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Giving Pills to Dogs

Category Health
Dogs may need medication for various reasons, but most dogs hate to take pills. Getting them to not spit out their pills can require some creativity. This is a guide about giving pills to dogs.


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10 found this helpful
September 7, 2011

One of my dogs suffers allergies during the warmer months due to pollen and pine needles. After being checked over by our vet, I was advised to give Rosie 2 Benadryl a day. As soon as I find a way to sneak it to her with food she figures it out and has learned to spit it out and then she runs off because she knows I'm going to give it to her anyway.

I've tried several different ways and accidentally figured out a way to give Rosie her pills without her knowing it. I have no idea why, but it seems I come up with my best ideas when I'm totally exhausted, late at night. I was putting the dishes away and caught a sideways glance of a mixing beater. I cut up a hot dog into 4 pieces and inserted the beater into the hot dog piece and it made a very snug hole in which I inserted a Benadryl. The pill fit perfectly and did not fall out and Rosie swallowed it without even tasting it. In the past I had been slicing the hot dogs to put the pills in, but they always fell out.


Sometimes I even surprise myself with what I come up with and I thought this was well worth sharing with all the dog people who enjoy and learn from ThriftyFun.

By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL

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January 20, 20160 found this helpful

I see you are using the Walgreens capsules. I had problems with my dog spitting these out. Then I bought the Walgreens coated mini tabs. They are the same ingredients, half the size and harder to spit out. I even found an easier, quicker way to administer. My husband holds the dogs mouth open and the head back. I drop the pill down the throat, my husband lets go and the dog swallows. Give it a try.

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5 found this helpful
March 6, 2012

Dogs have always been a part of my life. Having pets means that it's likely you will have to give them a pill sometime throughout their lifetime. Generally, the dogs I've had have been pretty cooperative when I give them a pill. I've had a few dogs that I needed to hide the pill in peanut butter or cheese to get them to take it.

However, I have one dog now who is the most difficult "pill-taker" I've ever had. She is very suspicious of anything that is a little different such as peanut butter. She even suspects there's a pill in a piece of hamburger or chicken if I try to sneak the pill into something like that. Although I'm sure there are those who will disagree with the method I have found most successful (not 100% but close) in giving this dog her pill, I'm sharing this tip in hopes of helping someone who may find themselves frustrated at medicine time.

I make three balls out of 1/2 teaspoon of canned cat food each. I hide the pill in one ball. Then I feed the cat food balls, one at a time, to my dog. She always examines the first one so I never put the pill there. I vary whether it goes in the 2nd or 3rd ball of food. She only gets this pill every other day so ultimately she is not consuming very much cat food.

By VeronicaHB

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March 10, 20120 found this helpful

This sounds like a good idea if it will work. My dog had to have an antibiotic a few months ago and I ended up having to take him to the vet to have it done. Evidently he could smell the pill and I even tried putting it in a piece of steak and he still would not eat it. Another time and a different pill and he ate it. I'll try Veronica's method though next time I have to give him a pill. A dachshund I had years ago all I had to do was open her mouth put the pill down her through and hold her mouth shut. My male dog now bites when I try that.

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5 found this helpful
March 22, 2010

I mix my dog's pills in cream cheese and haven't had him spit it out once. I know for a fact that this works really well.


3 found this helpful
July 6, 2011

To give my dog medicine, I dip a spoon into the peanut butter and lay the pills on the sticky peanut butter which my dog then devours. The pills go right down and it's funny to watch her licking her lips!


2 found this helpful
April 17, 2011

For dogs who need Cosequin (or other dry medications) but spit the pills out, take a small piece of regular cheese and cover it with 'squirt cheese'. Next, grind up the pills into a powder and sprinkle it so it sticks to the squirt cheese.


0 found this helpful
April 15, 2013

My vet told me to start giving my dogs regular pumpkin for the fiber. I give it to them in the evening meal. At the same time, I give medications. Some of the medications I have to get very tricky with to get them to take it.


