At some point in most dogs’ lives, you will have to give them some kind of medicine. Many dogs will resist eating pills or medicine if they find it suspicious. Here are some tips on getting your dog to take their medicine.
A game: An alternative way to give your dog pills
When doggy pill pouches/treats don’t work, you can try playing a game with your canine. I like to call it the “1, 2, 3 Game“. Using three dog treats instead of just one, you can trick your dog into easily eating his medication. When learning how to give a dog medicine, you’ll soon figure out that tricking the Fido can make your job much easier.
This “1, 2, 3 Game“ is very simple. Let’s say that you’re using deli meat. Instead of just one piece, use three pieces. Hide the pill in one piece. Give your dog a piece without the pill, then the piece with with pill, and finally the other piece with no pill.
Your dog may be suspicious at first, but he won’t find a pill in the first piece. After testing the first one, he’s likely to gobble up the other two piece without hesitation.
You can also use psychological tricks to give your dog medicine
One potential way is to use competition as a motivator. This works very well with majority of dogs.
For example, if you have more than one dog, feed the others a dog treat first. The dog that requires the medication will see other pets happily eat their treat, and he’ll be more likely to gobble his stuff down in fear that one of the others may take it if he doesn’t.
Empty gel caps or crush pills
If you’re having a hard time getting your dog to eat pills wrapped in food, you can try adding the medicine to his dinner. If you feed your pet canned dog food or make your own homemade dog food, you may be able to simply mix the whole pill in with his food.
These diets are moist and are much more appealing than dry kibble. They also have a much stronger odor and specific consistency that will help to mask and hide the pill.
If you feed your dog dry kibble, which most of us do, this task is going to be a bit more difficult. Remember that when trying to learn how to give a dog medicine effectively, trickery is always your best bet. Instead of mixing the whole pill in with your dog’s dry kibble, try crushing the pill or emptying the gel capsule and mixing it up.
Gel caps should pull apart in the center, allowing you to sprinkle the powder inside over your dog’s food. You can throw the capsule part away – it contains no active ingredients.
If your dog has to take traditional pills, crush them with the backside of a spoon or a butter knife and sprinkle the powder over your dog’s meal. You may still need to use homemade or canned dog food to entice your pooch, but crushing the pill should make learning how to give a dog medicine much easier.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.
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