Many times when pets get sick, pet parents are not sure of the best way to administer the medication. The medication may be in the form of a liquid, a capsule, a chewable or a tablet. Luckily, you only have to worry about these types of medication and not shots, which are taken care of by the vet. The tricks in this article are meant for pills.
When you find yourself faced with the option of having to give pills to your pet, here are three tricks you can use to make your pet take the medication.
Mixing with food
This trick is the easiest, but I have to warn you it does not always work. You take the pill and mix it with the dog’s favorite food and hope she won’t notice the difference.
If she is the type that gobbles her food down without being picky at all, you are in luck because the pill will get gobbled right down with the rest of the food. If she is as picky as my female Labrador, Lulu, this method is not for you. Lulu eats when she wants to eat and when she does not feel like it, she doesn’t no matter how much we entice her. She also has sharp taste buds so she is able to fish the pill out of the food and continue with her meal, pill untouched.
Crushing a pill and mixing it either with food or the dog’s water works well. Again, you have to hope the dog is not too picky and won’t notice the difference between the taste of her normal dry kibble and one that has been mixed with medication.
Force the pill down
In our house, we call this method ‘tough love’ because it works all the time and yet may seem cruel to some. But it works to get the dog better and because we love our dogs, we use it to help them feel better.
Hold the dog’s lower jaw with one hand and hold the pill with the other one. Using the hand on the dog’s lower jaw, force the dog’s mouth open and push the pill as far down the throat as possible, while the whole head is held to an angle of 45 degrees to the ground. This position increases the likelihood of the pill being swallowed.
Once the pill is in, close the dog’s mouth but continue holding the dog’s head up, and rub the throat as long as necessary. Once you’re sure the dog has swallowed the medication, let her go and give her a treat for a job well done. The treat is a bribe so that next time you want to administer the same medication she will be more cooperative in anticipation of the treat.
Note: for the crushing, consult your vet before crushing the pill. Otherwise, good luck and quick recovery to your pet.