Dog Health

How to Make A Dog Take a Pill?

Dog parents understand this topic’s importance; hence, as a dog owner, I needed to share my experience. Recently, as my dog is almost a year old, I have started doing a lot of outdoor adventures with her. This also means she falls sick more often due to infections she may catch from somewhere. While this is normal with dogs, they need to take antibiotics like humans.

A dog owner understands how tough it can sometimes to make a dog take a pill . It is easier to pill my 5-year-old as her sense of sense and taste, and smell is not as strong as my dog’s. I crush the antibiotics, add them to honey, and my daughter quickly eats it. When I try to do the same with my dog, it will just smell and hide under the table.

That is her usual spot to hide from me when she feels forced. Trust me when I say this, I have tried every trick possible and attempted to work with the dog, understanding its behaviour with the help of content from . This helped me a lot, but my dog is stubborn.

Here I would quickly conclude it is impossible to make a dog take pill such as Minnie because she is so intelligent that she knows I am playing certain tricks to give pill to her, and as soon as she senses it, she hides under the table, never to come out.

A Quick Backstory:

Minnie is a very healthy lab with no general issues, but she suddenly seemed lethargic during the monsoons this year. Initially, I assumed this was because she was a growing dog, and her behaviour was changing. She had no interest in playing tug of war, which was her favourite game. All she did was sleep the entire day. This seemed quite concerning to me. Hence, I decided to get her tested as a routine check-up.

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Her blood-work was done, and the vet found the WBC count was higher than usual. This indicated some internal infection, and they prescribed her antibiotics, antacids, and vitamins. I had to feed her several pills twice daily, which became a challenging task. But it did not stop here.

As soon as she started getting better, she regained all her lost energy and started running around the house again. I was happy to see her active, but this also meant she became mischievous. She did not realise when she hit her head on a wall and injured her forehead. I had to rush her to the vet, who prescribed her a new set of antibiotics.

Feeding her many medicines for a month was next to impossible, but she had to be given these medications. Hence I had to try everything possible to feed her the pills.

So, I am sharing a few techniques I have tried to pill my dog. A few have a lower success rate than others, but something or the other definitely works.

Add It To The Food To Make A Dog Take A Pill Easily

I used to do this when she was a puppy, and she did not mind it back then, as she was not as picky about her food. This method is quite simple. You need to crush the tablet and add it to the food. You can give your dog regular food for wet food that is more palatable.

This way, your dog will eat the pill without fussing about it. Give your dog a small portion of the food with the medicine first. My dog sometimes smells the tablet and does not touch the food. If that happens, then at least you will not be wasting all the dog food. The key is to hide the medicine inside the food as well as possible.

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Request a Different Form To To Make A Dog Take A Pill Easily

This isn’t a trick to feed your dog medication. It is just finding an easy alternative. Giving your dog any form of oral medication is challenging and takes a lot of patience, but if you could find some other medication that is easier to use, it will help you.

Make A Dog Take A Pill

For example, instead of pills for anti-tick medication, I use spot-on tubes applied to the back of her neck. This is relatively easy, and I do not have to struggle to find ways to feed her any medication.

But, obviously, this cannot happen for all medications, and you do have to find a permanent way to feed your dog medicines.

Drop the Pill Inside the Throat To Make A Dog Take A Pill Easily

The tricks I have mentioned above all failed for me after some time. So, this is how you and I make a dog take a pill . It might work for many dogs, but mine was particularly fussy. So I had to use the method of directly shoving the medicine inside my dog’s throat.

You need to lift your dog’s lips, open its jaw, and stiff the pill as deep inside the throat as possible. Obviously, your dog should be a non-bitter, as doing this takes a lot of courage. This seems like a rapid and straightforward method and might work well with many dogs such as Sheep doodle or cavapoochon, but my Minnie acted as if she had swallowed the pill, sat tight till I moved away, and spit the pill out.

So, to ensure she was eating the pill, I started feeding her a treat after it so she could gulp it down. She started selectively puking her pills out after eating her treats. I switched treats with cheese. As it is sticky and gooey, when I gave her cheese after pill, she gulped it down quickly, and as she loves cheese, giving her medicine has become easy now.

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I hope she doesn’t find a way to trick me again in a few months.

The Bottom Line To Make A Dog Take A Pill Easily

Your dog is different from mine; hence, the same techniques may not work. But I have covered every method possible to make a dog take a pill here. It would help if you spent some time understanding what works best for the dog. A few trials and errors might work for sure. Always buy a few extra pills, as you may lose some in making your dog eat the pill.


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Martha Jacobson

Associate veterinarian with 7+ years of experience. Specialist in companion animal emergency and critical care. Seeking to leverage my skills to contribute to high quality animal medical care because of my commitment to animal welfare and support, I aim to reduce animal suffering, strengthen the bond between people and their pets, and make the world a better place.

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