How To Get Your Dog To Take Medicine

Even if she reallyyy doesn’t want to 💊

how to give a dog a pill

If you’ve ever tried to give your dog a pill, you know it’s not easy.

Dogs have no problem eating the nastiest stuff imaginable — like their own vomit or your cat’s poop — so it seems odd that swallowing medicine is their breaking point.

Strange or not, the fact is it’s almost always a struggle getting your pup to take that little pill that’s going to make her all better when she’s sick.

So The Dodo spoke with Kirsten Butler, a certified veterinary technician and practice manager at the The Center For Animal Wellness in Denver, Colorado, for some tips and tricks to get your dog to actually take her meds.

Tip #1: Try using treats

Dogs may hate pills, but they looooooove treats.

So, hiding a pill inside a treat seems like a pretty solid strategy. You can use treats like:

  • Sliced cheese
  • Deli meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Bread
  • Cream cheese

“Butter can also be used, which is great for diabetic dogs since it is a true fat and will not affect glucose levels,” Butler told The Dodo.

But when you’re hiding your pup’s pill in food, keep in mind that the stuff you’re giving her could contribute to the very reason she needs medicine in the first place.

“If your pet is being medicated for stomach upset or diarrhea, try to avoid foods that are rich and fatty as [that] could cause further upset,” Butler explained.

Luckily, there are even pocket-shaped treats that are designed for this exact purpose.

Try these pill pockets from Chewy for $14.98

Or this pill paste from Chewy for $5.99

Tip #2: “Pill” your dog

Basically, this means you’re putting the pill so far back in your dog’s mouth that she pretty much has to swallow it.

If this is the strategy you choose, just be careful because you might end up getting bitten by accident.

“You can also try a pill gun to help get the medication further back into your pet’s mouth without injury,” Butler said.

Get a 12-pack of pill guns from Chewy for $20.45

Tip #3: Add the pill to food

If you’re going down this route, there’s a chance your dog might eat her whole dinner, but still leave the pill in the bowl.

In that case, you may be tempted to crush up the pill and mix it in with her food. Just make sure you ALWAYS get a thumbs-up from your vet first.

“Before crushing pills or opening capsules, check with your veterinarian as this could make certain medications less effective,” Butler explained.

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