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What is a Pill Shooter or Pet Pill Gun?

December 25, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Cat Health and Cat Care, Cat Medications, General Dog Health, Pet Medications, Pet Pill Shooters, Pet Products

Creative Pet Products Bullseye Pill Gun for Pets, available for $7.99 at PetSmart. (Click to Learn More or Purchase)

Pill shooters, also known as a pet pill guns, are very helpful when it comes to giving pet medication to a dog or cat. Wondering “What is a pill gun?” or “How do you use a pill shooter?”

What Is a Pet Pill Shooter or Pill Gun?

A pill gun is a plastic syringe, with a pill holder located in the tip. You can use the pill shooter to give pet vitamins or pet medications in pill or capsule form.

It’s a great tool for pets who don’t want to take their medication! Using a pill gun, you’ll avoid sticking your hand in the dog’s or cat’s mouth, so it’s less intrusive for the animal  (thereby making the pet medicating process less unpleasant for the cat or dog.)


Using a pill gun will also reduce your chances of sustaining a dog bite or cat bite, since you’re not sticking your fingers inside the pet’s mouth. Accidental cat and dog bites are fairly common as an owner is trying to give a pill, since the pet is more apt to snap his jaws closed in an attempt to avoid the medication.

How to Use a Pill Gun to Give a Pill to a Dog or Cat

Use a pill shooter to give a pill to a dog or cat by following these steps:

  1. Withdraw the plunger and place the pill in the tip of the pill shooter.
  2. Grasp the dog’s/cat’s jaw, with your fingers at the corners of the mouth. Apply a slight bit of pressure; this will cause the dog/cat to open his mouth.
  3. Place the pill shooter in the pet’s mouth, with the tip pointed at the back of the mouth/throat and depress the plunger to release the pill.
  4. Immediately close the dog’s/cat’s mouth and gently pet from the chin to the neck to promote swallowing.
  5. Give the cat/dog a treat as a reward.  Offering a pet treat will make the pet associate the medicating experience with something positive, thereby making the pet less resistant to taking pills in the future.

Pictured: Creative Pet Products Bullseye Pill Gun for Pets, available for $7.99 at PetSmart. (Click Image to Learn More or Purchase)

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

December 24, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Cat Health and Cat Care, Cat Medications, Pet Medications, Pet Pill Shooters, Pet Products

Trying to give a pill to a cat? If you're not using a pet pill shooter or hiding the cat's pill in a treat, you might get a look from kitty that says "I'm NOT impressed!" (Ilker Photo)

Sure, it’s The Sick Dog Blog, but I’m sure many dog owners also have a cat or two (or seven). So let’s look at some ways to give pills to a cat.

Giving a pill to a cat is often more difficult – many cats are not really “food oriented” so it can make hiding pills in food difficult. And cats tend to scratch and swipe (Tip: Avoid cat scratches when giving a pill to a cat by wearing a winter coat or bathrobe. It will protect your arms from cat scratches and swipes. Hopefully, it won’t come to this. But when it’s a matter of the cat’s health, sometimes, there is no other option but to give a cat a pill against his will.)

Hiding Pet Medications in Food – Giving Medication to a Cat Using Foods

This method will work for some cats and not others. Some cats are really enthusiastic about “people food” while others prefer cat food.

One option for giving medicine to a cat: Hide the cat’s pill in a bit of tuna or Salmon lox.

If a cat won’t eat, lox is an especially good option. With Salmon lox, you can make a small ball, hide the pill inside, then stick it onto the roof of the cat’s mouth, right behind his front teeth. The cat will instinctively lick the lox off the roof of his mouth, ingesting the pill in the process. You can also try this with cream cheese, or — if all else fails — peanut butter. Cream cheese and peanut butter are great options when you need to give a pill to a dog.

How to Get a Cat to Take Medication – Pet Pill Shooters

Pet pill shooters, also known as pill guns, are another fairly easy way to get cats to take medicines, especially since many cats won’t eat cream cheese or peanut butter. For cats who won’t take pills using the method described above, a cat pill shooter is a great solution and it’s much better than wrestling a cat in an attempt to stick cream cheese on the roof of his mouth!

Pill shooters are also great for cats (and dogs) since they’re smaller than your hand and therefore, they’re a much less intrusive way to give out pet medication.

You can get a pill shooter for a cat at your veterinary clinic or at most pet supply stores like Petco or PetSmart. There are also a wide array of pet pill shooters available online for just a few dollars!

To learn more about pill shooters, also known as pet pill guns, and how to use them, read What is a Pill Gun or Pill Shooter?

Related Articles on Pet Medication

When giving medication to a cat, be sure to avoid one of the worst possible mistakes – never hide a pill in cat food! To learn why you should never try to hide a pill in pet food, read Tips for Giving Pet Medication – Hiding Pills in Dog Food (it’s written for dogs, but the same principles also apply for cats!)

Dog owners may be interested to read Pet Medication – How Do I Give a Pill to a Dog?

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