To give your dog a pill is one of the most difficult task!
If you are truly lucky in all senses, only then you would have a dog that who might not be bothering you while having his medicines or pills.
But that is the rarest case scenario, I am talking about.
Most pet parent always struggle while feeding their dog medicines or pills.
Now this is where you can actually use the phrase “Struggle is Real!”
Jokes Apart! Let me share the good news with you.
I have finally found not just one, but seven ways to give your dog a pill that he hates!
Isn’t it just amazing?
Continue reading to find out more about the 7 tried and tested tips of how to give your dog a pill, for all the pet parents out there!
Table of Contents
- 7 SECRET…. Tips to Give Your Dog a Pill! Ssshhh….
- 3 Things to Keep in Mind Before Trying These Techniques!
- Key Takeaways
7 SECRET…. Tips to Give Your Dog a Pill! Ssshhh….
Whether your dog is suffering from a disease or wanting to recover from an injury, administering your dog an oral medication can be quite challenging.
But like we say, impossible itself says I’m-possible’!
To give your dog a pill is also not impossible, especially after you read this blog.
I have shared 7 tips that will help you in all different case scenarios to give your dog a pill.
Do not wait any further. Get going and read this blog till the end.
1. Mix the Pill in his Food
I know you have heard it thousand times by now. But This is the most obvious, working and common technique.
This is a technique that is tried by almost every pet parent at least once in their life.
It is because this is the simplest way to give your dog a pill. Hide the food in your dog’s food bowl. While he is enjoying his favorite food, he won’t even realize that inside it, there is his medicine as well.
If you give your dog kibble food, then it might be difficult for you to try this technique. The pill will sit loosely in the dog food and your clever dog will easily identify it. Thus, he won’t eat his medicine.
You can mix the pill in the dog can food. Food will mask the taste of the pill completely, and your dog will eat the pill without noticing.
If you have more than one dog, you need to be very sure that the right dog gets his medicine. Thus, you will have to feed each dog separately. Make sure you feed all your dogs separately; otherwise, your dog might just be cautious about why only he is being fed independently.
If you are using a slow feed bowl for your dog, you will need to change it to a normal dog bowl, so that your dog can gulp the pill without noticing it.
3 Great Food Options to hide the Pill In!
You can mix your dog’s pill in any dog food. There are hundreds of options, but I am listing here 3 great food options that works for almost every dog in this universe.
Let’s dive in!
Yogurt has strong smell and when you use thick yogurt to hide your dog’s pill, it works the best.
Serve your dog with a dollop of plain yogurt with pills hidden it. This is quite messy but works great. The yogurt will conceal the pill and your dog will gulp it down.
This is rather a tasty way.
Eating a gallop of peanut butter! Isn’t your mouth already watering?
But wait, it is not for you! It is for your dog!
Give your dog a gallop of crunchy peanut butter, which is balled up and a hidden pill pushed in to the middle of it. Crunchy peanut butter is a better option as it has chunks of peanut that will hide the hard pill inside easily.
Cut the marshmallows in two halves, place your dog’s pill inside. Now, squeeze both the halves of the marshmallows back together. Give it to your dog who is craving for it, not knowing what’s inside the marshmallow.
2. Trick for Treat
A dog will never say ‘NO’ to treats!
This is the time when you can take benefit out of this situation.
So next time, you want to give your dog a pill, sneak the pill inside his favorite treat and your job is done!
Whether your dog will eat the treat with his pill hidden in it, depends majorly on your ability to sneak the pill. If your dog feels or tastes the pill, in that case, he will definitely say NO to even dog treats.
In order to be sure that your dog will not reject the treat, choose the one with a strong flavor and taste. Also, do not give the treat immediately after he had his food.
If his stomach is already full, he will not eat the dog treat. So, serve him the treat after some time.
3. Keep Those Treats Coming
Because treats are every dog’s favorite food to eat, there are many techniques to give your dog a pill inside his favorite treat.
In this technique, you will need to prepare 5 to 6 dog treats and place the pill inside one of the treats. Now, toss those treats one at a time, so that your dog catches the treats and swallows them.
Firstly, start with a treat that does not have a pill inside it. Continue tossing the treats at a constant speed. You need to follow a sequence. Such as, Treat, treat, pill, treat, and treat.
You need to be very carefully regarding the speed at which you throw the treats. If you throw the treats early, your dog might not catch it, whereas, if you give it very slowly, you might give your dog the time to realize that there is something wrong with the treats.
Throw the next treat as soon as your dog catches the first one, he will quickly swallow the treat so that he can grab the other one coming.
Make sure that you choose smaller treats so that your dog can easily grab and swallow them in one go.
For better results, make sure that you choose only one type of treats.
4. Walk it Out
You would surely know what I am talking about, if you have ever noticed how distracted your dog is, when he is on his walk.
Your dog is distracted during his walk not because he is stupid. It is so because there are so many sights, smell and sounds present, that your dog is so excited that he just can’t focus on one thing.