2 found this helpful
March 3, 2011

Wrap pills in the sandwich cheese slices to get your dog to take them easily. Mash the cheese around the pill and form a small ball. Mine gulp it down and don't even realize they just took a pill.


0 found this helpful
June 27, 2011

When I give medicine to any of my dogs, I crush them in a bowl and spread them on the food. Then, I put a small dollop of any pure meat (beef, chicken, etc.) in the bowl with about a teaspoonful of warm water.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 2, 20120 found this helpful

We have a Yorkie that's 1 yr 7 months old. The vet found that Bella has a abnormal liver problem and now she has to take Denamarin everyday. She has been put on a vegetarian diet and cannot have any protein.

Before we realized that she could not have protein at all we were wrapping her pill in cheese and that worked great. Now we have tried putting it in bread and she spits that out. I have put it at the back of her throat and rubbed her throat area with her mouth closed and that worked a few times. She has caught on and gets very upset and has growled at me and tried to bite. I don't want her going thru this everyday and I don't want to either. Is there some other item I could put it in without spending more money. Her food is not cheap and has to be purchased at the vet's office.

By Tammy

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April 3, 20120 found this helpful

I also had to give my doxie Denamarin for a liver problem. I used the chewable, which I broke in half (so one bottle of 30 pills lasted 2 months), according to her weight. Up to 6 lbs -1/4 tablet. 7 to 15 lbs. -1/2 tablet. 16 to 30 lbs. -1 tablet. It's chewable liver flavor so that might be the solution to your problem. My picky dog didn't like the taste so I got Pill Pockets and she liked those.

Of course that would cost you more money for the Pill Pockets but I believe the Denamarin added years to my dogs' life so it was worth it to me. She left us last year at age 17. Good luck!

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April 4, 20120 found this helpful

My husband and I have used whipped cream to give our cocker spaniel his pills for years. Just put the pill on your finger, put a dab of whipped cream large enough to cover the pill, with a little extra on top to make it hard for them to spit it out. Don't let them lick it off your finger, just slide it into the back of their mouths. You don't even have to open their mouth with your other hand (hopefully). Works every time!

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February 17, 20140 found this helpful

I have a 4 year old chihuahua/corgi mix with a seizure disorder. He has to take a 100 mg pill twice a day. Peanut butter was making him gain weight, so I switched to instant mashed potatoes. I don't know if it has too much protein for your dog, but it's worth a look. Just nuke about 1-1 1/2 Tbsp of water in a small bowl for about 15 seconds. Add just enough potato flakes so that it absorbs dry within about 5 seconds and stir really well. I use the handle of the spoon. It molds like a play dough and makes a cheap, easy pill pocket substitute.

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April 15, 20110 found this helpful

My chihuahua hates to take pills and I was afraid to hurt her by placing the pill down her throat. I put the pill in a pill cutter and pulverize it to a powder. I then pour the powder over some cottage cheese and stir in. She eats and never knows. I am happy not having to be the "bad guy".

By Janette from WV


Giving Pills to Dogs

Some pills are meant to be taken whole. Have you checked to make sure this is an OK way. I put smooth peanut butter on my dogs and mix it with his food, but he is much bigger that Westie and he eats like a horse. (11/19/2010)

By Judy

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March 2, 20110 found this helpful

Our dogs don't like to take pills. We had to come up with a plan to help them out. We take a small bit of bread, place the pill in the center of the bread, and press with our fingers around the pill. Next, we cover the bread with a blob of peanut butter and give it to our dogs. They love peanut butter, so there is never a time this has failed. Place the peanut butter covered bread in your dog's dish or on a plate.

Note: We have tried this without the bread and our dogs only lick the peanut butter off and leave the pill.

By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO


Giving Dogs Pills

Thanks for the tip but we tried that and my Corgi outsmarted me and left the pill. (11/16/2010)

By K9cats

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

Giving Pills to Dogs

How can I get my dog (a 9 year old Westie) to take her pills? I have tried hiding it in every food possible. She always eats the food and dumps the pill on the floor. I have tried steak, hot dogs, cheeses, strong-smelling foods, etc. No luck. She is too smart. Help, please.

