Pet Care Basics, Pharmacy Tips

How to Give a Dog Medicine

How do you give medicine to a dog that refuses? Administering medications to dogs and cats can be difficult and overwhelming for all involved. Although there are multiple techniques that can make the process easier, it’s important to first consult with your veterinarian or a pharmacist trained in veterinary medicine to confirm there are no safety concerns.

How to Give Dog Liquid Medicine

Liquid medications for dogs and cats are often easiest given with a syringe and directly placed into the side of your pet’s mouth. It helps to slowly squirt the liquid medication with the syringe tip in the “cheek pouch” of the dog. Another option is to mix the liquid with a desirable pet-appropriate canned or other soft food. The major consideration is to make sure your pet finishes the food. If they don’t eat all the food, they may miss out on the proper dose of medication.

How to Get a Dog to Take a Pill

Pet medications in tablet or capsule form can be more challenging to administer than liquids. Ask your vet if the medication has to be swallowed whole. Some capsules, tablets and pills can be crushed and mixed in with wet food. But like with the liquid, if you crush your dog’s pills, make sure your pet eats all of the food to get the entire dose.

One of the most common ways to give medications in pill form is to hide them in an appealing food for your dog or cat. If you do hide the pill in a food, watch closely. Dogs and cats can be sneaky and many have found ways to eat the treat, while spitting out the pill.

If you do use a human food as a treat to hide the meds, always consult your veterinarian about the safety of human foods for your pet. Not all human foods should be consumed by pets, and certain foods can negatively interact with specific medications. Always check ingredients for hidden dangers for your pet, such as Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in some peanut butter and in many sugar-free foods.

What Can I Hide My Dog Pills In?

Another way to give a dog medication in pill form is to hide the tablet or capsule in a dog treat pill hider such as the Doc Roy’s Pill Hiders. The Doc Roy’s Pill Hiders are specially designed peanut-butter flavored treats that conveniently mask the appearance and flavor of medications. Since some medication can potentially lead to digestive upset, the Doc Roy’s Pill Hiders contain probiotics to support digestive and immune health.

Using the above methods can make the process of administering medications to pets easier. Since dogs and cats can be sneaky when it comes to taking their meds, the most important thing to remember when giving your pet medication is to watch them closely to ensure they consumed the entire dose. If you have more questions on your pet’s medication or need more tips on how to give a dog a pill, call us at 800.786.4751. and we would be happy to help.

Written by: Briana Van Noort, PharmD

Revival Pharmacy Team

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.