What is a proper way to give my dog a tablet or a capsule?

April 13, 2012

Good health is a lifelong gift a dog owner can give the pet. Because of the affectionate and loyal nature, dogs are highly valued pets. The family forms a strong bond with the pet thus it is provided with premium quality foods as well as essential vitamins and supplements. Dog owners make sure that the pet is vaccinated against common canine diseases. The pet would have regular veterinary checkups as well. However, illness cannot be totally prevented. Because of the energetic and inquisitive nature, accidents that injure the pet happen as well. Sometime or another, the dog would have to undertake treatments that necessitate taking capsules and pills. Dogs would eat just about anything. However, giving pills or capsules would be such a hassle. Dogs ingest objects large enough to block the esophagus. This would make you wonder why it is too hard to make the pet swallow a small pill. Giving the dog a tablet or a capsule is the concern of many dog owners.

Contrary to what is written and contrary to what other dog owners say, giving the dog a pill is really a challenging task. Apart from the fact that the pet would struggle, a tablet or capsule has the tendency to stick to the tongue or inside the dog’s mouth so that after thinking that the pill was swallowed, it will be spewed and the dog will end up not taking the medication. You would be so lucky if your pet is like mine. The pet was accustomed to taking his vitamins so that as soon as the vitamin bottle is seen and when I say AHH, the pet would instantly open the mouth. When the dog decided to fight a barbed wire, giving the pills has never been a problem. Unfortunately, this is not so with a lot of dogs. After much effort the tightly clamped jaws are pried open. The pill was finally inside the mouth but before you can say YES! – out the pill goes, spewed by the pet. What is the right way of giving the pet a capsule or a tablet?

If the dog is not on dietary restriction, one way of giving the medication is to mix it with the dog’s food. You can crush the tablet, open the gelatinous case of the capsule and the medication dose mixed with a small amount of the dog’s food. The concern with this procedure is that the dog may not eat the food because of the bitter taste of the pill. Some medications have to be taken without food. This means that the pill has to be given directly to the pet. If you have the heart and the pet will allow, the pill can be placed directly inside the mouth. Open the dog’s mouth with one hand and push the pill as far back as possible down the throat of the pet with the other hand. Hold the mouth close and urge the pet to swallow by blowing gently on the nostrils. Be sure to reward the pet with a treat but inspect the mouth first to make sure that the tablet or capsule was swallowed and not just stuck on the roof of the mouth or under the tongue. Dog owners that find medicating the pet challenging consider pill pockets heaven sent. Pill pockets are dog treats with built in pouch designed to hide the capsule or the tablet. This is a better alternative to hiding the pill in a piece of ham or liverwurst or coating the pill with peanut butter. In most cases, the cunning dog will eat the food and spit out the pill. Because the pill is safely sealed inside the pocket, it will be eaten by the dog along with the treat.

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