Don’t you think that this is the perfect time for you to give your dog a pill?
Your dog is so busy with focusing on all the distractions, that he will not be suspicious if you give him a treat with his medicine inside it.
If you are giving your dog solid treats, then you must prepare them before you go for your walk. Whereas, if you are planning to serve the pill in either yogurt or peanut butter, you will not need to prepare it in advance. Because if you do so, the pill will start dissolving in the peanut butter, and it will reduce the effectiveness of your dog’s medicine.
But the most important thing is, that when to give your dog the treat!
Now this completely depends on your dog and your walking routine. You need to figure and give your dog a pill, when you think he is the most distracted.
All dogs are different, and they get distracted to different things. Thus, you need to observe your dog carefully, before giving him his pill.
5. The ‘Who Gets It’ Game
Competition works even in dogs! Although, this is little mean!
Want to know, how?
If you want to give your dog a pill, and he is not taking it, then you will need to bring in some competition.
If you have more than one dog, then you are all set. But if you do not have multiple dogs, then you will need to bring some company. Call your friend or a relative or your neighbors! Just, bring in some dogs!
What you have to do is, show all the dogs the treat and once all of them have their eyes on the treat, you can give them the treats.
However, the mean part is that you will feed all the other dogs treat except your own dog. This will make your dog extremely anxious. He will start thinking about why the other dogs are fed, and he is not.
This is when you take the advantage. Once he becomes anxious, you can give him the treat with the hidden pill in it. Without thinking much, he will immediately take the treat.
This is because your dog will think that the other dogs are enjoying their treats without any issues, so he will eat the treat without any doubts or questions.
This technique is very useful. If you have ever noticed, you would know that dogs generally eat faster when there are other dogs around. So, this time when you give your dog his treat, he will gallop the treat as soon as you give him.
This technique will not work only if you have a resource guarder!
But don’t worry.
There are many other techniques that you can choose from!
6. Crush the Fuss
Did your vet just give you a thumbs up for crushing your dog’s medicine?
Because administering a crushed medicine is much simpler than a solid pill!
Let’s see a step-wise guide on how you can feed your dog his crushed medicine!
Firstly, crush the medicine in to a fine powder. You can use a hammer to crush the medicine. Also, there are dedicated pill crusher available in the market. But, a hammer is just fine to crush your dog’s pill. There is no need to spend any extra dollars.
Now, that you have smashed the medicine, you can blend it with your dog food. As the powder is so fine that your dog will not be able to eat around it, no matter how much he tries.
You can also use an empty capsule to fill the powder inside it and then give it to your dog.
You can also go creative with this technique. You can use a creamed cheese, peanut butter or anything that is sticky or mushy.
Take a full spoon of the treat and mix the pill powder properly in it, such that your dog is not able to notice it. Your medicated paste is now ready.
Spread this paste on your dog’s front paws, and he will lick the entire paste, medicating himself.
7. The ‘Pill in the Pill’ Technique
Have you ever given your dog a piece of lemon to eat?
If not, try giving it and see his reactions!
Dogs hate anything that tastes sour or bitter. And I wonder why all dog pills are sour or bitter tasting! Huh…
Are they deliberately trying to give pet parents some trouble?
Anyways, I have a way out for all of us.
Yes! You read it right, a way out for all the sour tasting medicines.
You just need to buy an edible pill container. These gelatine capsules are hallow, so you can add any pil in it that you want. And the best thing is that, it does not have any sour taste or flavor.
Just open the capsule, put your dog’s medicine in it and press the two halves of the capsule back together.
That’s it. Now you have your ‘Pill in the pill’ ready.
3 Things to Keep in Mind Before Trying These Techniques!
Dogs are the smartest creature alive!
Dogs have the strongest senses of all!
Dogs hate Pills and Medicines!
Because of these 3 factors, playing a trick on your dog is very difficult. No matter, how smart you are, you can never be more smart than your dog.
A small mistake while deceiving your dog to take his pill, and all your efforts will go down the flush.
So, before you take this road, let me share with you 3 most important things, you need to keep in mind before trying out these techniques!
Let’s dive in to it!
Wash Your Hands Properly
Did You Know?
According to Science Daily, dogs have 10,000 times better sense of smell than humans!
Because of this, dogs can even smell odors that humans can not even identify or detect.
Now, you know why sniffer dogs are used by police force to track down the explosives and/or drugs.
Even if you do not have sniffer dogs, your dog will easily be able to sense any smell related to medicines. So, once you have spiked his food or treat with the pill, make sure you wash your hand properly with soap and water.
If you do not wash your hands, your dog will smell the pill. Once he smells the pill, he is clever enough to understand that you have hid the pill in either his treat or food.
And once that happens, your dog will not eat the food/treat, no matter what you do.
So be smart, before your dog befools you!
Open the Pill Jar Away From Your Pup
Remember, whenever you rattle your dog’s kibble container, he comes running to you?
