If your vet has prescribed your dog some types of pills, it’s certainly for their benefit. However, it can be very frustrating to see your pets suffering from pain but refuse to take medicines. So, how to help dogs take pills? Here are a few ways to make it less of a struggle.
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Winning tips and tricks to give your dog a pill
Open the pill bottle away from your pet
Have you ever noticed that when you open and rattle the food packs, your dog will run towards the tray excitedly? This is because he associates the sound of the pack with mealtime. While it’s quite a good habit, your pooch can also make a bad association with pill taking. Specifically, the sight and sound of you popping the foil or opening the bottle will make him refer to his much-hated medicines.
The pattern might become worse. Your pet could hold suspicious attitudes towards anything that follows and try to find out the place of the pills. Pooches who hate pill-taking may even run and hide if they hear the sound of the pill container. By preparing the pill away from your dog, you will be much more likely to succeed in giving him medicines.
Also, make sure to wash your hands carefully to get rid of the pill’s scent. Otherwise, your pup’s sensitive snout can smell the pill on your hands and refuse to take it.
How to help dogs take pills: “Mouth” technique
Before jumping right in any of our sneaky tricks, it’s a good practice to try the most basic way – the mouth technique. It is a win-win bet as it’s like a training approach to your dog. And if it is successful, he will get disciplined for the next time and you don’t have to give much thought about how to give him medicine.
First, get your pet dog to sit upright, tilt his head slightly back and open the jaw gently. Now, place the pill far back on his tongue and close up his mouth. Next, keep one hand over the mouth while gently yet quickly stroking his throat with the other. This action will encourage your furry friend to swallow the pill up. Now, if your pet has managed to finish the whole process, reward them with a treat and/or praise.
Do not attempt this technique if you cannot take full control of the situation. In some cases, the pill can cause damage to your pet’s tongue, so be careful in the whole process. If your dog spits it out immediately, it’s time to try the below techniques.
Mix or hide the pill with/in your dog’s meal
Okay, obviously, so this is a no-brainer. It works great for some canines and certain pills. For example, you can put some medicines in your pet’s canned foods, peanut butter, cheese or even hide them in animal skins, sausages, or cooked meat. The success of this approach relies on your ability to sneak the pill inside the treat. If your dog sniffs or tastes the medicine inside the food, he will absolutely reject it. Typically, the smellier and tastier the food is, the more likely your dog will be to take the pill.
“Still, My dog won’t take pills?” If your dog is smart enough to eat around and leave the medicine behind, crushing the pill could also a decent choice.
Just remember that the food you choose must be friendly to dogs. Check the ingredients first and verify that it does not contain any doggy no-nos. Also, you need to monitor the whole feeding process. Give them separate bowls if you have multiple pooches living under the same roof. This will help the sick pet get his right medicine.
How to help dogs take pills: Have fun with them
Another tip on how to help dogs take pills is to have some fun with them. To do this, you can organize some effortless gameplay and reward them with treats. After 4 or 5 rounds, switch the treat for the medication. The key is to do the switch quickly and create a comfortable playing environment in which the dog totally enjoys.
Work with a veterinarian
If none of the above tips and tricks are working, and medication time is proving to be a stressful process, reach out to your vet for specialized assistance. They will give you practical tips that will make the pill-taking proceed more smoothly.
On a related note, you could ask them if it may be possible to change the prescription. For example, some medications are available in more than one form. If your dog doesn’t like taking liquid medicine, medication in tablet, liquid, or capsule form might be of much help.