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Top tips to help your dog take their medicine

At some time in your dog’s life, they may need to take medicine, whether it’s for a short illness or a condition that is longer term. Here are some top tips that will help make administering their medicine a little easier.

Straight in the mouth

If your dog needs pills, then there’s no reason you can’t just pop the pill straight into your dog’s mouth. Tilt their head upwards, place the pill in their mouth and close their mouth straight away, then massage their throat to encourage them to swallow the pill. To make the process easier, you could use a pill popper, a syringe-like device which helps with inserting the pill into your dog’s mouth.

Hide medicine in a treat

Hide a pill inside a treat and play a game with your dog, rewarding them with the treat when they perform a trick. This is a good way to distract your dog at medicine time and can turn it into a positive experience for both you and your dog. You can even buy special dog treats that contain pockets to hide pills inside.

Hide medicine in their meal

Hide medicine in a small spoonful of your dog’s food and serve it to them, dishing up the rest of the food once they’ve eaten the small morsel and you’re sure they’ve swallowed the pill. Most dogs eat their food as soon as it’s served so this could be one of the easiest ways to administer their medicine.

Liquid medicine

Liquid medicine should come with a dropper or syringe so that you can administer it straight into your dog’s mouth. Insert the dropper into the corner of your dog mouth, being careful not to tilt their head back as this could cause them to inhale the liquid. Once you’ve administered the medicine, hold their mouth closed and stroke their neck until you’re sure they’ve swallowed it.

Reassure your dog

Talking calmly to your dog and stroking them will help them to relax while you’re giving them their medicine. If you stay calm, it will help your dog to stay calm too. You might need to call upon a friend or family member to offer reassurance too, or to help distract your dog while you give them their medicine. You might only need help the first few times until you and your dog get used to the process.

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