How to get a dog to take a pill

When you bring home your new pooch, you make a commitment to love and care for them for the rest of their lives. Luckily many of your dog’s needs are fairly straightforward – feed them appropriate food, have fresh water available and make sure they have a comfortable and safe place to rest.

Of course, you’ll also need to register them and their rabies vaccinations with your local animal welfare agency, find a local veterinary clinic, and follow your vet’s advice on parasite control and vaccinations. It still seems pretty easy, doesn’t it?

Well, part of being a parent to puppies isn’t always easy, and that’s giving them medicine. So what’s the best way to give your dog medication? We have some tips to make the ordeal that little bit easier.

Be it dewormers, antibiotics or painkillers, medicines come in a variety of forms.

What medications might your dog need?

Some medicines, mainly parasiticides, are available as a spot-on or spray. flea and tickas well as heartworm Prevention is among the most common monthly needs. However, if your dog is prescribed Antibiotics, pain relievers, or other types of medication, it’s probably a pill or oral liquid. Your vet can inject many medications, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to continue treatment at home.

How do you give medicine to your puppy?

Method of administering an injection of medication to a small pedigree dog using a syringe
If you have questions about administering a medication, consult your veterinarian first.

The guide below should give you an idea of ​​how to get your poor pup his medicine.

Get a helping hand

Especially if you are new to the task, it pays to ask someone for help. This is true even if your dog has not received any medication before, even if you have successfully given pills to another furry family member. Giving your dog medication for the first time can be a strange and even frightening experience that can lead to a lot of fidgeting. So you may need the extra pair of hands. Hopefully, over time, you and your dog will get better at it, and you will feel confident without help.

have everything ready

Preparation is key. If you think you need a syringe of water, a treat, or the medication wrapper, have everything ready before you begin. After all, there’s no point in approaching your dog and telling him something’s wrong if you then have to jump out to check the label because you can’t remember how many pills to give.

Read the label

reading the label your dog’s medication is so important. It’s easy to overdose or underdose, especially when you’re busy and on autopilot. You should check the dose each time you administer the medication to make sure you know how much to administer. It’s also important to check the label to make sure you’ve chosen the right medication. It’s not uncommon for pets to inadvertently receive their parents’ human medications. While that sounds silly, it’s very dangerous, so you should always double-check.

take care

If at any point your dog growls, snaps, or gives you body language that suggests he is concerned and may be behaving aggressively, you should not attempt to self-medicate him. Try some of the options below to safely administer the drug and be sure to speak to a veterinarian or behaviorist for advice.

Give the medicine

It goes without saying that you need to be sure of how your dog’s medication is going to be administered before administering it. Your vet should have printed the instructions on the label, so be sure to check it. You don’t want to put eye drops in his ear or put a spot-on chemical in his mouth.

If you give your dog a pill, you should Hold the tablet in one hand and open your mouth wide with both hands. Then you can Put the pill in your mouth as far as it will go, over the base of your tongue. Once the pill is in, keep your mouth closed and your head tilted up and wait for him to swallow. They will know they’ve swallowed when their tongue comes out. If you want to encourage him to swallow, you can use a syringe to put some water in his mouth.

Administering a liquid medicine is quite similar to administering tablets. But instead of opening her mouth wide, you can stick the tip of the syringe into the side of her mouth and between her teeth, causing them to slightly open their mouths. You can then squeeze the syringe to put the medicine in your mouth. Again, you should keep their mouth closed and their head tilted until they’ve swallowed.

Give positive reinforcement

To ensure that giving medication to your sick pooch becomes easier over time, be sure to give plenty of positive reinforcement. Lots of verbal praise and fuss, a treat, or their favorite toy should help them form positive associations with medication.

What if your dog doesn’t take his medicine?

Purple and green pill on a pile of dog food
If your dog is eating, why not try hiding the medication in his food?

Some of the tips below might be the answer.

Add it to your meal

In theory, this is a great idea, and sometimes it works well. However, there are some stipulations.

First you should Check if the medication can be given with food as some need to be given on an empty stomach. It’s also best to give the drug in the smallest amount of food possible. This will ensure that your dog gets the full dose at the right time, rather than pecking at food over an extended period of time.

Give it while giving treats

If you’re trying to administer a pill that is safe to administer with food, you could be trying to fool your furry friend. Take a handful of treats and give three or four in quick succession, followed by the pill. then some goodies. You may find that your hungry dog ​​is so focused on the treats that he doesn’t even notice.

Dress it up with something delicious

Instead of adding the drug to a whole meal, add it Sometimes hiding a pill in a single tasty bite works better. There are many different foods that are great for disguising pills, but make sure each food is dog-safe for humans before you offer it. If your dog has a sensitive tummy, stick to food that you know will not respond to it.


Cheese is an excellent option as many dogs love it, and it has a pretty strong flavor. It’s also fairly malleable, meaning it can be pretty easy to hide a tablet inside.

Natural yoghurt

Plain yogurt can be great in small amounts to hide crushed pills. However, you should always consult your veterinarian before crushing your dog’s pills to make sure it’s safe to do so.

peanut butter

Another pooch favorite is peanut butter. This strong smell and taste is a winner when it comes to treating your pooch. But make sure you choose a dog-safe peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol.

Pocket Treats

There are many Treats that have special pockets or pouches to hide pills. Browse a little and you will definitely find the right thing for your four-legged friend.


While not common in most homes, pate has a strong smell even in small quantities, so it’s perfect if you own a canine detective who can sniff out drugs from a mile away.

Encourage and reward them

It’s really important not to make tablet time something to be afraid of. If you encourage and reward your pup as he takes small steps toward the ultimate goal, you should see him begin to make progress.

Still no luck?

If you’re really having trouble giving your dog medication, talk to your veterinarian. Another type of treatment may be available. For example, let your vet know if pills are a problem for your dog but liquid medications are well tolerated. On the other hand, if tablets and oral medications aren’t an option, your vet may be able to give repeat or long-acting injections.

Final Thoughts

Administering concomitant medication to dogs can be stressful, but applying the tips above should help. Remember that your dog might lash out if he’s in pain or uncomfortable, so always protect yourself. If you’ve tried your best to administer medication but your dog has different ideas, talk to your veterinarian. There may be other treatment options that better suit you and your pup. Once you figure out the best way to give your dog medication, you can help them feel better without undue stress.

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