Giving Dog Medication

Sometimes giving dog medication isn’t easy but there are ways to get them to take their dose.

My dog is old and a picky piglet. I know that is an oxymoron but he truly is. If he likes something he will gobble it down but if it’s something he needs to eat like his pills it’s another story.

He loves his monthly heart worm for dogs, I’m not sure what they put in those things but it must taste yummy because he always looks for more. It’s a rectangle pellet that is soft and looks kind of like candy.

Picky old dog

Basil is old so he also needs canine arthritis supplements, urinary incontinence pills as well as his flea and tick tablets. I tried wrapping them in lunch meat, which worked for a while but then he got wise and ate around the medicine leaving a wet gross mess on the floor.

Eventually I ground them up with a mortar and pestle mixing it in people food like rice with chicken or shrimp and vegetables. The problem is he’s a Boston terrier and it doesn’t take much food to fill him up so he started getting overweight. A fat dog is not healthy so I knew I was going to have to try something else. I was giving him pet meds to improve his life and help him live longer but turning him into an overweight pet was not helping that goal. He started grunting and waddling around like a slug.

He was having more gas and intestinal issues due to being fat and he became constipated.

His pills are all chewable and have a flavor to them so they are supposed to taste good. I wasn’t brave enough to find out what they tasted like but decided enough was enough, he was going to take his meds without food.

Fat dog

Giving dogs too much people food doesn’t give them the vitamins they need. A good dog food has added vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. When they fill up on people food they don’t eat enough of their dog food to get these vitamins. Some people feed their animals people food all of the time and don’t buy pet food which is okay as long as they also give them supplements to give them the needed nutrition.

Old dog new trick

In the wild, dogs go for long periods of time without eating. Mr. Fatty had stored up enough padding that I was certain he wasn’t going to starve anytime soon. So I put his food up on the counter (normally he has access to dog food all day) and put only his pills in his bowl each morning. There are two larger tablets about the size of my thumbnail and three small ones that are about the size of an English pea.

He ate his arthritis prevention pill right away but left the other four waiting for me to put something better tasting in his bowl. I waited too.

To be honest with you, I’m a softy and wouldn’t have made him go too long without food but luckily the first day he ate the rest of his medication by 2:00 p.m. The next day he ate them by noon. And by the fourth day he was taking his pills by 10:00 a.m.

As reward I put his food bowl down as soon as I noticed he finished his pills.

Many American dogs are overweight

Canine obesity is a big problem in America. We over indulge our pets causing them to be overweight shortening their life.

In the wild, dogs go days and sometimes weeks without food so they store up as much as they can when it’s available. Domesticated pets don’t have that worry but instinct still tells them to feast while it’s here in case of famine. Most will eat as much as you give them.


A slimmer Basil

After a few days Basil started to slim down. In the beginning he wasn't happy about it but soon grew accustomed to the new routine. I noticed Basil has more energy, doesn’t have as much gas or intestinal problems. Pet health is the responsibility of the owner and just like being a parent sometimes we have to be tough and do the right thing even if it isn’t easy.

Basil is large for a Boston terrier and had gotten up to 32 pounds; his healthy weight is 28 pounds. Four pounds doesn’t sound like much but when you consider he’s a small dog four pounds makes a lot of difference.

I haven’t taken him in to see what he weighs now but can tell by looking at him that he is back to his old size. He looks like he did before I started over indulging him with goodies to help him take his medicine.

Life expectancy of a Boston Terrier is about 12 years, Basil is almost 13 and his vet thinks he should live even longer since he has excellent teeth.

Giving medicine that isn’t chewable


Some medication isn’t chewable although most of it is for pets. If your veterinarian gives you prescription medication that doesn’t have a flavor you can put it in a piece of lunch meat, cheese or peanut butter. You can hold their mouth open and poke it down their throat but I don’t like to do that if I can keep from it.

Stroking their neck after you've put it at the back of their mouth holding their muzzle closed usually works.

Do not give dogs chocolate, raisins, grapes or onions.

