Tips For Giving a Dog a Pill

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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

hand holding a pill in front of a dog

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March 9, 20120 found this helpful

This is a very clever idea! It just goes to show you how smart our pets can be! They often challenge us to think one step ahead of them. There's no harm in letting your dog have a little bit of cat food as a treat & I learned years ago that dogs will try to steal food from the cats anyway. It really is a treat to them!

March 10, 20120 found this helpful

My dog is the same way. I used to cut a turkey hot dog in chunks and push the pill into the center of one of the chunks....he never knew which chunk it was going to be. Until, it fell out one time. So, now that won't work. Now, what I do is I get a ritz cracker, put the pill in the center of it and squeeze cheese on top of it.


It holds it in place and with the crunchiness of the cracker that he has to chew he doesn't know it' there. He has allergies so I have to give him allergy pills daily. This has been working now for 4 months.


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March 10, 20120 found this helpful

I've found that if I don't use the same "hider" every time it works much better. Also, I give my dogs the "hider" treat once in a while without the pill. This way they don't learn to associate that particular treat with getting a pill (one of my dogs will actually eat the treat sometimes and spit the pill out).


But by giving it to them without the pill sometimes (not often, just maybe once a month or so) it keeps the treat exciting for them. Also by switching out what "hider" I use (hot dog, cheese, peanut butter, "people" meat, or even a small amount of leftovers from a plate - that's an extra extra special treat for them) they tend to concentrate more on the treat than on the pill.
If it's a larger size pill (I have small dogs) I put it in my pill splitter till it gets small enough to disguise. Then of course I wash the splitter thoroughly with hot soapy water.


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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.

October 10, 20160 found this helpful

I have a toy poodle who is very hyper, so I would give him half of a pill the vet prescribed to keep him calmer when we traveled on long trips. I found that by crushing it up and putting it between a tiny peanut butter sandwich, he would eat it. If I didn't crush it up, he would spit it back out.

October 8, 20170 found this helpful

The vet has a pill plunger you can ask for. I just take the pill and place it inside my dogs mouth to the back of his or her throat and rub gentle the throat area on the outside to get them to swallow. I have place peanut butter around the pills also.


I find if you wet the spoon first then put peanut butter on it and place pill in the center then wet your fingers the peanut butter folds over the pills easy and come off the spoon easy. I hope this helps.

October 8, 20170 found this helpful

Had the same problem with our little guy, very hard to get him to take a pill. Any way my VET recommended that I put the tablet into a marsh mellow. Our little guy has allergies and he told me that marsh mellows have No allergens so now I just poke the pill into the marsh mellow. (Of course I have to have one first so he knows it's OK ) Now I have no problem giving him his pills.


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