Mission Impaw-sible: Getting your dog to take medicine

 

If you have a dog, you may be familiar with the difficult and challenging art of feeding your dog medicine. While we always try to make sure our pups are healthy and not on constant medication, there still are certain pills they need to intake periodically. If your dog is anything like mine, getting them to swallow that pill is a real struggle. However, as usual, I have tried and tested certain methods to get my dog to take his medicine, and I’d like to share them with you!

The classic “hide the pill in food” trick

This one is a classic and seems to work with many dogs. It’s the first thing our vet suggested the first time I had to give Phillip a pill (he had a Kennel cough upon adoption and had to take antibiotics and vitamins from day 1). Basically, you take the pill as a whole, and stuff it in some type of food (cheese (attention to allergies and lactose intolerance!) or sausage are popular options) and give it to your dog as a treat, which he will devour without noticing the surprise in the middle. 


Chopping the pill up and mixing into food

You can try chopping up the pill into small pieces, or even crushing into powder, and mixing into their food. I’ve noticed that this works well when mixed into flavorful foods, such as wet dog foot, as opposed to dry kibble. Most dogs I’ve come across seem to be okay with this method.


Crunchy peanut butter balls

I’ve noticed that mixing the pill into a ball of peanut butter (I use crunchy peanut butter, as the pill hides better when surround with peanuts and confuses pups) and giving this as a treat also seems to work. Giving the treat after doing tricks (which is when they get really excited) also gets them distracted and less likely to notice the pill!
Any special tips for making peanut butter balls? Let us know in the comments below!


Pill pockets

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These are special ‘treats’ made for hiding pills in them, which are available for sale at pet stores or online (e.g. these Greenies Pill Pockets are liked by some friends of mine). Definitely give it a try if your dog is less difficult than mine! If you prefer or know any other brands or types of pill pockets, please share below so we give them a try! 


Encourage with hand feeding

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Early on, I’d try feeding the pill to Phillip by feeding his food by hand and mixing the pill in between. While I fed him his kibble, I’d also say encouraging words to get him excited and less concentrated on the smell of the pill he noticed. It’s all about making pills a positive experience for your pups!

 

Try baking treats at home!

Try this easy recipe for Pill Pouches made at home that seem to be great success among many dogs! I’ve made some with friends for their dogs, and they definitely worked for them, and as it was homemade, it was easier to monitor the contents of the treats! I’d appreciate any alternative recipes you may have, so please share them below!

These are some ways of getting your god to take their pills, which I’ve personally tried on my dog or on my friend’s dogs. Needless to say, some work on certain dogs, and others don’t. It really depends on your dog’s personality, likes, dislikes and other factors.

So, if you have any other methods you’d like to suggest or know a foolproof method that would work on even the most stubborn dog, go ahead and leave a comment below so we’ll give it a try! You can always link with in The Buddy System!

Dogs are really complicated creatures, but the one thing that all dogs care about is love. So, make sure not to turn taking medicine into a stressful experience, and try your best to be loving and patient with your dog, no matter how difficult he may make the whole ordeal for you.

Thanks for reading!

Have a paw-some day!

The BOWMOOD team

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