She has to take 1 antibiotic (had ACL surgery), 1 pain pill, and 1 allergy pill. We have run out of ideas. Thanks for any help you can provide.

By Candace from Scottsdale, AZ


Giving Pills to Dogs

I give my dog pills by opening her mouth and putting them at the back of her tongue. I then give her a treat. She comes over to me at night after I take my meds and sit and waits for me to give her hers. (01/31/2010)

By LorettaEbony

Giving Pills to Dogs

I use peanut butter mixed with uncooked oatmeal. I crush the pill first, then mix in the powder, and roll the mixture into a ball. My dog loves these. (01/31/2010)

By kidbiz48

Giving Pills to Dogs

My dog takes 2 pills every day. I order deli meat sliced very thin (ham, bologna, even turkey). I cut a slice in half and wrap it around a pill and feed it to her, holding her chin up so she swallows it. If her head points down sometimes she spits the pill out. This way one slice works for 2 pills and she loves it. No trouble giving her pills this way. Give it a try. The thin slices make it easier to form around the pill. (01/31/2010)

By OliveOyl

Giving Pills to Dogs

Get your vet to show you how to pill the dog. We always just open the mouth and pop the pill in and then clamp the mouth shut. If you're right handed, use the left hand over the head and grasp the muzzle. Lift open the mouth with your fingers (thumb and middle finger) sort of pressing into the area between the back teeth.

Press and lift. Quickly, with the right drop the pill in (may use an eraser of a pencil to push it down just a little. Quickly clamp the mouth shut and with the right hand rub the throat in downward movement until the dog swallows. Then lavish the hugs and praises as if they had done a wonderful thing. It's easier than it sounds. (01/31/2010)

By Glenn'sMom

Giving Pills to Dogs

They do have things called "pill pockets." They come in small, medium and large. You just push the pill in and smash the end closed. They are liver flavored. Most dogs love them. If I have to give medication to one dog and not the other, I'll just give the one an "empty" pill pocket. Petsmart and Petco sell these. (02/01/2010)

By Artlady

Giving Pills to Dogs

Mine never fail to swallow if the pill is in a lump of butter. (02/01/2010)

By muttmom

Giving Pills to Dogs

Betty, I don't know a lot about dogs (I have cats, which are usually worse than dogs when it comes to medication). Have you tried Pill Pockets? I checked, and I know they make them for dogs. You place the pill inside of the Pill Pocket which is made of something tasty for the animal, pinch it closed and feed it to them like a treat. I've had some good luck with those. I have also crushed the pills, put the powder in a syringe, mixed in some water or broth, then squeeze into their mouth (this requires 2 people with a cat, not sure about a dog). Check on the Pill Pockets; he'll be fooled into thinking he's getting a treat. Good Luck! (02/01/2010)

By charlaew

Giving Pills to Dogs

We put the pill in a dab of smooth peanut butter or cream cheese and put it on a plate. My daughter was told to stick it on the roof of the dog's mouth (60+ pound dog). Both methods work with Mr. Picky. (02/01/2010)

By cookwie

Giving Pills to Dogs

The best way I have ever given any pet a pill is to grind it up, either with a mortar and pestle or just use the back of a spoon. Then mix it in something they really like, even canned food. They can't spit it out that way and aren't as likely to taste it if it is in something very flavorful. (02/02/2010)

By Beth

Giving Pills to Dogs

The best way to give medication to your baby who wont swallow or eat them in food is to take all the pills you need to give him put them in a coffee cup let your water in faucet run until its very hot and add about 5 tablespoons of that hot water to the pills and let dissolve. Then take a large animal syringe when water has cooled and suck up medication water then add cold water to this where syringe is full, hold finger over hole and shake then hold your pets mouth open and quickly push the plunger, this should work and be a lot easier on you. Deby (02/02/2010)


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November 14, 20100 found this helpful

Tips for giving dogs their medication. Post your ideas.


January 30, 20100 found this helpful

Giving Pills to Dogs. My Jack Russell has been given amoxicillin 250mg capsules that he must take twice a day.

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