Giving your dog
medication can be a challenge. Giving the medication properly,
ensuring that your pet gets what is prescribed, is very important
for your dog's health.
Some dogs will eat anything and everything - including their
medications. However, most dogs are reluctant to gobble down pills
and capsules, especially if the pills are large, require chewing or
smell bad to them. Some dogs are wary of anything unusual and will
refuse all types of medications.
Ask your veterinarian for chewable or flavored medications;
these may cost a little more, but can more easily be hid in food.
If your dog is not on dietary restrictions, and your veterinarian
said the medication can be given with food, the easiest way to give
a pill is to hide it in a piece of food. A small amount of hamburger
meat, peanut butter, liverwurst, cream cheese, or cottage cheese is
often used. You can also try making up tiny “meatballs” of canned
dog food or tasty bits of meat. Give the dog one or two undoctored
meatballs, then one with the pill. Follow up with an undoctored one
so the dog will continue to take the treats even if he gets a small
taste of the medicine. Canned cheese with nozzle dispensing often
works too, and does not have to be refrigerated. Cutting a slit in a
small chunk of cheese, roast beef or turkey and inserting the pill
works as well. It's best not to mix the medication in an entire
meal, because if the dog does not eat the whole meal, he will not
get the appropriate dose of medication.
Some dogs are pretty crafty and will spit the pill out later, so
watch him carefully and know that he's getting his medicine. If he
does spit it out, try putting it in a different kind of food like
Some Human Drugs
Can Be Deadly To Your Dog
Don’t give your dog ANY medication until you have spoken to your
veterinarian to make sure it is the right medicine for the dog and
the circumstances. You should also ask for instructions on how to
give the drug and the correct dosage for your dog.
If your dog has to take his medication on an empty stomach
(without food), here are some tips to make medicating him easier:
Place the pill between the thumb and the index finger of one hand.
Firmly grasp the upper jaw with the
thumb and index finger of the other hand.
Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you open the mouth. This
will reduce the chance of being
Rotate your wrist to tilt the head upwards. Use your middle finger
to slowly open the lower jaw.
Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the
pill as far back on the tongue as possible. Immediately close the
mouth. Keeping your hand over the mouth, put the head down to
Stroke the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing.
After you release his jaws,
your dog may still spit out the pill if he hasn't swallowed. If this
happens, it's probably because the pill was released too far forward
on the tongue, which makes it easy for the dog to hold it in his
mouth until he's free. Repeat the steps and try to get the pill as
far back on the tongue as possible.
If the pill needs to be cut in half or quarters:
Some pills are very
powdery, not coated or tend to crush easily. Pills
broken into powder may have an unpleasant taste that is
poorly accepted. Many pills have a protective coating
that is important for delayed release in the intestinal
tract. We recommend getting a
Pill Splitter. The
mechanism works well not only for cutting pills in half,
which is easy, but into quarters as well, which is a
little trickier. For round pills it would be an absolute
snap. The sharp blade is literally a mini guillotine
that easily cuts the pill. If you have to cut pills on a
regular basis, this is something you should not be
without and it's very inexpensive.
● Get a friend or family member to help.
● Medicate your dog on the floor or on a table with a non-slip
● When administering medication stay calm - your pet can sense if
you are nervous making it more difficult to apply the treatment.
● Always give water immediately after pilling a dog. Not only will
this guarantee that your dog has swallowed the pill, it will save
him a lot of pain and discomfort.
● Always praise your dog and give lots of hugs and kisses
afterwards. Treats after pilling helps too.
● Holding a small dog in your lap while medicating may make the
● Avoid pinching your dog's lips to force him to open his mouth.
This is painful and may cause him to bite; use caution if he has a
history of biting.
● Check with your veterinarian to make certain it is safe for you to
handle the medication if you are pregnant.
● Follow dosage and time schedules as directed.