We hate to see our fur babies sick. Next to our children being sick, it’s the worst. And it is complicated by the fact that they don’t understand what is wrong and that these horrible pills you are trying to force them to take are actually going to make them better. It can be awful trying to get your dog take his medication, especially if they are already not feeling well. It is always best to check with your vet before giving medication to see what restrictions or interactions there might be with the particular medication or condition your dog has. They are always the best source for medication giving advice, but here are some tricks to easing the process and getting your baby well quickly.
- Use food: We all know the way to a dog’s heart is food. Trick him into taking medication by hiding it some food. The smellier and tastier the food, the better. Some pills have a strong smell or a bitter taste. If you hide the pill in food, he will be much more willing to take it. Try a piece of meat or cheese or a bit of peanut butter. Be careful about crushing the pill into food and your dog may not eat all of it and not get a full dose. If you crush a pill, do so in a small amount of food and watch to be sure he eats all of it.
- Make sure they are hungry: If you are using food, make sure your dog is hungry. We have all had our pup outsmart us by eating the food and spitting the pill out. If you wait until they are hungry, they will be less picky about what they are eating and just happy to be getting a treat.
- Watch your body language: If you appear apprehensive or anxious, your dog will pick up on it and suspect something is up. Approach him in a relaxed manner and talk in calm, low, soothing tones.
- Fake him out: Give him and empty food pouch first with no pill in it, just a treat so he will see he is actually getting something. Then give him the pill hidden in the food. Dogs are smarter than you think, however, so you may have to vary when you give him the pill. For example, you may have to give him one bite of food with no pill and then with a pill one time and another time two empty food pouches before putting the pill in. The key is to mix it up and surprise him so he doesn’t know when the pill is coming. Make a game of it.
- Eat with him: You know as soon as you sit down to eat something, your dog will start to beg. And really, no one likes to eat alone. So, you have a snack and sneak a pill into a bite of whatever you are having.
- Pill dropper: There are some instances when you can’t use food. Some medications need to be taken without food or your dog is not able to eat certain foods, making it difficult to find something to put it in. Or possibly, your dog is just so smart, he’s figured out your game and no matter what you put the pill in, he eats around it. In those cases, you might try a pill dropper. A pill dropper is a device similar to a syringe that will aid in the dispensing of medication. Be careful with this, however, as it can sometime cause your dog to gag. Be sure to tilt his head back and massage his throat to help the pill go down easily.
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