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Give Your Dog A Pill

Here's how to give your dog prescription and over-the-counter pills and capsules prescribed or recommended by your Vet.

There are many online sources offering advice on giving pills to dogs, with lots of suggestions about the best foods for hiding pills. A variety of foods will work well and there's really no perfect choice for every dog. The best food to hide pills is, of course, a food that your dog loves and will eagerly eat.

Sliced deli meat, meatballs and canned dog food are popular choices. Pills and capsules can be hidden inside globs of peanut butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, soft and creamy processed cheeses, cheese spreads and liverwurst. Soft, moist foods like these can be molded around the pills and make pill giving easier. Pills can also be tucked inside a small piece of hot dog or string cheese.

Some clever dogs, however, quickly realize there's a pill inside their treat, no matter how well you hide it or how tempting the food is. Dogs can become experts at separating pills from any food. They'll swallow the food and spit out the pill. Some pills and capsules really do have a strong, unappetizing smell that's hard to disguise, even when tucked inside the most appetizing food.

The solution to easy pill giving is not simply finding the best treat to disguise a pill and entice a dog to open wide. Whatever food you use... immediately giving a second treat will end the frustration.

As soon as your dog opens up and takes the food with pills inside, hold a second piece or portion without pills, right there, in front of his mouth, but don't release the second treat until the dog swallows. As soon as he does swallow, reward him with the second piece. By having a second piece right there, the dog will quickly swallow what's in his mouth so he can have another treat.

Both of my senior dogs have chronic health issues and need several daily medications, most given twice daily. Schatzie needs 4 tablets, twice daily. Fritz gets 6 tablets each morning and 4 tablets each night. They both run into the kitchen, willing and eager to get their "treats". I don't think Fritz knows or cares what he's swallowing.... he quickly swallows his bologna wrapped pills so he can have another tiny piece of bologna, then gulps that down too. Schatzie is more clever..... cautious... sneaky. She's always been more careful about what she eats, and, after biting into a nasty capsule or two while we were still working on the perfect pill taking method, she's determined that will never happen again. She occasionally makes a feeble attempt to roll those pills aside and swallow the meat without the meds. She'd try harder, except she knows that she must swallow what's in her mouth before she gets her second treat.

I wrap their pills in thinly sliced deli meat. We've tried using several different kinds, but now use only minced bologna. (Depending your your location, this pinkish color luncheon meat may also be referred to as German bologna, plain bologna, or beef bologna... and there are similar turkey bolognas.) I find this less messy and easier to use than spreads or cheeses. I buy it at the deli counter and ask to have it sliced extra thin. Unlike other deli meats, even ultra thin slices wrap around easily and hold the pills without tearing.

Pet supply stores also sell tasty little treats with pouches made especially for hiding pills. Although "Pill Pockets"icon, when used properly, are a good solution, using them to give several meds, several times a day, can be quite expensive.


More pill giving tips......

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Content copyright © 2013 by Sandy Moyer. All rights reserved.
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