We all know the refrain a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but Mary Poppins may never have tried giving pills to a dog! Giving meds to your canine companion can pose a bit of a challenge, so here are 6 tips to help make the process easier for both you and your pet.
- Wrap the Pill in a Pill Pocket
Giving pills with food may make it easy to trick your dog into swallowing them. Simply place a tablet in a pill pocket or wrap it something tasty like a piece of cheese or a bit of hot dog. This approach tends to work best for dogs that just gobble down their treats. Dogs that prefer to chew their soft treats may bite into the nasty tasting med and be harder to fool next time around.
- Note that dogs with food allergies or sensitivities might have issues with the ingredients contained in pill pockets, so talk to your veterinarian first.
- Try Compounded Meds
Sometimes you can choose a chewable “treat” med or a flavored compounded med. Giving meds this way works well for dogs that give you a big hassle over swallowing pills. The drawback is that this type of medication can cost more depending on the drug involved. Also, your veterinarian may explain that compounding certain drugs can impact their effectiveness.
- Ask your veterinarian for a list of pharmacies that compound medications for dogs.
- Use a Pill Device
Giving pills to your dog comes with certain risks. For instance, the tablet needs to be placed far enough back on the dog’s tongue to cause him to swallow it. This means putting your fingers in the dog’s mouth, which could lead to an accidental bite. A pill device safely replaces your fingers. A dog’s tongue comes with a hump, and you use the pill device to place the pill behind the hump. Then you close the dog’s jaws and gently stroke the dog’s throat to encourage him to swallow the med.
- Get Some Assistance
Working alone, you will need to restrain your dog while at the same time attempting to give the med. Your task will be a lot easier if you ask a family member or friend to hold the dog for you.
- Give a Reward
After every successful pill administration, reward your dog with a small treat. And, no matter how frustrated you get, try to keep both you and your dog as calm as possible. Getting angry at your canine friend will not accomplish anything.
- Ask Your Veterinarian to Demonstrate
The last thing you want is to make giving pills stressful for you or your dog. So, ask your vet to help you out by giving you a demo of how to successfully administer the required med. And, here’s a very useful video on giving meds to your dog.
Overdosing of Medications
A dog may quickly gobble up tastily flavored meds if they are kept in an accessible place. Also, drug poisoning in dogs can occur when owners take it upon themselves to administer over-the-counter drugs that are meant for humans. Here at CVETS, we hope that your dog never ends up being poisoned in this way, but if you live in or near Columbia, SC and you have a poisoned dog, don’t hesitate to rush him to us for the very best in emergency veterinary care.