There are occasions where your dog may be prescribed a medication, whether it is a preventative against disease and/or parasites or treatment for an ailment. Most times, your dog is not real fond of any “foreign substance” in his mouth unless it is food. So, what is the easiest method to “help the medicine go down” when it is necessary for your dogs health?
I have had dogs that had no problem sticking pills down their throat while others give you this “no way are you making me take that” attitude! Many times we have to play little tricks on them. After all, like we have told the kids all their lives, “it is for your own good”! They think, yea, right!
It is always best to give your dog the pill in some sort of food. That way he/she doesn’t even realize the pill is there and has a chance to spit it out. I was excited when pill pockets came out. With small pills, I would split the pocket in half, and hide the pill in the pocket. Dogs love the taste. You can also use peanut butter, cheese, meatballs, and any soft food that can work to hide the medication.
If you are lucky to have a dog that will sit and take his/her medicine, place the pill as far back on the dog’s tongue, pushing it as far as you can and then hold your dog’s mouth close. Sometimes rubbing the throat while the pill goes down seems to help as well. Blowing on the nose helps the dog to swallow, keeping the nose pointed upward. There are several styles of pilling devices you can purchase that can be used to place a pill or capsule over the base of your dog’s tongue so that you do not have to place your fingers in the mouth. Ask your veterinarian about these devices and where to find one.
When administering liquid medication, it can sometimes be more difficult as you cannot put the medication in food most times. Once you have the syringe filled with the medication, place it in your dogs’ mouth to the side right behind the canine teeth. Again it is best to have the nose elevated, where you can rub the throat or blow on the nose as before until your dog swallows. The medication should be flavorful enough that your dog will be happy to take it. Try to make the whole process fun, while also giving a lot of praise and rewards for good behavior. After a while, you will not have a problem “playing doctor”. In fact, they will look forward to it. With regular practice, your dog will not have any toubles taking the medicine needed “for his/her own good”.