How to Get Your Dog to Take his Pills

So you have a sick dog who won’t readily take his pills. You’re stressed out and worried about your ill Pup, gotten through the dreaded vet visit, and finally have the medication to make him better. Now how do you get him to ingest these little pills?

Here are some suggestions that even the pickiest pup can’t resist!

It starts with You!

Dogs can sense our stress – so if you’re stressed, your dog is likely stressed out too. Make the experience a positive one, with lots of praise and pleasant energy. Be relaxed, calm and as normal as possible.

Find something super smelly and tasty…!

If you have a picky pup, you likely already know what he likes, and what he doesn’t. Here is a list of tasty morsels that are great options for stuffing a little pill inside:

  • Small cube of cheese
  • Ham or roast beef from the deli, or any cold meat he enjoys
  • Sausages (cooked and cut up into rounds)
  • Liver pate
  • Chicken skin from a rotisserie chicken
  • Piece of meat, warmed
  • Chicken nuggets, warmed
  • Chunk of peanut butter

If your Pup is sick, they may have lost their usual appetite. These items work well because they have a strong flavor that’ll get them salivating in no time.

Another option is to buy commercial pill-hiding products such as this one here .

The goal is to get your Pup to swallow the morsel whole instead of chewing it, so make sure it is just thick enough to disguise the pill.

Make it a game! And make them work for it.

Have you ever rolled a kibble across the floor and watched your dog chase it down like he’s going in for the kill? Yup, those are dog instincts.

Make it a game!

Start with making 3-5 of the same kind of treats, placing the pill into one of the “treats” (say treat #3). Now, feed your dog two of the treats, without medicine inside them. Once he gets the hang of taking the treat from you readily, give him treat #3 with the medicine inside. Quickly (key word here!) follow up with treat #4 (that does not have medicine inside it). He’ll be so interested in getting to treat #4 he’ll be forced to swallow treat #3 as quickly as possible.

 

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If your dog can catch treats readily, this makes it even easier. He’ll be so focused on catching the treat, that he won’t even realize there is medication hiding in one of them!

If your dog doesn’t have the greatest mouth-eye coordination don’t worry – you can still make this fun by rolling the treat around on the floor, from side to side.

Have any more tips and tricks to get your dog to take his pills? Let us know in the comments below!

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