Blog Easiest Ways to Get Your Dog to Take a Pill

It’s a common thing at some point in the life of a dog, they will need to take medication. After all, we want them to be as healthy and happy as possible.

Administering medicine to your pup comes with a challenge: getting your dog to swallow a pill. If your dog refuses to cooperate, then this method is one of the most challenging parts of dog ownership.

Well, you’re in luck. Here are a few easy ways to ensure  your dog takes their meds!

Bribery Always Works

For the food motivated dog (aka every dog), hiding a pill within a piece of food works almost every time. Some foods that work well are chunky peanut butter, plain yogurt, a cube of boneless chicken, and hot dog pieces.

If using peanut butter, you will need to make sure that xylitol is not an ingredient. Xylitol is a sweetener in peanut butter. However, it has turned out to be toxic to dogs.

Another food option is Pill Pockets, which we VIP carries in our retail boutique. These are treats that have holes molded into them specifically for the placement of a pill. They are super convent and easy to administer. 

What about cheese? Cheeses can trigger pancreatitis since they are rich and fatty foods.

Jaws Method

The old-fashioned way of administering a pill is the jaws method. The key here is to ensure that your dog doesn’t bite you in the process of administering the pill. 

The technique is as follows. Grasp the upper and lower jaw behind the canine teeth and gently pull the mouth open. Once the jaws are open, grasp the pill using your index finger and thumb and gently place the tablet at the back of their throat. You will feel the medicine move down the throat.

Take out your finger and thumb out of your dog’s mouth, gently close their jaw and rub their throat to stimulate swallowing. If they lick their lips, you are in the clear. 

This method is a little more invasive and meant for those stubborn dogs that are too smart for a food disguise.

Compounded & Flavored

If your dog still doesn’t comply with the two other strategies, then you can enlist the help of your vet. Ask about getting your dog’s medication compounded and flavored into a mix that you can feed your dog and covertly administer their medicine.

Specialty pharmacies also provide services that liquify your dog’s prescription that you can put into a plastic syringe (without a needle) and add it into their food or inject it into their mouth. If injecting into the mouth, lift the rear corner of the dogs mouth and inject in between the molars.

These are just some of the methods we use in administering medications. let us know if you have any unique ways to get your dog to take their medication. 

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