Giving Medicine to Your Dogs

Your pet needs medicine at some point for any number of reasons including preventing internal or external parasites, treating injuries, managing diseases, etc. Giving medicine to your pet can be a bit tough sometimes, but not impossible. Like most things though, it’s usually trickier the first time you do it.

Here are some sneaky ways to give medications to your pets without them knowing. If the pet owners need to give your pet any medication, make sure you ask the vet how to do it. This will ensure you avoid any problems like giving pills with food or opening capsules.

Mixed pet medication in wet food

If dogs pills aren’t flavored or if your dog doesn’t like its taste, hiding the pill inside food is one of the easiest methods for giving them their dose. One way to increase the effectiveness of your medication is by hiding it in canned pet food. If you do not wish to feed medication to your pet, this may be an alternative.

One of the most common ways people hide their medications. Put some peanut butter (no xylitol) onto a spoon, then roll it up and put a pill inside. Use crunchy peanut butter for best results; the pieces of nuts will help conceal the hard pills within. Apart from this, you can also hide medicine in food with a strong smell; such as hotdogs, liver pate, or chicken hearts. Cut your pill into piece of food that is slightly shorter than the meat and push it into the filling like you would do with sausage. The dog will most probably recognize and swallow it without harm.

Be sure that your pet has eaten the medicine and not spat it out after eating surrounding food. The super-sensitive noses of some dogs might be able to sense the trick, which is why it’s recommended for you to either use liquid medication or baits that will still work.

Playing game

You can also try a different tactic by hiding medication in a treat and then engaging your dog in a game of “catch”. They might be so focused on catching the tossed treat that they won’t notice when you finally toss medicine one!

Competition with others

If you have more than one dog, they’re going to fight over treats sometimes. You can use that to your advantage by putting meds in one of the treats and then giving out the others. Just make sure you give it to the dog with a specific ailment!

Use dog capsules (pill pocket)

A lot of medicines are especially bad taste to pets, even if you mix them into food or stuff them inside treats. You could buy some empty capsules that will cover the tablets & easily tuck the capsule-covered tablet inside a treat.

If you want to give your pet a pill but they’re not keen on the taste of it, try putting it in a gel cap. Give your vet a call in advance, because some medications are designed for ingestion and not for digestion.

Administer oral medication

A lot of pets aren’t interested in what you try to feed them – whether that’s bribed treats or the correct food. Administering pills successfully requires skill. If unsure, ask for a demo on proper technique from your vet. This guide shows you how to make sure they do swallow that pill or liquid medicine.

  1. Calm down your dog by making him feel relaxed and comfortable.
  2. Put a thumb and forefinger on either side of your dog’s muzzle.
  3. Using the other hand, with the index finger and thumb open the mouth. 
  4. Place the pill quickly behind the tongue. (Pill syringe or Pill Gun)
  5. Head your dog in the right direction by closing its mouth shut for 3 seconds. Then, point its nose upwards.

If you’re not comfortable using a pill syringe, consider buying one from a pet store. It may be easier than trying to use your finger. Ask the vet to show you how to administer pills safely by using a pill syringe. It shouldn’t cause any harm to your dog’s throat.

Last not least, it’s important to keep this process simple for you and your pup. After each pill, give the reward to your dog as a special treat. If they get upset, try calming both of you down with a gentle voice or petting.

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