If you’ve ever had to give your dog medication, you know that it can be nothing short of a challenge. One minute you’re trying to pop a little pill into their mouth and the next thing you know you’re in the middle of what feels like a wrestling match.
Fortunately, there a number of things you can do to make sure that the whole pill giving experience is quick, easy, and – dare we say it – fun.
Hide it in food or food pockets
For the undiscerning pet, the easiest way to give them medicine is by hiding the pill inside soft food. Peanut butter, cheese, or even their favorite Freshpet roll
are all great hiding options, but if you’re looking for something specifically designed to disguise your pet’s medicine there are a number of brands that sell “pill pockets”. Pill pockets are usually soft and malleable treats with a hollowed out center where you can place the pill.
Make it a competition
If you have more than one dog, creating some friendly competition between the two is another way to make administrating medication easier. When both of your pups are together, give them both a few Freshpet treats
, one of which has the pill hidden inside. This creates a sense of urgency and they will likely eat quicker and with less regard to the pill they may otherwise by fussy about. However, if either of your pets struggles with food aggression this method should be avoided.
Turn it into a game
Another great way to take the stress out of giving your pup their medication is turning it into a game. To do this, grab a few treats – some plain and as many as needed filled with their medicine. Mix together the plain and medicated treats and get creative with how you give them to your pup. Try tossing them up in the air and making your pup catch the treats, hide them around the room and let the hunt begin, or customize your play by catering to the games your pet enjoys. They’ll be so distracted with playing the game they won’t realize some of the treats have their medicine in them.
Look for alternative forms
If pills aren’t an option, talk to your vet about liquid medicine. These are usually much easier to give as you can simply squirt it into your dog’s mouth and it’s quite difficult for them to spit out. Plus, they often come in a variety of tasty flavors your pup will enjoy.
If all else fails, pill them
Sometimes no matter how well your disguise the medicine or turn giving it into a game, your dog just won’t have it. In these situations, “pilling” them is your last resort. It may sound intimidating but when done properly, this tried and tested method is sometimes the best option for administrating medication. Simply open their mouths wide and place the pill as far back as possible. Quickly close their mouth - to avoid having the pill spit out and raise their head. You can then message their neck or gently blow on their face to get them to swallow.
If giving your dog their medication is an ongoing issue, the person to talk to is your veterinary care team. They’ll be able to help you find a way to give your pup their medication that is as stress-free as possible.