Giving your dog medication can be easy-peasy – or reminiscent of wrestling an alligator. Even the dog that will eat anything may refuse a pill when they catch wind of your high-pressure pill-pushing tactics. Use these tips to quickly and easily make the medicine go down.
Before You Start A New Medication
During the visit with your veterinarian, be sure to ask plenty of questions about how your dog’s medication needs to be administered.
Does it need to be stored in the refrigerator? Can it be given with food? Does your dog have to swallow it, or can it be crushed?
Set alarms so you can administer the medication consistently. If your dog’s medication needs to be given twice a day, for example, try to space out the doses as close to twelve hours apart as possible, with your schedule in mind so you won’t have to wake up or race home from work.
If you have additional questions when you get home, you don’t necessarily have to schedule another visit, you may be able to get a quick answer by calling your vet.
How To Give Your Dog Liquid Medication
Most liquid medications are highly palatable. Your dog might lick it up if you simply put it in their bowl.
If your dog does not like the taste of their liquid medication, it’s easy to disguise it. Though your dog’s sense of smell is up to 10,000 times more powerful than a human’s, they actually have a weak sense of taste. A dog has about 1700 taste buds while a human has over 9000. They rely on their sense of smell to decide if they want to eat something. So, if you can mask the smell of the medication with a strong odour, they’ll probably gulp it down.
Mix your dog’s liquid medication with Grizzly Salmon Oil, peanut butter, minced meat or cheese. The tasty topper can be warmed to release an even stronger odour.
Even the smelliest topper might not coax a dog to eat if they are affected by a digestive issue or if their medical condition has ruined their appetite. As a last resort, you may need to use a syringe (without a needle) to squirt the liquid down your dog’s throat. Afterwards, massage your dog’s throat and hold them still to help ensure the medication stays down.
How To Give Your Dog A Pill
Dogs do not typically seem to have much trouble swallowing without chewing. However, the strange scent of a pill might draw their suspicions. They may be able to detect the bitter odour of the medication inside. Wrapping the pill in a small amount of meat, cheese or peanut butter might be all you need to do to encourage them to swallow it.
However, some clever dogs will manage to eat around the pill, and then spit it out. Always give pills indoors, preferably on a rug or towel so the pill will not roll around if it falls out of your dog’s mouth.
Since a dog does not have a powerful sense of taste, they can be bamboozled into quickly swallowing a morsel with a pill hidden inside. To lower your dog’s suspicions, prepare several morsels, then slip the pill inside one of them. Give your dog a rapid-fire of plain morsels, then quickly slip the spiked treat, following it with another plain bite. You can even ask your dog to perform a trick first so they will think the morsels are simply part of your training routine.
If your dog’s pill cannot be taken with food, or if they do not have an appetite, you will have to give it directly. It’s imperative that you do this quickly and calmly as not to get into a struggle with your dog. You may need a helper to hold the dog while you open their mouth and drop or place the pill as far back on their tongue as possible. Then, hold the dog’s mouth closed while gently massaging their throat to encourage them to swallow. If you touch their nose, they might lick your finger, which will also help push the pill down.
After You Give Your Dog Their Medication
Fully twist the cap on your dog’s bottle of medication to engage the childproof lock. With enough determination, your dog can chew through the bottle, so be sure to store it where they cannot access it. Even if your dog seems to hate their medication when you try to give it to them, they may try to get into it when you’re not around. Never underestimate a dog’s ability to get into mischief.
Monitor your dog for at least half an hour after their dosage to ensure they do not vomit or experience any side effects. Contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions. If you are not able to safely administer your dog’s medication, they may be able to prescribe a different solution.