Let’s face it — there will be some point in your dog’s life you’ll have to give them medication either in pill or liquid form. It’s not always fun, but it’s important that they actually take the medication and not spit it out!
At The Vet Set, we have a good deal of experience with giving dogs medication, to say the least, and we want to provide our pooch patients with the best care! Join us in today’s post as we explore the best ways to give your dog medication and help keep it down!
Taking medication can be tricky for dogs if they’ve never experienced it before as their first reaction is to spit it out. Let’s dive into how to optimally give your dog pill and liquid medications below.
The most tried and true way of getting your dog to take pills is hiding it in food. A special treat such as bread with peanut butter or canned dog food is a great way to sneak a pill in and get your dog to not only take it, but to swallow and ingest it! Other common ways people give their pets pills is through soft foods such as cheese or specially made treats where you can put the pill into a little pocket of the treat.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world — your dog may have dietary restrictions to hide pills in food or they may find ways to both eat the treat while simultaneously spitting out the pill! In these situations, you’ll have to directly give administer and monitor giving your dog their pills.
If you have to give your dog pills, follow the steps below to make things easier on both of you!
If the pill is large you can always cut it in half to make swallowing it easier — this may or may not make things easier for you. If your dog will take two pills, then great, but if they still spit them out, stick with just the one!
Make the pill easier to digest by lubricating the pill with butter or coconut oil so it doesn’t stick inside your dog’s mouth.
Begin by opening your dog’s mouth and placing your thumb behind their canine teeth on the top portion of their muzzle.
Once you have a firm but gentle grip, position your dog’s head upwards and place the pill.
Place the pill as far back as you can — placing the pill on the hump of their tongue is the best place to ensure they swallow it. If you place it too far back, you’ll stimulate their gag reflex, and as you can imagine, is not pleasant for either with of you.
Close your dog’s mouth and gently hold it closed to get them to swallow.
Once they’ve successfully swallowed the pill (it may take a couple of tries so don’t get discouraged) give them lots of praise and a tasty treat!
Giving your dog pills can be difficult, especially if they’re fearful or become anxious before you give them the medication. If your dog is frightened, you may want to look up or talk with your vet about counterconditioning methods or desensitization tactics.
We’ve provided you with the best way to give your dog pills, but there is still another form to cover — liquid medication! Stay tuned, we’ll cover this next time in part two!