For one reason or another, your pet was prescribed medication, but now…
You have to find a way to get them to take it. If you are one of the lucky ones whose pet has no problem gobbling their medicine down, congratulations! For the rest of you who have a pet who will find every way possible NOT to take their medicine, we have some tips and tricks for you to try (but consult with your veterinarian first, of course).
Hide the medicine in food! One (sometimes) easier way to ensure your pet gets the medication they need is to hide it in a food item your pet finds highly desirable. If they gobble it down quickly, they won’t even notice there was a pill hidden in there! This is when consulting with your veterinarian is especially important. Not all table food is suitable for pets, so before sharing, ask their doctor if it’s an acceptable food item to give.
Here are some common examples of what pet owners use:
Cheese! It folds up nicely, and lots of pets can’t resist it. Most cheeses can be easily molded around the medicine, so your pet just thinks it’s a chunk of a special yummy treat. There are lower sodium choices when it comes to cheeses, and those are probably the best option for your pet.
Peanut butter! Many pet owners use peanut butter to fill kongs and other puzzle toys for their pets, and it’s a great option for medication taking too! It’s a sticky treat you can hide a pill in the middle of and let your pet eat it right from a spoon or your finger! The only thing about peanut butter is that it’s VERY important that it is xylitol-free. This is an ingredient that is toxic to dogs, but some peanut butter is made without it. Again, consult with your veterinarian when choosing one, and triple check the ingredients label!
Hot dogs! These make the perfect medication masks! Cut the hot dog into bite-sized pieces, and tuck the pill right into the middle. Voila! Your own homemade pill pocket.
Lunch meats! As another moldable option, different lunch meats certainly do the trick! Liverwurst is especially moldable, but other meats can be wrapped around a pill easily too. Low sodium options are best here too!
Purchase specially made treats for medications! If at-home options are not fooling your pet, you can see what’s on the market! There are treats made specifically for tucking medication into them, and they might be more appealing (often call “pill pockets”). If your pet is trying to outsmart you, try offering treats WITHOUT the medication first. Give a couple of treats just for the sake of it, and make the third a medicated treat. Your pet may just need to not associate receiving treats with receiving medication, and that is fair! If your pet’s medication comes in a liquid form, you can ask your veterinarian about flavoring it or pointing you in the direction of a pharmacy that can add flavoring that would be desirable to your pet.
While medicating our pets is sometimes necessary, it doesn’t always have to be difficult! Give these tips a try and see if your pet learns to LOVE getting their medicine!