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4 Tips on How to Give Your Dog Oral Medication

Many dog owners dread having to give their dog necessary medications simply because they know it is not always easy to get their dog to take their medications. In fact in some cases it is impossibly difficult. Of course, dogs don’t much care for the experience either, and may actually begin to avoid their owner if they think medication is involved. This is not only incredibly frustrating, but sometimes also upsetting for a dog owner who feels that their close relationship and bond with their dog is being threatened by the very medications they need in order to remain healthy. Luckily, there is a way to have both.

Giving Your Dog Oral Medication

Obviously the very best way to give your dog oral medication is any way that successfully gets them to swallow it, and simplicity often yields the best results. However, the fact is that while some dogs really don’t care about what they are given and will quite willingly take and swallow whatever their owner gives them, others are incredibly picky and can give their owners a difficult time with anything they feel they don’t want in their mouth. There are those that have simply mastered popping medicine into their dog’s mouth and getting them to swallow, but other owners find that they need help enticing their dog to swallow their medications. Following are four tips on how to successfully give your dog oral medication:

  1. Found out if the medication is available in a flavored chewable or liquid. Many pharmacies are able to create flavored medications out of those that aren’t normally flavored or that are normally unpleasantly flavored, and while it may be more expensive, it can be very well worth it to have your dog’s full cooperation in swallowing beef or cheese-flavored medications.
  2. Wrap the medication in a delicious food. Most dogs will readily accept bribery in the form of a peanut butter, Cheez-Whiz or bologna-wrapped pill, and while this can get messy, once again the goal is getting your dog to swallow their medication and this method can make it more of a pleasant, reward-like experience. However, it is also important to recognize that some dogs are wise enough to see through this trick, and can effectively extract and spit out the pill while enjoying the tasty treat that surrounded it. It is important to carefully watch your dog while employing this method in order to ascertain whether it was successful in giving them their intended medication.
  3. Use a pill pocket. Pill pockets are a less messy and more efficient version of the bribery method. They are small, squishy, envelope-shaped treats that allow you to put the pill inside and then squeeze the treat shut around it. Most dogs are absolutely willing to swallow a pill pocket without seeming to recognize that medication is inside, even if they saw through the bribery when other treat methods were used.
  4. Use a pill gun. Some medications need to be given on an empty stomach, and some owners can find that this method, once well learned and practiced, can be the most efficient. When a pill is placed far enough back on your dog’s tongue they are unable to spit it out, and with a simple flick of the pill gun, or one’s finger if they’re brave, the pill can be effectively pushed down the dog’s throat. Many veterinarians are quite expert in this particular method of medication administration, and can help guide you until you are able to do it on your own.
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