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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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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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