If you’re lucky, you have a dog that will wolf down anything you give him — including pills.
However, if you’re like the rest of us, it’s a struggle to get your dog to take his important medicine.
While a lot of dogs can be fooled into taking their pills simply by wrapping it into a piece of cheese or popping it into a Pill Pocket (a flavored treat with a hole to stuff the pill), some dogs don’t take to treats and will turn their noses up, even to a piece of cheese. The downside to this option is that the pills need to be swallowed whole, so fi your dog likes to finely chew treats, they will bite into the pill and notice its awful taste.
Sometimes, depending on the medicine, you are able to get chewable or even liquid alternatives, in case your dog doesn’t swallow its food/pills whole like some. The downside to this option is that if available, it’s usually more expensive.
We do offer pill devices in our stores, such as a Pill Shooter, where you insert the pill into a plastic syringe and pump it into the dog’s mouth. The downside to this option is that a lot of larger sized pills won’t fit inside of the syringe’s long tube, and it’s also a fighting game with your dog, as most of them will resist a plastic tube going inside the back of their mouth.
A small trick you can try is giving the dog the pill and then immediately rewarding them with a treat. If they ate it willingly, they may have hated the taste and not want to do it again, so giving them treats after may be enough to bribe them each time. Again, some dog’s may be so opposed to their medicine that not even treats will win them over.
If you do need help administering your dog’s pills, a veterinarian is always willing to help. It’s important that your dog gets the medicine it needs to get better, and vets are specially trained on how to do so. You may also benefit from asking a family member or friend to help hold the dog down while you fight with it – sometimes having more than two hands is the simple trick.