This is because dogs have great association and recall. Dogs associate the sound of a kibble container with their meal time. It is a good association and recall for dogs.
In the same way, dogs also make bad associations.
For instance, the sight of you opening the pill jar or the sound of the pill packet. This time your dog will associate this sight or sound with his medicines that he hates the most. If you need to medicate your dog on a daily basis, this pattern will become more evedient.
In such cases, you need to be extra careful.
When your dog is able to associate such sound or sight, he will be extra careful before eating anything you serve him. Even if it is his favorite food or treat!
They will be suspicious and curious enough to find the pill, that you have hidden in his food.
Thus, you need to be super careful, when you are opening the pill container or packet. Do not make any sound, and try to do the job as quietly as possible.
When you do so, you are more likely to find success to give your dog a pill without much trouble.
Talk to Your Vet
Hey…. Hold On!
Before you try any of these above techniques, please speak to your vet.
All the medications are different, and all of them needs different administration.
Depending on the medicine your vet prescribed you, he will guide you which of these techniques can be used and which can not be used.
For instance, some medicines should not be crushed as it reduces its effectiveness. Medicine such as Keppra, should not be broken down into pieces.
Other medicines such as Amoxicillin and Clindamycin should never be crushed.
Thus, it is very important to speak to your vet so that you can properly give your dog a pill.
If you are lucky enough, you will not even need to try any of these techniques!
Want to know, how?
Then, continue reading the blog.
There are certain medicines that have flavored alternative available. Dogs will not even realize that it is a medicine, and he will eat it with all the fun. Carpofen and Fluoxetine are examples of medicines that have flavored options available.
Your vet might even be able to swap your current medicine with something that is easier to administer to your dog such as a liquid form or powdered form of the same medicine.
So, speaking to a vet might just solve your problem.
You never know!
So, just do it!
Which is the best way to give your dog a pill?
“Trick for Treat” is one of the most common and the best way to give your dog a pill which he hates. You can even try pill pockets. It is equally effective.
Dogs never say ‘NO’ to treats.
You can take advantage of this weakness of your dog.
Hide the pill inside your dog’s favorite flavored treat. Now, play with him and ask him to perform the tricks you taught him, and when he does the trick rightly, give him the treat that has hidden pills inside it.
Dogs love treats, especially when they think they have earned them. This is why he will eat the treat with so much happiness and pride that he will not even realize that you have made him eat his pill.
Why does my dog hate his pill?
Have you ever tried chewing a Disprin tablet?
Humans do not like medicines, especially the bitter ones. In the same way, dogs also do not like their pills because they taste very bad and bitter.
And when it comes to dogs, they are a greater smell and taste sense than humans. So, they can easily identify even a small change in the way their food tastes or smells.
Which is why, it is very difficult to beguile your dog when it comes to giving them their pills. For stubborn dog, it is almost impossible to give your dog a pill.
Can I crush my dogs pills?
Now, this one is really complicated.
Because the answer is both Yes and No!
Okay, let me simplify this one for you!
Firstly, no! Not all dog medicines can be crushed. So, before going down this way, talk to your vet and ask him whether you can crush that specific medicine or not!
After you get a thumbs up from your doctor, you can crush your dog’s medicine. But before you do that, let me tell you that if the medicine is too bitter, even if you mix the powdered medicine with his food, he will find out something is not right because of the bitterness. He will not eat the entire food.
Vets do not to crush all the medicines, because some medicines lose its efficiency and power. They are meant to be taken in the intact form.
Can I dissolve my dog’s pill in water?
Do not directly dissolve your dog’s pill in water. If you do so, it will be very difficult for you to make your dog the pill, especially the ones that are bitter.
Instead, what you can do is, hide the pill in a tasty flavored treat. Once your dog eats up the treat, you can use a needleless syringe or eyedropper to squire a pinch of water into the side of your dog’s mouth. Splashing sufficient amount of water, will help to wash your dog’s pill down the esophagus.
There is nothing wrong in dissolving your dog’s pill in the water, but it will only make your job more difficult.
Instead of shouting on your dog for not taking his medicine, choose the techniques I have shared in this article. Your life will become much easier, and your dog will also lead an extremely happy life! But, make sure you consult your vet before trying out these techniques.
Out of all these, my favorite is using pill pockets. Pill pockets can easily mask the smell of even the most bitter dog medicines and pills.
Want to share any of your secret tips that you used to give your dog a pill?
The comment section is all yours!
Please let me know how did you like my tricks and also share your favorite trick to give your dog a pill.
Good Luck Fooling Your Dog!
- Giving Pills to Dogs – VCA
- How To Give Your Dog A Pill: Step By Step Instructions + Photos – The Fun Times Guide
- How to Report Animal Drug and Device Side Effects and Product Problems – FDA
- Giving Oral Medications to Your Dog – College of Veterinary Medicine (WSA)
- A demonstration on proper technique by a veterinarian – Willard Veterinary