September 15, 2022

So your pet needs medication. Your normally obedient and - possibly, in some cases - less-than-savvy pet suddenly becomes an astute genius who will not be fooled. Even those pets who are like living vacuum cleaners can reach the point where they think, "Fool me once..." And let's face it—this is beyond frustrating, especially in the cases when the pill you're trying to give your pet is basically going to save their lives! That's why we're sharing some tips we've had up our sleeves for years so that your pooch or kitty is no longer a pill about getting their pills!

Of course, none of these methods are fool-proof. It's going to be a bit of a trial and error scenario because every pet is different. There are several tricks you can try to attempt to give medicine. Here are five of the most common methods that we've had success with:

1. Hiding the Pill

This seems basic because, well, it is, but this method is tried and true! Hiding your pet’s medication in peanut butter, wet food, cheese, or their favorite treat is typically the easiest way to get them to take their pills. Make sure to check with your veterinarian for foods to avoid with certain pills. Also, never crush or otherwise alter a pill without permission from your veterinarian.

Screenshot of tweet from "Thoughts of Dog" that says: "i know you put a pill. in my rolled up cheese slice. i'm not mad about it. i would simply appreciate. if you would be honest with me next time."

2. Open and Toss

By this we mean gently opening your pet’s mouth and tossing (or placing if your pet won’t chomp your fingers) the medication as far back towards their throat as possible before encouraging them to swallow. If your pet will allow it, you can hold their mouth shut for just a few seconds while rubbing their throat in an attempt to get them to swallow the medication. Pet’s typically don’t appreciate this method as much, but it can be effective for picky eaters.

3. Use a Piller

For pets that see our fingers as fun sticks to chomp, there is a tool called a piller. A piller is a long stick that works similarly to a syringe. Pet owners can place their pill into the end of it and stick the piller (instead of fingers) into their pet's mouth and release the pill towards their throat. This might sound barbaric but some pets honestly prefer this method and it saves your fingers in the case of the pet accidentally biting as a matter or reflex.

4. Get the Medication Compounded

If your pet will absolutely not take a pill no matter your creativity, you can look into getting your pet's medication compounded. This means a specialty pharmacy can modify the medication into another form, such as a flavored liquid. Compounded medications are typically a bit more expensive, but they are an excellent solution for difficult pets. Many online pharmacies have the ability to compound medications and they can often even have them shipped to your home!

POV handing a white pill to a corgi with it's head tilted to the side.

Still having trouble getting medications into your pet? Give us a call— we’re always here to help!