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How to Give Tablets and Medicine to Dogs and Cats

Updated on August 17, 2014

How to Give Tablets and Medicine

A cat - even a kitten - has a mind of its own. And he hates having to take his medicine. But in the battle of wits you can win if you go about things in the right way. This lens tells you all the tricks.

Medications are quite simple to give providing they are administered the correct way.

Photo by Colin Hughes

Giving Tablets To Cats

Most cats are suspicious and will refuse to eat foods containing tablets. Tablets are given to a cat in the same manner as for a dog, by placing the fingers just behind the corners of the mouth. You may have to use your free hand to open the mouth wider while your other fingers are acting as a wedge. As some cats resent being given medications you may have to enlist some help to hold him.

When giving tablets to your pet, take care with tablets as the contents may be bitter. If you fail to give the tablet correctly the pet may bite the contents and refuse to have his mouth touched again. Butter rubbed on to the tablet or capsule often helps. Never force liquids into the mouth after giving a tablet.

Giving Tablets To Dogs

The easiest way of giving a tablet to a dog is to mix it in the food or wrap it in a tasty morsel. Providing the dog is not off his food he will oblige. Sick dogs should be given the tablet separately so as not to put them off food. To give the tablet, place the left hand over the nose and push the thumb and forefinger of the left hand behind the big canine teeth. This will open the mouth. With the forefinger of your free hand push the tablet right back down over the tongue. Release the hold and, to prevent him coughing it up, distract your dog with a tasty morsel or a quick run or play.

Giving Liquid Medicines To Dogs

As suggested with tablets, you could first try mixing the medicine into the food.

However, manufacturers of various products usually advise in the directions if the preparations can be readily mixed with food or water.

When giving a liquid it is most important to be certain your pet is getting the right amount. For accuracy, place the required dosage into a small medicine bottle or eye dropper. Pull the dog's lower lip out so that a small pocket is formed at the corner of the mouth.

Pour the liquid into the pocket. The dog's head should be half way between horizontal and upright and he should swallow the liquid. Never force liquid into a pet's mouth as it may go into the lung and pneumonia could result. Similarly, never give a large amount of liquid in one dose.

Giving Liquid Medicines To Cats

Cats can be dosed in a similar way as to dogs. Gently pour the liquid between the teeth when the mouth is open.

How do you get your pets to swallow their medicine?

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