Pilling Your Pet…YOU CAN DO IT!
We hear it often: " It is practically impossible to give my pet medications." Maybe it is because the medications taste terrible to your pet which makes them tough to dose or maybe your pet spits the medication out as soon as you manage to get it in his mouth or heck, maybe he runs away LONG before you can get the medication close to his mouth!), this process can be frustrating for both you and your pet. Not only is it frustrating, but your pet is also not getting the medication that he needs because of whatever scenario is preventing that pill from getting into his belly! The AAHA has tips and tricks that may help you medicate your pet successfully.
“Sasha doesn’t like pills, but she loves treats.” Get sneaky and hide the pill in a treat! Mix it into peanut butter or yogurt, stick it in cheese or bread, or wrap it in a small piece of deli meat. There are also pre-packaged treats available at your veterinary hospital and pet supply stores that are made specifically for hiding pills.
“Buster foams at the mouth and spits out the pills I give to him.” Some medications just taste bad. Your veterinarian will tell you when she is prescribing a medication that is known to be bitter tasting when chewed or licked. Transferring the pill into an empty gel capsule is a good solution for this. Empty gel caps can be purchased at pharmacies and health food stores. “Pill guns” are also an effective way to get a pill past your pet’s mouth without him tasting it. They are available at pet supply stores and require some practice to get the hang of, so ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how best to use it.
“Smokey gags when I put a pill down her throat.” Tablets and capsules sometimes stick in your pet’s throat. Coat the pill with butter and store it in the freezer. The butter will help the pill slide down, and freezing it will minimize the mess. Some medications must be kept at room temperature, so check with your veterinarian to make sure it’s OK to freeze the meds he has prescribed. Also, make sure your pet has access to fresh water; sometimes a little drink is all he’ll need to help things go down.
“Lucky just hates the sight of pills.” Crush the tablet, or open the capsule and mix it into his food. Some medications should not be broken or crushed, so check with your veterinarian first. Make sure your pet eats all of his food, or he might not get all the medication he is supposed to, defeating the purpose of putting it in his food.