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How To Get a Dog to Take a Pill

Having trouble getting your dog to take a pill?

This seems to be a problem for most dog owners. How many times have you tried to hide a pill in some food only to have your dog, masterfully, eat the food and spit out the pill? Or try to trick your dog into enjoying a treat and they hide, because they know it’s a ruse?

This happens time and time again. So, what is the best way to get a dog to take a pill? That is the million dollar question.

How to get a dog to take a pill?

So we’ve been instructed by our veterinarian that our dog needs to take medication to guard against heart worms. Ok. No big deal. My dog needs some medication for her long term health. But, here is where the stress kicks in. I know my dog hates to take pills. So, in order to get my dog to take a pill I’ll have to do a magic act.

I could shove the pill into a piece of food, perhaps a hot dog. Easy enough to hide it in. That didn’t work! She spit it out. What next? Ok. I’ve got it. I’ll crush up the pill and mix it in peanut butter. And now she has suddenly disappeared and will have nothing to do with the peanut butter. Ugh! What next?

I’ll put it in her mouth and hold her muzzle until she has no choice but to swallow it. No. I hate the thought of that. And I don’t want to make her afraid of me.

A conversation with my vet.

Vet: “Have you tried pill pockets?”

Me: “I’ve never heard of them.”

Vet: “A lot of dogs love them. They’re basically a treat and they’re make it easy to put the pill into it. They’re made by Greenies. All the pets stores will have them.”

Me: “Mya seems to know we’re tricking her. She’ll probably spit it out.”

Vet: “Give it a try. They’re made with ingredients dogs are used to. Give her a little piece to try it. And
then give her the other piece with the pill in it.”

Me: “Ok. What do we have to lose?”

Vet: “Good luck!

UNBELIEVABLE!

We are very conscious about giving Mya “human food” and like most dogs, if given the choice, that is all  she would eat. (Especially bacon and steak.) I have tried giving her pills with those foods. Somehow she is able to spit the pill out or she’ll apprehensively eat it if the pill is crushed and mixed in. Even though crushing the pill and mixing it in food usually works. It’s a pain  and I’d rather not do it.

So we tried the Pill Pockets. We started by giving her a little piece. “Mya, want a treat?” (Of course she did.) Now for the moment of truth…My wife inserted the pill into the Pill Pocket and without hesitation Mya took the “treat.”

The Moment of Truth…

No Stress!

As you can see. Mya was eager to eat the pill pocket. And guess what! There was no pill spit out onto the ground. Pill taken, without force, or a trick. It really couldn’t have gone any easier.

I know this may sound like an infomercial about Greenies Pill Pockets. But, I’m just trying to let you know there are alternatives out there to help you give your dog their medication. This is a product that really works for us.

What works for you? Drop a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Tails,

Shane

 

 

Shane Clement

18 Comments

  1. Shane, I’ve never heard of these before! I’ve had my dog for a little over 10 years now… and he’s the same way! He has a skin allergy so every so often the vet has advised me to give him a Benadryl pill. Easier said than done! I’ll definitely try these the next time. I love how accessible they are. Thanks for the info!

    • Courtney,
      Mya has to take some seasonal allergy pills also. We really couldn’t believe how well these worked. Good luck, Shane

  2. What a good idea; I guess you could use any treat which would allow you make a hole and insert the pill. We will try this next time.

    • Thanks John, You would think any treat would work. The trick is trying to find the right one.

    • Michael,
      I honestly have to say I don’t know. If not, I would not be surprised if there is a similar product available. Make sure to check your local pet supply store.

      Thanks for the comment.
      -Shane

  3. I hate having to give our animals pills. This certainly sounds like a great alternative I will have to try! Thanks for sharing!

  4. In recent days I have been reviewing several dog sites to decide what breed to buy and what care I should have with them. One of my concerns is allergies. What kind of breed do you recommend for a small house with a small backyard?
    Thanks !!

    • Jairo,
      From personal experience I would say Bichon Frise and Yorkie. Both are small, white furred lap dogs. They have different types of fur but are hypoallergenic. Also Shih Tzu would be a good option as well.
      Good luck in your search. I’d be interested in hearing what you decided on.
      -Shane

  5. Such a brilliant way! I never heard of this product! I am gonna get one right now! My dog always left the pills untouched in his food.. now I have a new way to fix it.. Thanks Shane! You rocks!

    • You’re welcome Jay! I hope it works as well for you as it did us.
      Good luck, Shane

  6. Great post Shane. Even though I don’t have a dog I know people that do and I will be sharing this post to them as I know they have had problems with this before.

    Thanks again.

    • Harjit,
      Thanks for commenting. I hope this helps your friends.
      -Shane

  7. Very nice informative post. Nice and useful product also. Great help for all the dog lovers.

    • Chappy,
      I hope it works for you as well as it did for us.
      Good luck, Shane

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