety of animals. From dogs and cats to birds and exotics, I have a deep understanding of their unique needs and behaviors. I am dedicated to helping pet owners provide the best care for their furry friend.

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