Dear Labby, Why Won’t My Dog Take their Medicine?
Believe me, I understand what you are going through. Our dog Becca was on a good deal of medication when we were fighting her cancer. At first I could just toss it in her food and it didn’t matter, she would eat it. But eventually no matter what I did I couldn’t get her to take it on her own. I tried wrapping it in peanut butter, cheese, turkey, even steak and she would refuse or spit it out. Eventually, I had to resort to one of those pill push/dispenser things.
Now, with Jack, it’s a completely different story. He gets an upset tummy sometimes and I can just offer him his medicine – just straight out of my hand and he will take it and eat it. We aren’t all so lucky.
Here’s some tricks I have used with my dogs in the past:
- Make a little meatball with their canned/soft food and bury it in their meal.
- Coat the pill with peanut butter.
- Wrap it in something yummy like cheese or turkey.
- Use Pill Pockets – I’ve used ones made by Greenies – these worked for a long time with Becca.
- Feed tiny pieces of yummy treats – get a handful and feed to your dog quickly – slip the pill in the middle of the feeding frenzy.
- Try the human trick of grinding it up and mixing it with ice cream!
- Try one of those pill push things, or administer it directly. Of course that means holding your dog’s mouth open, placing the pill as far back in their throat as you can and holding their mouth shut until they swallow it. Seems a little aggressive, but I will admit I had to resort to that a few times with Becca. She not only needed her chemo medicine, she needed her pain killers too. You do what you’ve got to do.