If you have a dog in your family, then you will need to give your dog a pill sooner or later. As a general rule, most dogs refuse to swallow what they don’t like, and most pills taste pretty bad. No amount of coaxing or begging will change your dog’s mind about that pill! You could, of course, force your dog to swallow the nasty pill, but that is difficult for you both and often traumatic for your dog. Alternatively, you could trick your dog into liking the pill. It is quite possible to get your dog to gobble up that pill like s/he gobbles up treats!
The secret ingredient to make this work is peanut butter. As it happens, many dog medicines must be taken “with food” anyway, and most other dog medicines may be taken with food. Peanut butter is conveniently food. It is also very sticky. The trick is to dip the pill in peanut butter. Most dogs think peanut butter tastes delicious, and will gladly gobble up a yummy glob of it. If there happens to be a pill stuck inside the peanut butter, well, most dogs won’t mind; they’ll gladly eat it anyway.
Use a spoon to scoop peanut butter out of the jar. More specifically, use the small spoon of your silverware set, the one called the teaspoon. Dip the spoon into the jar and remove a heaping spoonful of peanut butter. Now, you have two choices. You can either place a pill on your fingertip (using a dot of peanut butter to stick the pill on if need be) then scoop up the peanut butter onto your finger and the pill, or you can drop the pill on top of the glob of peanut butter and then push it down into the middle. Either way, the pill becomes buried in a sticky mess of delicious food, and your dog will love it. You may find one method a little easier to perform, or a little less messy. Or, if your dog tends to snatch and chomp first and think later, you may want to use the spoon.
At this point, make sure you were generous with your peanut butter. A thin coat won’t do the trick – you want a thick glob of goodness. If the pill is larger, you want a correspondingly larger glob, too. Don’t be stingy!
Now, you hold out your finger or the spoon – whichever item has the pill and peanut butter on it. Put it in the general vicinity of the dog’s nose. Your dog will lick it all up and swallow the pill. Wasn’t that easy?
This trick works on most dogs. It seldom fails.
If your dog doesn’t like peanut butter or is allergic to it, then you can try other foods to coat the pill.
Good sticky alternatives include cooked oatmeal (of the thickest consistency you can manage) and cooked cream of wheat (thick consistency again). Alternately, you can try wrapping the pill in uncooked bread dough of any kind (yes, including biscuits or croissants pre-packaged in a tube), and then pressing it closed (treating it like clay) so that you have created a seamless skin for the pill.