Medicating a Difficult Dog?

Happy dog

Medications can often be difficult to give to your pet, especially pills. For stubborn or sneaky pets, the ol' "hide it in food" trick isn't always effective as they'll simply spit them out.

It is important that your pet receives all of their medications prescribed by the vet in accordance with its labeling. Below we have provided some helpful hints, tips and step-by-step instructions on administering tablets and oral solutions to your pet.

Helpful Hints

  • Always read the label instructions carefully
  • Check the label or ask veterinary staff as to if the medication needs to be given with food or on an empty stomach. If it can be given with food, try and place the tablet within a piece of meat or a small amount of wet food.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help
  • Avoid slippery surfaces when medicating large dogs on the floor, as they could cause injury to you or themself
  • Stay calm and speak in a positive and friendly manner whilst administering medications. Your pet can sense if you are nervous or upset, and will often mirror the behaviour making it difficult to apply the treatment.

Always praise or treat your dog with a treat after giving their medication when possible. This associates a positive reward with the experience, and they will be more likely to tolerate their next dose when expecting a nice reward at the end!

Medicating your Dog - Oral Pills

Step 1

  • Place the pill between thumb and index finger of one hand
  • Firmly grasp their upper jaw with the thumb and index finger of your other hand

Step 2

  • Gently fold their upper lip over the teeth as you open their mouth. This will reduce the chance of being bitten

Step 3

  • Rotate your wrist to tilt their head upwards
  • Use your middle finger to slowly open their lower jaw

Step 4

  • Keep your middle finger over their small incisor teeth and deposit pill as far back on the tongue as possible
  • Immediately close mouth. Keeping hand over their mouth, put their head down to facilitate swallowing

Step 5

  • Stroke their throat or blow on their nose to encourage swallowing
  • Finish with lots of verbal praise, cuddles and encouragement!

Medicating your Dog - Oral Liquids

Fill the provided syringe with the correct dose as indicated on your pet's script. Do not tip their head back. Place the syringe into the side of their mouth, just past their teeth. Slowly squirt the medication into their mouth, taking frequent pauses to allow your dog to breath and swallow the medication.