How To Give Your Dog A Tablet
Is your dog particularly talented at dodging its tablet?
There is no perfect solution for giving dogs medication. If they don’t like the taste, size, or texture of the tablet, it can lead to a battle to get them to finally swallow it.
Oral medications can often be given with food, but sometimes are needed to be given on an empty stomach. If it can be given with food, the easiest way to medicate your pet is by hiding the tablet in some food.
Can you hide your dog's medication in human food?
Many pet owners choose to hide pet medications in food, and often this works well. However, care needs to be taken to ensure any human food used is not harmful to your pet.
Ideally, it is always a better and safer alternative to try to disguise the medication in dog food.
But small quantities of these human foods can usually safely be used:
- Peanut butter (low in oil and free of sugar substitutes like xylitol which are toxic)
- Some soft cheeses
- Canned tuna (free of artificial flavourings and only in spring water instead of oils)
- Greek yogurt (free of fruits and added flavourings)
- Boiled or lightly cooked meats, like chicken (Without oils, seasonings, uncured and low in fats)
While the above human foods are usually safe for most dogs in small quantities, you should always check with us first to see if they are suitable for your pet.
Your pet’s age, breed, and existing medical conditions are variables that will determine if some human foods are suitable.
For oral medications that cannot be given with food, try the following steps
- Hold your dog's head and upper jaw from the top of the nose with one hand
- Tilt the head back and use the other hand to gently open the lower jaw
- Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth to protect your fingers
- Hold the tablet in the lower jaw hand
- Drop the tablet as far back past the tongue
- Immediately close the mouth
- Blow into your dog's nose or gently rub the throat to encourage swallowing
- If the pill is not put far enough, the dog may spit out the table
- Reward Your Dog-the last thing you want is to make this process stressful. Reward your dog with a small treat afterwards
- Do your best to keep both of you calm, no matter how frustrated you get.
Not so simple? If you need some extra training, don't hesitate to book a time with one of our team to demonstrate and help you learn
Administering pills to your dog can pose certain risks. For instance, in order to get the pill far enough back on your dog’s tongue for them to swallow, you need to put your fingers in their mouth. This can lead to accidental bites. Pill devices place the medication in your dog’s mouth so that you don’t have to expose your fingers to danger.
Some medications come formulated in different forms to help make it easier for you to medicate your pet
- Flavoured tablets- these are chewable tablets that can be fed to your pet as a treat
- Liquid medications- a flavoured liquid medication can be put into the food or carefully administered down your pet's mouth. The downside of this is, if your pet doesn't swallow all the liquid or eat all the food, it can be difficult to know if they have received the full dose
- Compounded medications- these are made up by some pharmacies and can be compounded into forms that are more easily administered. These can be particularly useful if your pet is on multiple medications that can be compounded into the one tablet
If you’re having trouble medicating your furry friend don't hesitate to call us at (03) 9596 4804 for some advice and helpful hints, we are always here to help.
North Road Veterinary Centre is open from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Friday. For weekend vet visits, North Road Vet is open 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday.