Three Ways To Get Your Dog To Take A Pill

Posted on: 8 July 2016

At some point in your dog's life, your vet will probably prescribe some sort of pet meds to cure an illness or help your dog battle pain from an injury. However, getting a dog to take medication isn't an easy task. Sure, you can get pet meds in tablet form and hide the pill in your dog's food. But, what if your dog — like so many others — sniffs out the pill and rejects it? Check out these tips to learn how to get your picky dog to take pills.

Put the Medication in an Empty Gel Cap

Many dogs reject medications because of the way they smell. Putting the medication in an empty gel cap before giving it to your dog eliminates this problem by masking the smell of the pill. You can purchase empty gel caps at many drug stores or stores that sell nutritional supplements. If the pill is small enough, place the entire pill into the gel cap and close it. If you're trying to give your dog a larger pill, crush it up before putting it in the empty gel cap. Once the medicine is in the cap, wrap it in some food or a treat and feed it to your dog. Keep in mind, not all pills should be crushed. Typically, coated pills or pills that are designed so that medication releases over a period of time shouldn't be crushed. So, ask your vet if you can crush the pill before doing it.

Lace Wet Dog Food

Lacing wet dog food is a good option if your dog really loves wet dog food and you're having trouble giving him a medication that can be crushed. Simply, crush the pill and mix it into a small amount of dog food. Then, feed the food to your dog. Gel caps can be split so that you can squeeze the gel into the food before serving your dog. Keep in mind, some pills may taste bitter when crushed, so this method could cause your dog to reject the food completely. If your dog rejects the food, try mixing more dog food into the already laced dog food to help mask the taste of the medicine.

Use a Baby's Vitamin Syringe

If your dog refuses to take his medication any other way, you can administer the meds using a baby's vitamin syringe. To do this:

  1. Crush the pill or split the gel cap, and put the content into the syringe.
  2. Add a small amount of water to the syringe so that the medication doesn't get stuck.
  3. Open your dog's mouth — you don't need to open it really wide.
  4. Place the syringe at the back of your dog's mouth, near his throat.
  5. Push in the plunger on the syringe to squirt the medication into your dog's throat.
  6. Give your dog a treat to encourage him to swallow.

While getting your dog to take a pill can be difficult, it isn't impossible. You may have to try several different methods before finding an option that works for your dog. Once you find the right method, all you have to do is stick to it. To learn more, contact a veterinary clinic like Foothills Animal Hospital