A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
It’s the one job that not all pet owners like – convincing a pet to take their medication. Whether it’s a tablet or a liquid, dogs and cats are distinctly averse to taking their medication, and more often than not, this leads to missed doses and angers pet owners. It’s not good for anyone, but it’s bad for your pet because he needs his medication if he’s going to get better.
What can you do to help improve your pet’s odds of following his treatment regimen? Here are eight creative tips and tricks to try the next time your pet is prescribed medication.
#1: Hide the medication in strong-smelling moist food
Dogs and cats have sharper senses of smell than humans. It is this sense that alerts them that you are trying to waste some medicine on them. One way to get around this problem is to mask the medication in strong-smelling wet food. The smell of the food will mask the scent of the medicine and your pet will naturally be drawn to it.
#2: Give everyone a treat
If you have more than one dog in your home, you know all about the ruckus they cause when handing out treats. You can use this competition to your advantage. Put the medication in one treat and give treats, making sure to give the dog the medication he needs. Since dogs tend to eat faster in such competitive situations, your dog will swallow his treat so quickly that he won’t even know he’s taking his medicine.
#3: Make it a game
Take a few treats and insert medicine into one of them. Next, play a game with your dog, tossing him a treat to see if he can catch them. He will be so in the game that when you receive the pill treatment, he won’t even notice.
#4: Put the medicine in a capsule
Some medications can be particularly bitter tasting to a dog or cat, even when fed into food or treats. For these medications, you can buy empty softgels and insert the tablet inside. This way, the gel cap will ensure that your pet cannot taste the rejected medication.
#5: Don’t let them see you prepare your medication
Dogs and cats are observant and intelligent. They can see you getting their medication knowing it’s coming. Don’t let them see you. Prepare small mouthfuls by putting them in food or treats and putting them in the refrigerator. Then, when preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner, let the treat “accidentally” fall to the floor. Your dog will take it thinking he just got a free snack.
#6: Take him for a walk
Take your dog for a walk and halfway through, stop and give him a treat. He will gladly take it because it distracts him from the act of taking his medicine. With so much to see and smell outside, he’ll be more interested in things other than what’s inside his treat.
#7: Put it on the paws
If your pet prescribed a powder or liquid, try mixing it with some peanut butter and spreading it on his paws. This works for two reasons – dogs don’t like anything on their feet and dogs love peanut butter. Your dog will lick the peanut butter off his hands and get his dose of medicine at the same time.
No. 8: Take medicine in the form of a tasty treat
If your vet prescribes medication for your pet, you can obtain the prescription through a compound veterinary pharmacy. You can package the medicine into ready-to-serve treats in a variety of flavors that your pet will find irresistible.
This provides a simple and straightforward way to ensure that your pet gets their exact dose of their medication, every time. And because the treats are so tasty and enticing, you’ll never have to fight your pet over treat time because they’ll be excited to get their treat.