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How to give a dog a pill

Updated on January 4, 2011

A lot of pet owners are daunted by the task of giving their pets pills. This is due to the fact that while some dogs are good tempered and would seem to understand that taking the pill is very necessary to ensure their good health some dogs can be a challenge to pill. Apart from giving you a merry chase, these adorable little monsters would be good at selecting the pill from the food, spitting the pill while eating the treat. Some are con artist, would let you think that the pill is swallowed but would spit the pill once your back is turned.

The solution to ensure that the dog has taken the pill

Obviously, the best way to ensure that the pill is swallowed is to watch the dog a few minutes after you have placed the pill on his mouth. Another is to stay a while and watch the dog consume the food mixed with the pill.

Hiding the pill in the dog’s favorite food

This is one way making your dog take the pill. Dogs eat just about anything. But have you noticed how eager they are to eat their favorite food? If your furry friend has a fondness for cream cheese, for hamburger patties or has a sweet tooth and thinks of peanut butter as a treat then you might as well use these foods to conceal the pill. In effect you are telling the dog that it is not a pill but a treat. The trick here is to give the dog a piece of the food without the pill. Once they've had a taste they will be eager to get another piece. Insert the pill into the food and the dog will wolf down the tasty morsel without noticing that it has taken the pill.

What if the dog does not want to eat?

Dogs that have tasted the bitter taste of a pill would be a challenge to pill. These are highly intelligent creatures with excellent sense of smell. They can easily detect if a pill in hidden in their favorite food. Very ill dogs would refuse to eat. In cases like these the pill has to be placed directly to the mouth of the dog. Open the dog's mouth gently but firmly and insert the pill at the base of the dog's tongue. Close the mouth. Blowing gently on the nose and rubbing the throat will encourage the dog to swallow the pill. A treat given after the dog has taken the pill will be associated with good feelings. Giving the dog the next dosage will be easier.

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    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      10 years ago from India

      Thanks - great advice - I've had little dogs that snapped when given a pill and huge ones that took it without a fuss - they're all so different, aren't they?

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