Sedation is used to calm an animal under various conditions. In a veterinary hospital, it is often used to help reduce anxiety and discomfort associated with diagnostic procedures or prior to an anesthetic. Sedation is achieved by using a sedative. A sedative is a drug that has a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. An animal can become relaxed, drowsy or even sleep after a sedative but can be easily aroused when stimulated.

Pet owners frequently request sedation for their animals during travel, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. Sedation is not without risk and each animal should be assessed prior to using or dispensing these medications.