How To Get My Dog To Take His Pill

  • Hi ExpressVet!

    My dog spits out his pills and no matter what I hide them in he eats around it making it really hard to get him to take his meds. Any suggestions?


  • @Gabe S Hi Gabe! Have you ever tried compounding? You can get all your dog's meds flavored as cheese or bacon...even as a small treat! If he has trouble chewing try a liquid compound! 

  • @Gabe S - go to the grocery store and buy Braunschweiger (liverwurst).  My Yorkie only has 6 teeth, and my Yorkie that has passed didn't have any teeth left, but they both couldn't wait to eat it.  In fact, I have never met a dog who didn't love it!

  • @Gabe S I find using peanut butter or sometimes a cheese cube and if the pill is large I normally break/cut in half.

  • I also have used the liverwurst as well as a hotdog that I have warmed up in my hand to get it greasy

  • Getting your dog to take medication, especially pills, can sometimes be a challenging task. Dogs can be picky eaters, and they may detect and reject pills hidden in their food. Here are some effective tips to help you get your dog to take his pill:

    1. Use Pill Pockets:

      • Pill pockets are soft treats designed to hold medication. You can place the pill inside the pocket, pinch it closed, and offer it to your dog as a treat. Many dogs find these tasty and are more willing to take their pills this way.
    2. Crush and Mix:

      • If your dog's medication can be crushed, you can crush the pill into a fine powder and mix it with a small amount of wet dog food or a treat your dog loves. Ensure that your dog consumes the entire mixture.
    3. Hide in Food:

      • Some dogs won't notice pills hidden in certain types of food. You can try hiding the pill in a small piece of cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, canned dog food, or a slice of deli meat. Make sure the pill is well-concealed so that your dog doesn't spit it out.
    4. Use a Pill Dispenser:

      • Pill dispensers or pill guns are devices designed to hold the pill and allow you to place it directly at the back of your dog's throat. Be gentle and ensure your dog swallows by stroking his throat or blowing gently on his nose.
    5. Ask Your Vet for Alternatives:

      • Consult your veterinarian to see if there are alternative forms of the medication available, such as liquid or chewable tablets. Some dogs find these easier to take.
    6. Timing is Important:

      • Give your dog the medication during mealtime when he's hungry. Hungry dogs are often more eager to eat and may be less discerning about the pill.
    7. Positive Reinforcement:

      • Reward your dog immediately after he takes the pill with praise, affection, or an extra special treat. This positive association can make the process more tolerable for your dog.
    8. Crush and Mix with Water:

      • Crush the pill into a fine powder and mix it with a small amount of water to form a paste. Use a syringe (without a needle) to administer the paste directly into your dog's mouth.
    9. Practice Gentle Restraint:

      • If your dog is resistant, you may need to gently restrain him by holding his head and tilting it upward while placing the pill as far back in his throat as possible.
    10. Consult a Professional:

      • If your dog consistently refuses to take medication, consult your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance and additional.

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