Dogs and cats both may need medication at some point in their lives for any number of reasons. They may need protection against disease, or need treatment for an itch, infection, virus, allergies, etc. It’s not uncommon, though, for the nasty-tasting pill to be hard to swallow. If you’re wondering how to give your pet medicine, there are at least seven ways to do it.
1. Conceal in Tasty Food
The most common way to try out is concealment in wet, tasty food. Strong-smelling food will help mask the unpleasant taste and smell of the medicine. If your pet has a favorite wet food, hide the pill in there for the most favorable outcome. Be watchful, though, that your pet isn’t dropping the pill onto the floor while eating the rest of it.
2. Conceal in Capsule
Another way to mask the pill’s taste and smell is to insert it into an empty gel capsule. You can find these empty capsules online. Your vet may also be able to advise one brand over another. When your cat or dog swallows it, it’ll miss out on that nasty medicine taste altogether.
If you have multiple pets who are not overly food-aggressive, some friendly competition can help the medicine go down. Eating alongside its peers, your dog or cat will more readily eat the medicine-hiding treat than not.
4. Games and Snacks
For canines, a playful game of “catch the treat” can make medicine-time fun. With the pill hidden inside, your pet may be too distracted with the game to notice the pill. Another way is to feed your pet three treats; the second one conceals the medicine, but the other two are normal. Including the medicinal one with regular snacks can help make it less noticeable.
5. On the Paws
This method works well especially if your pet is taking a powder or liquid medicine. To get it down fast, mix the medicine with your pet’s favorite treat and place it on its front paws. Peanut butter is one popular choice. Cats especially do not like their paws to get dirty, so they will often lick it up right away.
6. Alternative Means
Some medications are available in flavored chew tablets or liquid form. Just as humans prefer gummy vitamins to powdery pills, so your pet might appreciate the upgrade. Injections are also becoming more common, and require your vet for administration.
7. The Veterinary Way
If all disguises fail, you can still administer it the veterinary way, a frontal approach. Take hold of your cat or dog, wrapping it in a towel if necessary. Squeeze open the jaws on either side, insert the pill at the back of the throat, and close the mouth. As you hold the jaw closed, massage the throat or blow air on the face. If need be, you can use a pill-gun. As always, the vets at Everhart Veterinary Medicine in Baltimore and Pasadena are happy to help!
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At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!