How to Give a Dog a Pill – 6 Quick & Simple Ways

how to give a dog a pill

Medication being spit out, pets skittering in every direction, accidents. These occurrences seem to be typical obstacles faced by average dog owners trying to give medicine to their cherished dogs when they are sick. Thus, how does one successfully administer a pill to a dog?

Read through and learn how to make the process of giving your pet’s oral medications a lot easier – for both you and your dog.

Tips on Giving a Dog a Pill

Yes, most dogs may hate swallowing their pills. However, your sick furry pal needs medication; and it’s your responsibility to give your dog some remedy. The following are some methods to make this battle as easy as you would want it to be.

1. Be Careful When Pilling Your Dog

If your pooch will not take medication, take measures some vets do. This would be simple and very effective. Try to restrain him and get help to calm him down. Hold his upper jaw and tilt his nose towards the sky. Hold his jaw and your dog’s mouth open and use your fingers to push the med down his throat then close the jaw. This will help him swallow the medication.

Sometimes, flavored-pill alternatives are available, allowing your pet to eat them with no tricks needed. Another option is by swapping to an alternative form of medication that is easier for him to take such as powder or liquid.

2. Talk to Your Veterinarian

Before trying any of the methods below, sit with the vet of your dog for some doable methods on the right ways to give medication. Some methods may include crushing the pills into powder or breaking it into small pieces. This may lessen the effectiveness of some medications, though. So be sure to ask for your dog’s veterinarian’s advice on how to give your dog’s specific medications.

3. Hide Pills and Capsules in Dog Foods

Hiding medication in a food treat can be the easiest way to give your dog’s oral medication. Make your pet excited so he wolfs down the treat. Doing so will prevent him from biting into the hidden pill and tasting its bitterness. Some of the most viable food for drug hideout are plain meat, peanut butter, meatball, cheese, plain yogurt, bananas, hotdogs, and liverwurst.

Make sure the peanut butter you feed your dog doesn’t have xylitol, though, as this substance is harmful for dogs.

Consult your canine’s veterinarian first on the interaction of some medications with certain foods, though. Your pooch may not get the most of his dose if the hidden pill has a negative interaction with the foods given to him.

4. Slip Medications into Treats

Some treats, other than food, come with a hole where you can use some cunning in hiding pills in them. Search and check the label before buying and hide the pill as they may be specifically manufactured for cats or dogs only. Search and choose treats with lower calories if you notice your pet is getting plump. The drug will still work anyway regardless of the food you hide it in. Here are the best calming treats for dogs we can recommend for you.

Pair a medicated treat with one that does not have the drug, so he won’t suspect the pill you hid in the special treat. Be mindful as he may search for it. Give him two plain treats first, followed by a medicated one, then another two plain treats. Do this in rapid successions and he will swallow them without examination.

5. Make Pills or Drugs Taste Better

Ask the veterinarian of your pet about compounding the prescription to have its flavor more enticing. You may go to an animal-centered compounding pharmacy. See that your canine will love the taste of the drug so he will not resist during administration.

6. Pill Pockets Method

Place the pill in a pill pocket or wrap it in cheese or peanut butter so it slips it into his system easily. This method works best for dogs taking medications without chewing. Take note your dog may have allergies or sensitivities with foods like chicken so you may encounter issues with pill pockets ingredients. Discuss with the veterinarian if your pal had food problems in the past.

These tips and tricks will be of great help in trying to get your dog to swallow the pill.


Here are some frequently asked questions from dog parents:

How do you pill an uncooperative dog?

You may find yourself such a failure for not getting the pill inside his system. You may try these steps then:

  • Get past the natural senses of your dog to get your uncooperative pal to intake the drug. Do not alert these senses, since they have survival instincts connected with their brains.
  • Never let him hear or see what is about to happen. Prepare the drug in a manner that is unnoticeable to him. This will prevent him from hiding and running around.
  • Employ sneak attack tactics and wash your hands every time after giving him the medication, regardless if it’s in liquid or tablet form.
  • The treat should be small enough that can he can swallow it in just one gulp and will not spit.
  • Pretend that you are eating the drug yourself. Play up with your snack and get the pill so that your pet would want to take the food with the pill inside.
  • Administer the med or food with medication in bits or in a small amount first especially if your pup is a small dog. This would be a good place to start in learning how to give a dog a pill when he won’t eat.

What can I wrap my dogs pills in?

Wrap pills in the following foods as they are attractive to pets like dogs.

  • Ordinary foods like meatball and any other dog food
  • Fruits like berries, orange, banana, and melon
  • Whipped cream cheese, plain cheese, and mini marshmallows but only if your dog does not have diabetes
  • Canned dog food
  • Home-cooked fish or meat can be another option. Just make sure he does not have kidney disease.

Can you crush antibiotics for dogs?

First, consider if you can crush the prescription of your pet. Capsules and tablets with enteric coating can be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Second, find out if crushing the medication will not affect potency.

In general, though, you shouldn’t crush antibiotics. They usually have a bitter taste. Vets advise fur parents to bring it to a compounding pharmacy to make it flavorful and with a better taste. Your dog will then be able to administer it.

How to give a dog a pill without food?

There are dogs that are too smart for their own good. They’ll figure out that the food you are giving him contains medication. Well, you can give the pill with no food.

  • Give the drug a little flavor as a flavored pill.
  • Hide its taste with gel caps so he can eat it.
  • Get a pill gun to push the pill down his throat.
  • Make him understand the situation is not bad through warnings.

Your Best Way to Give a Dog a Pill

Do some research on how to administer a pill to a dog. Perform the methods and tricks suggested above and find out which ones are effective for the medication of your dog. You can administer the med in any form that is appealing to him. Filling it in a special treat or food such as chicken can be a good start.

You can always talk to your veterinarian for the right guidance especially if your dog is sensitive or allergic to some foods. Remember to always keep your dog hydrated as well to help make him feel better faster.

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