Some dogs will gulp a pill up faster than you can blink an eye… but others aren’t so compliant. Here’s a few sneaky methods to try.
You can hide it in cheese. You can bury it in his dinner. You can even slather it in peanut butter. But somehow, dogs always know when there’s a pill to be found. Whether it’s medication or a healthy supplement, pilling your pup always seems to be a fight. Save yourself the mess and stress by checking out the following tips.
1. Go fish
If your dog didn’t fall for the cheese trick, you might need to try something a bit stronger. Stronger as in odour, that is. Try stuffing her pill in the soft flesh of a sardine.
Your dog won’t think twice about gulping down this delicacy. It’s soft enough to swallow without chewing, so your dog won’t even know the tablet or capsule is there.
2. Trick or treat
This ol’ bait and switch method will fool just about any dog. First, you’ll need to decide what food you want to hide his pill in. Chunks of raw chicken are a popular option.
Cut the meat into small pieces, just large enough to hide the pill. Toss your dog a few pill-free chicken chunks before you send him the pilled treat. Most dogs will be so excited about these tasty snacks that they won’t notice that one of them was laced.
3. The manual method
If you prefer to use the old–fashioned method of pilling your dog by hand, make sure you place it as far back in his mouth as you can. Bypassing the taste buds makes all the difference.
Quickly follow the pill with some yummy tasting liquid, like bone broth, by using a small syringe or a turkey baster. This will help wash the pill down and help your pup associate it with a tasty reward.
4. The “no food” option
If you don’t want to use any food or – depending on the medication and your vet’s recommendation – can’t use food, then you’ll want to invest in a pill dispenser. These handy tools help to get the pill deep into your dog’s mouth, making it much harder for her to spit out.
5. Finishing move
No matter which method you use, try to keep your dog’s head horizontal to the ground, or even slightly raised if possible. This will make it harder for her to spit out the pill.
Be careful not to be rough with your dog or jerk her head up. Instead, try giving the pill with your dog’s head over a stool, chair, or table, and prevent her from backing up. This will keep her head up and help the pill slide down easier.
Whichever one of these tricks you decide to try, be sure to check with your vet first! He or she can help you decide on the best method, as well as let you know when and how the medication or supplement should be given.