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How to Give Dogs Pills

Updated on October 1, 2017

First Things First!

If you've had a dog in your life then you've probably had to take them to the vet because they got into something or because they were getting up there in years and needed some help with those achy joints.

This guide is here to help you figure out how to easily give your furry friend their medication in a manner that is less hassle and less stressful for both of you. By the end of this article you should be able to administer your pets medication quite easily, and it will only become easier for both of you the longer you follow this guide.

Step 1: You're Not the Bad Guy!

So stop feeling bad. Our pets don't understand that we're trying to help them most of the time when it comes to medication so I'm here to tell you right now you're not a bad guy, a monster, or a big meanie. Your pet loves you now and will still love you after you give them their yucky medication.

Step 2: The Most Obvious Step

Make sure you are giving the correct dose as prescribed by a vet. Please do not give your dog any kind of medication that's not specifically made for dogs or that has not been prescribed by a vet. Giving your dog the wrong kind of medication could result in you causing your dog to suffer terrible side effects and could even kill your beloved pet. So please, unless a vet gives it to you or it's made specifically for dogs, please don't give just any medication to your pet.

Step 3: Getting Down to Business.

Often times people will suggest that you hide your dogs pills in a treat, such as cheese or those pill pocket treats you can find now. These don't always work and can be frustrating to both you and your dog. You'll start wondering why your pet won't just let you help them as they manage to spit out that pill after fishing it out of the middle of that treat for the 7th time.

In my experience as a dog owner (about 20 years) the best way to give pills is to call you dog to you, and gently use your fingers to open his or her mouth. Then take the pill and place it as far back into your dogs mouth as you can reach, then immediately close your dogs mouth and hold it that way (gently!) and stroke their neck/throat area until they swallow a few times.

Now let go and if Fido doesn't spit it the pill back out they it's a success! This process should take a matter of seconds to do once you've got it down. Now if your dog has swallowed the pill successfully then it's time to give him a treat! He will associate the pill taking with the fact that he gets a treat afterwards and it will actually become easier and easier because your pet will be willing to cooperate with you for that reward after the icky pill part.

Spet 4: Enjoy Your Fuzzy Friend

Now that you've given your dog his or her medication for the day/next few hours, it's time to get on with your day together and be glad that you've put those days of messy, frustrating, cheese and slobber covered pill days behind you. The first several times your dog may resist having you open his or her mouth but as long as you're gentle you aren't hurting them. The more you give pills this way they more accustomed they will become to having this done and it will take practically no time at all to go from medication time to play time.

Just stay consistent and don't forget that treat at the end with some praise and lots of love.


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