How to Give a Dog a Pill (Yes, Even the Fussiest of Dogs!)

May 05, 2021 3 min read

How to Give a Dog a Pill (Yes, Even the Fussiest of Dogs!)

Let’s face it, taking pills is not a walk in the park. Likewise, your dog is likely not excited to take their medication—no matter how good it is for them. Luckily, there are several creative ways to administer medicine to pets who aren’t so keen. Trying out a new method could make all the difference between a bumpy ride and smooth sailing.

Blend mealtime with pill time

The easiest, tried-and-true method for giving your pet medication is tucking it away in their food.

Your dog’s favorite treat or meal could be an excellent vehicle to deliver medication. While this is usually the easiest method for owners, careful monitoring will still be necessary to ensure their medication has been consumed in full. Be sure the food their pill is paired with will make for a safe combination as some pills are advised to be taken on an empty stomach.

If the pill is tasteless, your dog is likely to not notice, and proceed with their meal as normal. However, more bitter medication could call for more creativity as a more noticeable taste will make this method more challenging.

Varying which meals have medication tucked away can also help if you’ve got a clever dog who suddenly rejects a meal that used to be their favorite. Some meals and treats are designed specifically for the delivery of pills and these can help in keeping options plentiful.

Try a pet pill gun dispenser

While the name of this tool might sound a little pet-unfriendly, pill gun dispensers can be a useful tool for dogs that are just ready to get medication time over with. This tool is made specifically to create an easier experience for both owner and pet.

Pill guns are syringe-like dispensers; your pet’s medication can be loaded into the cylindrical barrel and administered quickly. While this method still might not be your pet’s favorite, it could save you both from a long and laborious time that might result in failure, spat out pills, or other forms of rejection.

These tools have multiple names but generally, perform the same action of allowing pet owners to administer their pet’s medication further back in their pet’s mouth for easier swallowing.

Hand administer their pill

If both you and your dog are up for it, perhaps you might have luck simply giving the pill directly. For pills, gently tilt your dog’s head upwards and ease it into their mouth. With liquid medications, you want to avoid lifting your dog’s head and place the liquid on the back of the tongue.

Be sure to reward your dog for a job well done––and, if there are several pills they need to take, consider giving them more than one treat, or several hugs and pets to help keep them in a cooperative mood. We recommend any one of our protein-rich jerky treats. They’re easily digestible and contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.

Check-in with your veterinarian

One or more of these methods might be viable for your dog. However, if you’re still having a hard time, setting up an appointment with your vet could be not only necessary but supremely helpful.

Just as humans, your dog might be more prone to advice from another party rather than a loved one­­­­­––and, best to receive this advice from your trusted medical professional. Don’t let the administering of medications be something to frustrate you and/or your pet. Instead, call up your vet and work with them for the best solution.

Finding the right pill administering method could make a difference in the happiness of your pet. Sometimes, trying more than one is necessary to ensure the right fit. Or maybe you have a dog that prefers cycling through each method each time. Only you will be able to figure out what’s best for you and your pet. Doing so will make for ease for you and good health for your dog.

Interested to find more healthy tips for your dog? Check out our blog. And for great deals on treats we’ve made with care, visit our website.

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