Crush, Smush, Swallow: Giving Your Pet Medications

Animals are just as likely to fall sick or need medications like humans. And just like children, pet dogs and cats simply abhor the tablets and capsules that the veterinarians prescribe for them.



So what is a pet owner to do? How do you ensure that your beloved pets take the medicine for maintaining their health? Let’s look at some of the common methods below:


With food: You are in luck if the good veterinarian prescribes medicines that can be mixed with the food. It is advisable to crush the tablet and mix in a small amount of the food so that the pets get the full dose even if they don’t eat the full meal. Again, choose foods that your pet loves – pate, tuna, cheese, butter, etc – and give the medicine when the dog or cat is really hungry. Choosing strong-smelling foods will ensure that they cannot smell out the medicine concealed in the food.


If the medicine cannot be crushed, many pet owners make small meatballs with the capsule placed in the center of the ball. But a crucial aspect is that the pet should gulp down the food and not chew it. Chewing a pill or capsule will only make the mouth bitter. Also, watch out that the pet does not spit out the medicine.



Without food: In case the medication cannot be combined with food or the pet becomes suspicious about the pill in the food, there is no option but to administer the medicine orally to the pet. But you need to be especially alert when placing your hand inside a pet’s mouth to avoid ending up bitten badly. Pet owners usually hold the pet by the head and fold the lip over the upper teeth before placing the medicine at the back of the animal’s tongue. Close the mouth and stroke the neck or blow over the nose to encourage the pet to swallow the medicine quickly. Coating the pill or capsule with butter or cheese helps it go down easily too.


Alternatively, special pilling devices like droppers or guns can be used to place the medicine in the pet’s mouth without getting your hand in. You have to be careful as the pet may end up gagging on the medicine.



Some pet pharmacies even provide flavored medications that can be customized to the pet’s favorite taste. You will be surprised at how easily the pets take these medications.


Liquid medicine: The going gets a little easy if the medicine is in a liquid form or the pill can be suspended in a liquid. Just form a pocket between the pet’s cheek and teeth before using a dropper to administer the medicine. Be gentle and squirt the medicine in small amounts only to avoid choking or vomiting.




Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

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Leah Hansen

We are an accredited pharmacy through the NABP® Pharmacy Verified Websites Program, we can dispense your pet's prescriptions with a veterinarians authorization.

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