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Picture of a Jack Russel terrier looking at the pill on the hand of its owner

Getting your pet to take medicine can be challenging. Much like children, most dogs hate taking pills and can be very uncooperative. However, giving your dog medicine doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are 9 tips to get your dog to take their medication.

  1. Deposit it by hand. Tilt your dog’s head back, open their mouth and place the pill as far back as you can. Massage their throat to help the pill go down. This may not be the preferred method, but it gets the job done.

  2. Use a pill gun. If you don’t like the idea of sticking your hand inside your dog’s mouth, use a pill gun instead. Simply load the gun, open your pooches’ mouth and pull the trigger to release the pill into the back of their throat.

  3. Mix it in with their food. One of the easiest ways to give your dog medication is to add it to their favorite food. However, make sure there aren’t any other pets around that might eat it by mistake.

  4. Wrap it with meat. Animals have a keen sense of smell and can often detect the scent of medication in their food. Fresh meat can help mask this odour. Therefore, try putting Fido’s pill in a sausage, hot dog or meatball. You can also try wrapping it in bacon or chicken skin.

  5. Use coconut oil. A spoonful of coconut oil can help the medicine go down, quite literally. Coconut oil is a lubricant that can help get past your dog’s gag reflex. Be careful not to give your pet too much or it could cause diarrhea.

  6. Coat it with peanut butter. Using peanut butter is a simple way to trick your dog into taking its medication. If your pet isn't fond of peanut butter, use regular butter or cream cheese instead

  7. Hide it in a pill pocket. Pill pockets are easy to use and mask the smell of most medicines. Simply stuff the pill inside the empty cavity and feed it to your pup.

  8. Freeze it. Many dogs like to eat ice cubes. If your pet enjoys a nice cold treat, try freezing their medication in ice trays before giving it to them. Be sure to keep your trays well marked to avoid accidents.

  9. Wash your hands. Always wash your hands after handling your dog’s medication. The chemical smell can linger and alert your dog that something’s amiss.

Lastly, before deciding on a method, ask your vet if there are any special instructions for giving your dog their medication. For example, some pills shouldn’t be broken or crushed. Animal clinic in Toronto Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital is a comprehensive veterinary clinic in the Greater Toronto Area. We offer routine checkup, preventative care, routine surgeries and online pet supplies. Contact us today to book an appointment or learn more about our services.

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