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Pet Medication – How Do I Give a Pill to a Dog?

December 24, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, General Dog Health, Pet Medications

Learn a trick for how to give pills to a dog! Make pet medication time easy! (Maria Kaloudi Photo)

Wondering how to get your dog to take a pill? Giving a dog medication can be a struggle that’s traumatic for both dog and owner. So many pet owners go through unnecessary hassle, trying to pry a dog’s jaws open (good luck with that) then, they’ll stick a hand inside the dog’s mouth in an attempt to toss the pill down the dog’s throat.

Many dog owners end up having to repeat the process when the dog spits out the pill. Then you’re left trying to repeat the process with an agitated dog and a disintegrating, sticky pill. Some even end up with an accidental dog bite, when their hand is in the wrong place at the wrong time, all while the dog is trying to snap his jaws closed in an attempt to avoid the pill.

So instead of wrangling your dog, try this simple trick to giving a dog pills.

Getting a Dog to Take a Pill – Cream Cheese and Peanut Butter

This method for getting a dog to take medicine in pill form is really easy. Place the pill in a dollop of peanut butter or cream cheese. Then, offer it to the dog – this is, hands down, the easiest way to give a pill to a dog.

This method also works if a dog won’t eat. If a dog is really sick, he won’t eat the peanut butter or cream cheese voluntarily. This is where the sticky nature of these foods comes in handy.

For a dog who won’t eat, smear the pet medication-laden cream cheese or peanut butter onto the roof of the dog’s mouth, right behind his front teeth. The dog will lick the peanut butter/cream cheese off the roof of his mouth, ingesting the pill in the process.

Giving Pets Medication in Cheese and Hot Dogs

If you don’t have cream cheese or peanut butter on-hand, you can try cheese or hot dogs. To give a pill to a dog using cheese, warm a bit of cheese in the microwave for 10 seconds – just enough to soften the cheese. Then, squash the cheese into a ball and insert the pill. Then, give the dog the cheese containing the pet medication.

You can also use hot dog bits. Cook a hot dog and cut a piece that’s a bit longer than the pill. Stick the pill into the center of the hot dog and serve.

Unfortunately, giving a dog a pill with cheese or hot dog bits only works if the dog is interested in eating. If a really sick dog won’t eat, there’s a good chance he won’t go for the cheese or hot dog bits. In that case, you’ll need to opt for peanut butter or cream cheese.

Related Articles on Pet Medication

Dog owners may also enjoy learning about why you should avoid giving dogs medication by hiding pills in dog food. To learn more, read The Sick Dog Blog’s article titled Tips for Giving Pet Medications – Hiding Pills in Food.

Another helpful tool can be a pet pill shooter or pill gun. To learn more about how a pill shooter works and why it’s helpful for giving medication to a dog or cat, read What is a Pill Shooter or Pill Gun?

Do you also own a cat? Cat owners may enjoy learning Methods for Giving a Pill to a Cat.

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2 Comments to “Pet Medication – How Do I Give a Pill to a Dog?”

  1. admin

    Hi Sheryl.

    I’m sorry to hear that Gus is unwell. ;-(

    I’ve transferred your question to The Sick Dog Blog’s forum so our other readers can share tips as well!

    You can find my reply here:

    I’ve also written a couple of articles based on your question.
    How to Give Pet Medication to a Dog Who Bites:

    How to Give Pills to a Dog Who Struggles:

    I hope Gus is feeling better soon!
    -Mia Carter
    Owner, The Sick Dog Blog

  2. gusand coconut

    Gus, my 7-year old Maltese, had surgery on Thurday to remove a foreign
    object from his small intestines (still not sure what it was – possibly a sock). I brought him home from the hospital today with 5 different medications for him to take over the next 10 days (pill form). Problem is that he is very agressive when you try to force him to do something he does not want to do, such as take a pill. I have tried everything and he either spits it out
    or won’t touch it. My husband even put on welding gloves and tried to hold
    his mouth open but Gus became very agitated so we stopped. He has several stitches in his belly and we were afraid the incision would open.
    Not sure what to do. I know he must have his medication, especially the antibiotics. The only thing I haven’t tried is the hot dogs and I will try that tomorrow. Any other suggestions?


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