Updated: Jun 22
No one likes taking tablets or medication and it can be hard to persuade your pets to eat the tablets, especially as they often don’t taste or look particularly appealing to pets.
For dogs, the easiest way to administer medication is to hide in food. Good foods to hide tablets in include cheese, sausages, wet food and peanut butter (Xylitol free). Make a big fuss of your fur baby with lots of pats and praises and get them really excited about eating the ‘treat’ before you give it to them. Give one or two dummy treats and then the medication wrapped in treat to disguise the fact medication is being given.
There are a few products on the market to help with this common problem, one of which is a chewy, soft treat specifically designed to be able to easily push tablets into the center, so this could be worth a try if your dog is not tricked by cheese or similar human foods.
For cats hiding medication in food is helpful but smell can help disguise medication- strong smells like tuna or pate work well.
In cats and dogs if its not too stressful for your pet, you can have one person hold your pet still and the other person open the mouth and put the tablet as far back into the mouth as possible. Remember to hold the mouth gently shut until the medication has been swallowed. It can be tricky to get the medication all the way to the back of the throat so ‘pill poppers’ exist to help get that extra bit further into the throat. I use these on a daily basis as a vet and they are a game changer!
Some medications also come in liquid form as well as tablets, so if you are struggling its always worth talking to your veterinarian to see if there are alternatives. Some tablets are now flavoured to try and overcome difficulties in tablet administration so again something to consider when talking to your vet about ease of administration of tablets.
If your still having no luck remember most vet clinics will have a nurse who will be able to help administer medication if you are willing to take your pet into the clinic as needed. There are also mobile vet nurses who come to the home who would be able to help with this task.
My last tip is try not to struggle in silence! If its not working let your veterinarian know and they will do their best to come up with an alternative solution for you!