How to Give Your Dog a Pill

If you’re like most pet parents, you have struggled to give your dog a pill at some point. With a little advice and patience, you will be a pro in no time.

 

Some medications are flavored, which means that you can just throw it down in the food bowl and most dogs will gobble it up-no problem. However, there are a lot of medications that aren’t flavored and some even have a bitter taste and need to be disguised with something yummy to help them swallow it. The product that we love at The Drake Center, is called Pill Pockets. It is a small, hollow treat that that you put the pill inside of. Most of the time your dog will simply eat it.

Other times, you may have to “pill your dog”, meaning you will need to place it in their throat. If you have a dog that’s pretty easy going, you trust the dog, and you know that they are going to cooperate, then you can kind of push the pill down yourself. If the pill seems sticky on the outside you can try wrapping the pill in sandwich bread, cream cheese, or butter to help it go down easier.

The easiest way to do this, is to push your dog’s lips back, and put your fingers just behind the canine tooth, and put his nose straight up in the air. (See video above for detailed demonstration.) With your other hand (holding the pill), open his mouth up and drop the pill in his throat as far as you can. Next you will want to shut his mouth, and gently to stroke his neck to help the pill go down. If he licks his lips after, you know that he actually swallowed the pill.

That is as easy as it will be for most dogs. However, if they are really struggling or if you’re having issues opening their mouth or if you’re afraid of getting your hand bit, there are other options as well. One is called a pill wand; it’s a little plastic device that is kind of like a syringe. The tip of the wand has an opening where you can put the pill inside. Using the same technique as before -with this device, you can reach the back of the mouth without having to put your hand in.

Another helpful product we carry at The Drake Center are clear empty gelatin capsules. These work great for pills that are bitter, or if you’re giving multiple pills to a patient (instead of giving three or four pills) you can put as many smaller pills in the capsule and only have to administer one pill.

If you are still struggling to give your dog his medications, we are happy to give you more advice on what to do. Contact us here if you have any questions.

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