Tips on Giving Your Dog Pills

Do you need a few tips on giving your dog pills? My dog will eat heartworm tablets like Sentinel like they're candy, but most other kinds of medicine, well, just forget it! Sometimes it's unbelievably hard to give my dog medicine - how about you?

The whole process is really like taking an extremely wild three year old to the dentist - neither the kid nor the dentist has any fun. I've found a few ways to get around that, though.

First, they do make actual devices for getting your dog to take his medicine. If I decided to give my dog pills that way, though, it would involve a lot of running around and trying to catch him and get him to cooperate.

Believe me, my dog knows what a piller looks like just like he knows what a medicine bottle looks like. He's been to the vet often enough for that, and I bet your dog has too! Still, pillers can definitely work for some dogs, especially dogs who aren't as fast on their feet as mine is.

Australian Shepherd plays frisbee

The second of several possible tips on giving your dog pills is to just poke and pray - that is, you put the pill at the back of the dog's mouth and try to keep his mouth shut until he swallows. I've seen this work once or twice, but I've also seen a dog sit quietly with his mouth held shut for five minutes before running off to spit out the pill behind the couch!

In my opinion, the best way to pill a dog is to bribe him. Take the pill and wrap it in whatever kind of treat he likes best. Mine is fond of hot dogs, so I cut a little hole in the middle of a hot dog and tuck the pill in so it's completely covered. You can also use cheese or liver too - whatever your dog likes best, as long as it has a strong enough smell to cover the medicine.

Just remember to keep the “treat” small, so your dog won't have to chew it to find the pill inside, and he should gulp it right down!

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