3 easy ways to trick your dog into taking his medication

Small humans (and by that, I mean children, not dwarves) are not the only ones who despise taking medicine. Dogs are just the same as children- picky about their medication and doing anything to avoid taking it. Since you can’t just force medicine down your dog’s throat using water (seriously, don’t do that, you’re just going to stress your little buddy out), you will have to come up with smarter and easier tricks to be able to feed your furry best friend his medicine.

Keep on reading to know more, and if you have tricks of your own, let us know about them in the comments, after all, we’re always in for more knowledge about those beautiful animals! So, here we go!

First trick in the book, use food

If like me, you’re the proud owner of a feisty dog (I honestly can never make my Labrabull (Pit Bull Lab Crossbreed) take medicine unless I get super sneaky with him), then this solution might be the best for you. It is probably the easiest trick. It works with children and pets as well, and it’s kind of a classic in the “make your dog take his medicine” book.

The secret here is to use strong, flavorful food that can mask the taste of the medication you’re giving your four-pawed companion. You can either add the medicine to your dog’s wet food (make sure you are using a brand of food that has a strong taste and is not bland, such as Orijen) or to a treat that your best friend likes. But, always remember: go for something with a strong smell and a lot of flavor, since it helps mask the smell and taste of the medicine you’re sneaking in there.

For example, sausages are perfect for hiding small pills, and your dog will swallow them without a second guess. If the medicine is liquid, mixing it with peanut butter or animal skin is a good trick. Just make sure not to spoil your dog too much with food, as it could result in stomachaches and other health issues.

Use your hands

If your dog is too smart to fall for the old “medicine in a treat” plan, use your hands. The idea here is not to force your dog to swallow his medicine, but to do it gently. Make your dog sit down, and be sure he’s in a comfortable position, there is honestly nothing worse than swallowing medicine when you’re uncomfortable (and not just for humans). If you are not afraid of your dog biting you (some dogs are just too defensive), tilt his head back, and gently open his mouth. Now, all you have to do is place the medicine on the back of his tongue and massage your dog’s throat to help him swallow it. Be careful with this technique, as your dog might choke on the medicine if the pill is too big, so make sure to carefully massage your dog’s neck until you know that he has swallowed it completely. Finish the whole thing with a treat, to show your dog how much of a good boy he was.

If your dog’s medicine is liquid, then the job is even easier. Simply make him sit, open his mouth, pull out the side of his cheek, and using either a teaspoon or any other device (such as a syringe), pour the medicine. Do not tilt your best friend’s head though, because he might choke on the medicine if you do. Instead, let him swallow it naturally.

Finally, if nothing works, use a pill dropper

What is a pill dropper, you might ask? A pill dropper, or a pill gun (it also goes under the name Piller) is a small device that resembles a syringe. It can be helpful when it comes to giving your dog medicine such as pills or capsules. If the medicine is too big to be hidden in your dog’s food, a pill dropper is the perfect solution. Simply make your dog sit down, and just like you would do with your hand, tilt your best friend’s head, use the pill dropper to drop the medicine right on the back of his tongue, and massage to help him swallow.

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  • Sammy Cunningham
    These are all good tips, but not for my dog. I can hide pills in food after cutting them up into 4 to 12 pieces depending on the pill. He’s a 15 year-old Chihuahua that eats what I eat and has done so for the last 15 years, so even hiding pills in filet mignon end up with a 75% drop rate. Aka he eats the food and spits out the small piece of medicine.

    While it’s a pain in the ass, I’ve been doing it daily for 2 weeks shy of a year. It’s hard, but not a real problem like trying to give him liquid medicine. It sounds so easy to just put the dropper in your dog’s mouth and squeeze, but my dog will not let my touch his mouth.

    I have to fight him to give it to him basically. That in itself is fine, but my real issue is a catch 22 if you will. You see he’s suffering from a heart murmur and heart disease. The worst part for him is the coughing which gets exponentially worse the more active he gets.

    I’m not worried about being bit at all since he only “pretend” bites, and the real kicker is he ain’t got no biting teeth left lol.

    At this point, I think I’m gonna go stealth mission and use a shock and awe tactic the moment he realizes what’s going on. I just hope that moment of realization comes after I have the dropper’s tip in his mouth because other wise…“Let’s get ready to rumble!”

    If yall got any tips, I would be eternally grateful to you since this medicine is the only one that can put an end to a 24 to 72 hour coughing fit.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Katherine Padilla
    all good suggestions, however, my problem is that I tried giving medicine twice and it was ok. but on the third time, he started growling like he was going to bite
  • Carol Price
    Only thing that works for our fur baby is Braunschweiger! No kidding….she love it!!!
  • Kathrixa Chandler
    If you have a capsule to open and separate in 2 … got any trick ???
  • Teresa Wallace
    I hate to give my dog medicine, but have to do it whenever we end up at the vet… So a trick my <a href=“”https://www.slocountydogtraining.com" rel="nofollow">https://www.slocountydogtraining.com"> dog trainer in SLO</a> showed me was to just place it in the back of her mouth/jaw where there is a small gap. I can get the pill in her mouth, give her a treat, and she’ll swallow both. This works for all sized pills, but especially small ones. She doesn’t bite and usually won’t spit them out this way. If I use the food method she always ends up spitting the pill out but not the food/treats!