These foods are poison to dogs and can make them very sick. If your dog ingests any of these foods call or take them into your veterinarian immediately or they could die.

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Comments 17 comments

BRIAN SLATER profile image

BRIAN SLATER 4 years ago from Nottingham Uk

Dogs go to great lengths to avoid anything medical going inside their mouths, it was hilarious trying to force a tablet down her throat, infact she thought it a game!! voted up.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Basil is one lucky Pooch because he is well taken care of. I learned years ago to feed my dogs twice a day and not to leave food sit out for them to eat whenever they want. The routine works wonders for keeping them at their proper weight.


Turtlewoman profile image

Turtlewoman 4 years ago from California

Your dog, Basil is cute. I had to give my dog prescribed antibiotics a few weeks ago. I tried so many different methods, put it in peanut butter, ham, bread, cheese. He ate it at first and eventually caught on to the trick. He would take the pill in the mouth, licked off the peanut butter and then spit out the pill! Argh! The last resort was to crush it up like you said.

Nice article, voted up!:-)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Brian, dogs are funny people. I love them.

Sharyn, mine won't over eat if it's dog food but people food he will eat too much of. We have to figure out what works for them and take care of them. Sounds like you are doing a great job.

Turtlewoman, they are smart and figure out how to get around those pills. If only we could make them understand it's for their own good.


Rufus rambles profile image

Rufus rambles 4 years ago from Australia

I love this hub! I have had the same issues with my dog Rufus. He has epilepsy and needs 2 tablets a day. We started putting it in some meat, then he wised up and spat out the tablet and ate the meat. Then we wrapped it in a tiny bit of cheese. Then he got pancreatitis as he can't handle any fat at all. So now I squash the pill in a bit of soft bread (only about 2cm squared) and he wolfs it down. The other dog thinks it's "treat time" and sits patiently for her bit of bread. So I think in their minds it's just treat time! nothing like a bit of competition to get the meds down the gullet! Voted Up!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Rufus, I've heard that if you have more than one dog it's easier to get them to take pills because they hurry and wolf it down before the other dog(s) can take it away. I've mostly had one at a time so it's a bit more tricky. The things we do for our fur babies.


Rufus rambles profile image

Rufus rambles 4 years ago from Australia

I know it's always good to have competition!


Irob profile image

Irob 4 years ago from St. Charles

I had to go the route of crushing my German SHepherds joint pills up and mixing them with shredded cheese on top of his food to finally get it down. Great hub. Knowing your dog is the key


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Irob, my dog loves cheese but it gives him gas. I let him have some once in a while but he can clear a room.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

Wonderful hub and your dog is so sweet. My dogs work good with peanut butter, but they do try and put one over on me and get that peanut butter and medicine very visibly not in their mouth!

What type of flea medicine comes in a tablet, if I can ask? It might be easier in the long run--you have to get their skin with the liquid kind and with Roscoe it's hard cause his coat seems to blend with his skin.

This is a joy reading.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Wetnosedog, my article tomorrow will have information about the flea pill. I'll give you a hint, it's garlic and brewers yeast tablets.


bulldogrocks profile image

bulldogrocks 4 years ago from Colorado

With are dog we used peanut butter or yogurt but then he got smart and left the pill. Now we just open his mouth and toss the pill in and make him swallow it.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Thank you Pamela for this very informative hub. I still have to know more of how to take good care of our dog Angus. I will be following your tips. Voted up and SOCIALLY SHARED.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

Pamela, I am looking forward to reading about the flea pill article. I've heard of that combination. Aw the great things I learn at HubPages.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Bulldogrocks, we do whatever works to get those pills down. Luckily mine will just eat his now.

Thanks, Thelma, I appreciate the share.

Wetnosedogs, I'm fixing to post it now so you can read if you want. HubPages is a wealth of information.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Thanks Pamela for all the great information on giving our dogs meds, but sometimes our dogs are smarter than we are, so your hub helps by giving us other ways to try to give them their pills.

Vote up and more !!!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Kashmir, my dog is very smart, sometimes smarter than I am. :o)

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