Giving your dog medication

The bond between dog and owner is a loving and powerful one. The most caring and considerate dog owners want to make sure their pets recover as quickly as possible from their health problems. Unfortunately dogs aren’t quite so good at taking their pills which means they will need a little help.

How to give a dog a pill orally

Some dogs are better than others when it comes to sniffing out medicine that has been hidden inside their food bowls. If your dog has a brilliant sense of smell and refuses to eat the pill you will have to administer it yourself.

Follow our five easy steps to find out how to give your dog a pill without food.

  1. With one hand hold your dog’s nose and slowly tilt his head back.
  2. With the same hand, place your thumb on the roof of his mouth. This will force your dog to keep his mouth open. You may need to use your other hand to prise open the jaw.
  3. With your other hand, place the pill or tablet on top of your dog’s tongue as far back into his mouth as you can.
  4. Keep your dog’s head tilted back and gently close his mouth.
  5. Massage your dog’s throat until you see him swallow.

Make It a positive experience

Make the task of giving your dog a pill a positive experience so that the process is easy for both you and your dog. Reward him with lots of praise and speak to him in a happy voice (not to be mistaken for an excited voice).

How to give your dog liquid medication using a syringe

Some dogs actually really like being given medicine this way, especially if a tasty treat is involved as a reward for good behaviour. Giving your dog medicine can be made very easy if you do it correctly and avoid making it a stressful experience for your dog. Give him lots of praise and speak in a happy voice (not an excited voice).

When using a syringe to give your dog medicine make sure that he is sitting against a wall so that he cannot back away. Before calling him over in a calm voice refer to what has been prescribed by your vet and measure out the volume of medication into a syringe.

  1. With one hand slowly tilt the dog’s head back.
  2. With the same hand, place your thumb on the roof of his mouth to keep his mouth open. You may need to use the other hand to open his mouth.
  3. Place the syringe between his cheeks and his back teeth so that he doesn’t bite down and break it.
  4. Slowly release the medication into the back of the dog’s throat. If you release the medication too quickly he will choke and may even vomit.