Food Is Your Friend
Wait until your dog is hungry. You can put a pill or liquid medication in their food or water, unless the instructions on the medication indicate otherwise. Use a food that is soft and will form easily around the pill, disguising it. It usually isn’t a good idea to just mix the pill in with his regular food. This will cause you to waste his food and the pill at the same time. Some great examples include peanut butter, cream cheese, or a hot dog cube. Whichever one you choose, gather 3 samples of it. Begin by giving your dog some of the food that doesn’t have the pill in it, to avoid him from becoming suspicious. Let him see two larger pieces of the food are coming next. Now you have the opportunity to sneak in the food with the pill in it. After he eats it, be sure to give him plenty of praise.
Using a Pill Dropper
If hiding a pill in his food doesn’t work, you may want to try using a pill dropper. This is a small device that resembles a syringe and is designed to drop a pill into the dog’s mouth. Just be careful how you use it because the dog can gag if you are not careful. To use a pill dropper, tilt the dog’s head back gently and guide the dropper into the mouth. Drop the pill and then give his neck a massage to help it go down.
Although it certainly sounds easy just to squirt a dropper full of medication into the dog’s water supply, there is no guarantee that your dog is going to drink it. You likely will just end up wasting the medicine. What you can do is begin by sliding the corner of your dog’s lips back and placing the dropper into the cheek pouch. Release the medication slowly, so that your pet will swallow it naturally. Staying relaxed during the process will help. After your task is accomplished, give your dog extra praise.
- Try tossing some good-smelling treats in the air to your dog. Did the third treat you tossed into the air contain the pill? Excellent.
- Ask your veterinarian about flavored medications.
- Make a coating on the pill that is just thick enough to disguise it. This is better so that the dog will just be encouraged to swallow it instead of chewing.
- There are products on the market that are specifically designed to hide a pill. They aren’t cheap, but if your dog has to take a lot of pills they may be worth the price.
- Make sure your voice and body language stay calm and relaxed.
- Give your dog a reward when the job is done, such as playtime or a nice walk.