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Tips for Giving Pet Medications – Hiding Pills in Dog Food

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

Giving a pet medication can be difficult! Learn how to give pills to a dog! (Adam Ciesielski Photo)

With five dogs and seven cats — all special needs animals — I give out many pet medications on a daily basis. Over the years, I’ve developed many great tricks for giving pills to a dog or cat. These tips for giving pet medications will definitely come in handy!

Hiding Pet Medication in Dog Food or Dog Treats – Don’t do it!

Never, ever give a dog medication by trying to hide the pill in dog food or dog treats that the pet eats on a regular basis. Dogs have a very acute sense of smell. In short, he’ll smell the pill from a mile away. The dog will be accustomed to the normal smell of his dog food or treat; he’ll detect the difference right away.

In addition, if you try to give a dog a pill in his dog food, you risk the dog forming an aversion. It’s a form of conditioning. If the dog has a bad experience while eating his dog food (i.e. biting into a pill – ever chewed a pill? It’s awful. And if you’re not expecting it, biting into a pill would be like encountering an olive pit in a jar of “pitted” olives – quite startling! )


In short, the dog will associate that negative experience with the dog food. And it only takes one negative experience for a dog to form an aversion. The end result? A dog refusing to eat dog food.

Related Articles on Pet Medication

Dog owners may also enjoy learning tips for giving a pill to a dog. To learn more, read The Sick Dog Blog’s article titled Pet Medication – How Do I Get My Dog to Eat a Pill?

Cat owners may also want to read How Do I Give a Pill to a Cat?

When trying to give a pill to a dog or cat, a pill shooter, also known as a pill gun, can be really helpful. To learn more about how to use a pill shooter and why they’re helpful for medicating a pet, read What is a Pill Shooter or Pill Gun?

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