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Cats, Dogs

How to Give Your Pet a Pill

Most of us consider our pets to be an integral part of our family. It makes sense, as they often require as much care and attention as our own children. As pet owners it is important to make it a priority to see that our pets are fed, loved, and most importantly, kept healthy. That means visiting the veterinarian for regular checkups and administering medications when needed. According to a recently released study, only ten percent of cat owners, and thirty percent of dog owners, succeed in medicating their pets correctly. This is because many pet owners have  difficulty getting their pets to take their medications. If you’ve ever tried to give a cat a pill with no delivery aids you already know how tough it can be.

Here are some tried and true steps you can take to make sure your dog or cat gets (and swallows) its medication:

  • There are products available called “pill pockets” that are soft, tasty chews that have a hole in the middle. You simply insert a pill and press the pill pocket closed around it.
  • If the medicine can be taken with food you can try crushing the pill and sneaking it onto, or into a smelly tasty treat, like cheese, a tidbit of meat, or peanut butter.
  • If your pet smells the pill and refuses to eat the doctored food, won’t swallow the pill pocket, or spits it out, there are products available to assist in getting pills down, like the pill guns available at PetSmart®. The dispenser places the pill directly into the back of your pet’s throat, allowing the pill to be swallowed automatically. This method helps ensure that your pet swallows the pill and gets the full dosage.

Check out this video to learn more about how to give a cat a pill:

And here’s a helpful video about how to give your dog a pill:

Remember to praise your pet or offer a treat after they take their medication. This positive reinforcement will help make the next time easier. Following instructions and being diligent with your pet’s prescribed medication is important to their health. If none of these methods work, don’t be afraid to talk to your veterinarian about other tips or medication alternatives.

And lastly, always keep all of your pet’s medications in a separate area, away from your family’s medications, to avoid getting them mixed up.


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