The best tricks and gadgets to get your dog to take their medication | TeamDogs
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The best tricks and gadgets to get your dog to take their medication

Make pills easier to swallow with tasty treats and gadgets

Emily Chudy

Posted 4 months ago

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Any dog owner who has had to hold open their stubborn pup's mouth to try to get them to swallow a pill will know that medication time can be one of the most difficult points in your dog's day.

It can be tough to see the discomfort on your pet’s face but still know you have to try to give them their lifesaving medication because it’s vital for their wellbeing. Luckily, there are some tricks and gadgets to make those bitter pills a little easier to swallow for your pup.

From tasty treats to pill crushers, there are plenty of ways to disguise the taste of a pill and trick your dog into happily taking their meds – just make sure to check with your vet whether your dog's medication should be taken with food or on an empty stomach first.

Team Dogs has rounded up some of the best ideas and gadgets: 



Treat pill pouches

A tried-and-tested way to trick your pet into eating its pills are treat pill pouches – little snacks with a hole in the middle where you can stow tablets.

Simply push the pill into the hole and give it to your pet. Craftier dogs may still spit out the pill, but for food-motivated pups, a treat pill pouch may be all it takes to make a bitter tablet a little more appetising.

Visit Wilco.



Peanut butter

If your dog is slightly less stubborn than others and only needs a little coaxing in order to take their medicine, peanut butter made for dogs may do the trick – simply coat the pill in a little peanut butter and they may not even notice it's in there.

(Credit: Aiden Franklin/Getty Images) 

If you don't plan on buying special dog peanut butter, but instead want to use what's already in your cupboard, make sure your human peanut butter does not contain xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs.

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Flavourless pill capsules

The smell of medication may be what your dog finds so off-putting thanks to their super-sensitive nose, which may mean that an odourless and flavourless pill capsule disguises the pill enough for them to take.

Pills and powders can be hidden inside the capsule and that may be sufficient to trick your dog - but if not, then slipping the capsule in with their favourite food or treats.

Visit Amazon.



Pill crusher

A pill crusher may work if your pet is determined to avoid taking their pills even hidden in the tastiest of treats, or spits them out completely.

Crush up a tablet and mix it in with their regular wet food and you might be able to fool them.

This can also be a solution for very small dogs who may struggle to swallow larger tablets.

Visit VetUK.



Liver paste

Similar to the peanut butter trick but smellier, liver paste may help your dog to disguise any bitter medication taste. Just smear some on a spoon and watch them lick it all off.

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(Credit: Lightfield Studios/Getty Images) 



Pill gun

If your dog takes medication that has to be administered without food, a pill gun may make it easier for them.

The gadget works by placing the tablet at the end of the syringe and using water to push the pill to the back of the mouth, encouraging it to swallow.

Using an instrument like a pill gun may still be a little uncomfortable for your pet, but it will be quicker and easier than placing the tablet in their mouth with your hand and trying to avoid their teeth!

Visit Pets at Home.



Smelly wet food

If all else fails, try hiding your pet's pill in wet food with a strong smell so they have less chance of spotting the odour or taste of the medication.

Have a look for the most flavourful wet food in the supermarket – tripe or salmon may do the trick – and disguise the pill in the centre.

Warning: this trick may prove very smelly for you and your family if you feed your dog indoors! 

Visit Pets at Home.

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