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How I Give My Dogs a Daily Pill the No Fuss Way

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Anne has been an online writer for over seven years. She often writes about furniture, pottery, and pet care.


How to Administer Medication to Dogs

Anyone who owns a dog will need to give it medication from time to time, but getting your faithful friend to take a pill can be a battle at times and leave you both stressed and exhausted. I live alone and have a huge German shepherd and a medium-sized crossbreed terrier. Until I found the "magic" solution to getting my dogs to take their daily medication, they would often spit the pill out and we'd have to go through the whole rigmarole again and again, leaving us all exhausted and upset.

Both my dogs contracted Canine Leishmaniosis—caused by sandfly bites—and it's vital they have yearly blood tests and medication to control the incurable disease (along with a daily pill to help protect their kidneys).

Even if your dog is lucky enough to never suffer an illness, you will still be giving him or her worm treatments in pill form or as a liquid at roughly three monthly intervals. And, despite the manufacturers' efforts to make these medications palatable to dogs, most will turn their noses up and refuse to take the medication without a fight. My dogs now take both medicine and pills easily using this "magic" solution. Read on to learn more.

A pup waiting for his pill.

A pup waiting for his pill.

How I Get Dogs to Take Their Pills

Professionals will tell you that it's easy to administer pills to your dog, simply by squeezing both sides of his mouth so he opens his jaws, and then simply popping in the pill and keeping his jaws clamped shut until he swallows the pill down. Seriously. . .have you ever tried to do this on your own with a big feisty dog who wants nothing to do with being helped? I have and it didn't work. Why not?

  1. My German shepherd has a large muzzle which is hard to get your hand around.
  2. He freaks out when being grabbed this way and squirms and pulls back so much that I cannot keep hold of him.
  3. He never swallows the pill which is then spat out as soon as I let go of his jaws.

Because both my dogs would sicken and die a horrible death without the treatment, I had to find a way to administer pills and medicine daily and with ease.

Mixing either pill in their food didn't work either; they would eat around the pill or medicine or accidentally eat it but then spit it out. Wrapping the pill in a nice tasty piece of ham or chicken and hand feeding it to the dog had the same fate—the meat would be eaten and the pill spat out. I tried greasing pills with butter, no good. Then I tried hiding the pill in pâté and BINGO! It worked.

At last, I had found the " magic" way to pill my dogs daily with no problem whatsoever, what a relief for all of us.

Pâté is easy to mould, so a pill can be hidden right in the middle. Even if the dog knows about it, and I'm sure mine do, the lure of a tasty hand-fed treat overcomes the aversion to swallowing the pill and my dogs wolf both down with nary a problem.

I also used the pâté method to get my old dog to take his last leishmaniosis treatment, which was Miltefosine in a thick gloppy syrup form. Mixing it in with his usual biscuits didn't work—he wouldn't eat them—but squeezing the dose onto a piece of pâté did the trick, even though he could see and smell the medication.

Closing Thoughts

Of course this method works for my dogs but might not work for yours, so just keep trying until you find something your dog will take. Even when hiding medication, there will be something he or she finds so irresistible that you will be able to care for your dog without having to almost wrestle them to the ground in order to administer something they have to have in order to stay healthy.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2016 Anne

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Read More From Pethelpful


bac2basics on February 23, 2017:

Hi Nell.

I´m fair to middling thank you. Hope you and yours are too x

Nell Rose on February 22, 2017:

Hi Anne, always good to see you back! Thanks for commenting on mine, hope you are well.

Nell Rose on December 07, 2016:

Always great to see you pop in now and again, hope everything is going okay for you?

Anne (author) from United Kingdom on November 22, 2016:


Hi PS.

I´m so pleased this method works with all your pets. I often find with cats that its easier to crush a pill and then hide it in Pate, rather than leaving the pill whole. Sometimes the pill is large and cat´s will spit it out if not crushed. Blessings to you too and good to hear from you xx

pstraubie38 on November 22, 2016:

Good tip....use with my pup and with my kitties. It works so well.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Anne (author) from United Kingdom on April 19, 2016:

I already use liquid flea treatments but didn´t know they now do a worm and flea treatment that way. I´ll have to look out for it.

Yes, Labradors do have a reputation for enjoying their food LOL.

Tebo on April 19, 2016:

The pate is a good idea. My Labrador is a real wolfer of food, so just tucking a pill in a bit of dog roll usually gets it down the throat. I have two kittens now and it is getting harder to get the worm pills in. I believe they make a worm and flea treatment in liquid form to squirt on the back of their necks, so that might be worth a try.

Anne (author) from United Kingdom on April 19, 2016:

Hi flourishAnyway.

When I had cats ( most of my life) I would crush or cut up their pills and hide them in pate too, or something else they really liked. As for putting in ear ointment, there´s no easy way round that except getting someone to help you, wrapping the cat tightly inside a large thick towel and pinning it down until the ointment is in the ear. Good luck.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 18, 2016:

Such eager looking dogs and you really found the trick for them. I'm looking for the magic trick for my cats. I have some who won't even tolerate ear ointment (a desperate alternative to pills for some mess).

Anne (author) from United Kingdom on April 18, 2016:

Hi Nell Rose & healthyannie

Great to see your comments too. No , not back in the UK, the villa sale fell through and left me in a really bad state, but I struggled through with help.

Hope you are both keeping well xx

Annie Messeri from Spain on April 17, 2016:

Are you back in the UK?

Nell Rose from England on April 17, 2016:

Hiya! great to see you! Great idea with the pate'! I will have to remember that when my brothers dog is being a pain in the butt and not taking his meds! lol!

Anne (author) from United Kingdom on April 17, 2016:

Hello Effer.

OOh it´s so good to hear from you again and I hope you are keeping well.

I´m dipping a toe back into the water here at Hubpages, and trying to catch up with my old buddies, but it´s taking some time as there are so many, and of course quite a lot have also gone AWOL.

Keep well xx

Suzie from Carson City on April 17, 2016:

Hello Anne & welcome back! I noticed you've been hiding on us & have missed you.

Love this hub about your clever way to make sure your fur babies get their medicine! You're a good Mommy! LOL....Peace, Paula

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