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5 Tricks for Administering Dog Pills Without the Fight

5 Tricks for Administering Dog Pills Without the Fight

Administering pills to your dog can sometimes be a challenging task, whether they’re part of a routine flea treatment protocol or a necessary pain relief measure for a condition like hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, dogs can’t understand the importance of taking medication the way humans do. You can’t just pass them a pill and a bowl of water and expect them to swallow it without a fuss.

Many dogs possess an uncanny ability to identify and isolate pills, even when you’ve gone to considerable lengths to hide them in their food. They don’t hesitate to eject these unwelcome intruders from their mouth, often leaving you perplexed and frustrated. Therefore, it’s essential to closely monitor your dog during medication times to ensure they have actually ingested the pill.

Finding the best method to administer pills to your dog can take some trial and error, as what works best can vary widely from one dog to another. Here, we present a few strategies you might consider.

One popular method involves camouflaging the pill inside a palatable treat or food item. There are commercial pill pockets available specifically designed for this purpose. Alternatively, you could wrap the pill in a slice of cheese or meat, or embed it in a spoonful of peanut butter. The appetizing outer layer encourages the dog to consume the treat along with the concealed pill.

Another option is to use a pill dispenser, a special device that allows you to place the pill in one end and then gently place it into the back of the dog’s mouth. This can be especially useful for dogs that are particularly adept at finding hidden pills in treats.

For some dogs, crushing the pill and mixing it with their food might be an effective strategy. However, always check with your vet before crushing any medication, as some pills are designed to be slow-releasing or may lose effectiveness if crushed.

If your dog is still reluctant, you might need to manually insert the pill. Gently open the dog’s mouth, place the pill far back on their tongue, and then hold their mouth closed while stroking their throat to encourage swallowing.

In all these endeavors, remember that patience and positive reinforcement are key. Reward your dog with praise, affection, or a favorite activity after successful medication times. This helps associate pill-taking with positive experiences, making it easier for both of you in the future.

However, if you continue to struggle with administering pills, or if your dog shows signs of distress, consult your vet. They can offer further advice or suggest alternative formulations, like chewables or liquids, that may be easier to administer. Remember, the goal is to ensure your dog gets the necessary medication in the least stressful way possible.

Medicine for Dog: Make it a Game of Hide and Seek

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Integrating your dog’s medication into their mealtime routine can be an effective way of ensuring they ingest the pill without much fuss. Using moist food often works better than dry food, as the pill can be more easily concealed within the former’s texture and aroma.

If the pill is relatively large or conspicuous, you might consider crushing it to make it less noticeable. Crushing allows you to evenly distribute the medication throughout the food, making it harder for your dog to detect and separate it from their meal. However, this method requires careful consideration.

Before you crush any medication, it’s paramount to consult with your veterinarian. Certain medications are coated specifically to protect the stomach, delay absorption, or mask unpleasant tastes. These coatings are purposeful, and breaking them might not only make the medication less palatable but could also interfere with its effectiveness. Some medications may even become harmful if their outer coating is broken, leading to excessively rapid absorption or damage to the stomach lining.

If your vet gives the go-ahead for crushing the pill, you can then mix it into your dog’s moist food, ensuring that it is well-dispersed throughout. To increase the chances of your dog consuming the entire dose, you might consider feeding them a smaller portion initially with the medication mixed in. Once they have finished the initial portion, you can then provide the rest of the meal. This can help ensure your dog ingests the full dose even if they don’t finish their entire meal.

Ultimately, the key is to make the medication as unobtrusive as possible while maintaining its efficacy. And remember, always follow your vet’s instructions when it comes to administering medication. They are best equipped to provide guidance tailored to your dog’s specific health needs.



gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - 5 Tricks for Administering Dog Pills Without the Fight Alternatively, mix your dog’s medication in with a little moist dog food and hold the mixture in the palm of your hand for your pup to eat like a treat. Then follow up with something else to eat, such as a dog biscuit or, if it’s mealtime, the pup’s usual meal.

Give Medication with a Massage

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - 5 Tricks for Administering Dog Pills Without the Fight One way to get a reluctant dog to take medicine is to open the animal’s jaws wide and pop the pill in his mouth. Place it on top of his tongue, as far back as you can without causing him discomfort. Then hold his jaws closed and massage his throat, helping him to swallow. Don’t release his jaws until he swallows. Once he does, let go of his jaws and watch to make sure he doesn’t spit out the pill. If he does, try this method again.

A Light Breeze Helps him Swallow

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Another approach to ensuring your dog swallows their pill involves manually introducing the pill into their mouth and encouraging the swallowing reflex. Begin this process by gently opening your dog’s jaws. Position the pill as far back on her tongue as you can manage without causing discomfort or gagging.

Once the pill is placed, close your dog’s jaws and blow a quick, gentle puff of air onto her nose. This unexpected sensation often causes a dog to blink, and in response, she’ll likely swallow as well. Be sure to do this gently and from a reasonable distance so as not to startle or discomfort your dog.

After applying this method, continue holding your dog’s mouth closed for a moment and watch her closely to ensure the pill isn’t spat out. It may take a few seconds for the pill to be swallowed. Once you release her jaws, observe her to confirm the pill was swallowed and not immediately expelled.

However, while some owners have found success with this technique, it may not be suitable for all dogs. Some may find the experience distressing, and repeated unsuccessful attempts could lead to fear or resistance in future pill-taking endeavours. Always prioritize your pet’s comfort and well-being. If you face persistent challenges or if your dog appears overly stressed, consult your veterinarian for alternative solutions. Remember, the primary goal is effective, safe medication administration with minimal stress for your furry friend.

If You’re at Your Wits’ End with Pet Medications…

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If all the traditional methods of administering pills have proven unsuccessful, or if they cause undue stress for your pup, it may be worth discussing alternative medication forms with your veterinarian. Various drugs are available in multiple formats, such as chews, liquids, or even injectables, which might be better suited for your pet’s preferences or needs.

Chewable medications are often flavoured to be appealing to dogs, mimicking a treat rather than a pill. This can make the administration process significantly smoother, as your dog may eagerly consume the medication instead of avoiding it.

Liquid medication, another alternative, can often be mixed into your dog’s food or water. This can be particularly beneficial if your dog has a hard time swallowing pills or becomes exceptionally adept at finding and avoiding them in food.

In some cases, medication may be available as an injectable, administered either under the skin or into the muscle, depending on the medication. While this may initially seem daunting, many pet owners find that with proper instruction from their veterinarian, administering injections at home can be a straightforward process.

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