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How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery

Mercè Garcia
By Mercè Garcia. December 2, 2020
How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery

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Getting your dog to take the pills they need can be very difficult if they're being picky and uncooperative. Thankfully, there are different ways to trick them into taking the pills.

In this AnimalWised article we're going to give you 5 effective ways to get your dog to take their pills after surgery, or simply when ill. Keep reading to find the best method for your dog!

You may also be interested in: How to Give a Cat a Pill
  1. Give them a treat
  2. Hide the pill in their meal
  3. Hiding the pill from an attentive dog
  4. Break the pill
  5. Syringe for dogs
  6. Other tips

1. Give them a treat

If your dog gets excited for treats so much that they just seem to swallow the entire treat in one gulp, this method might be the best one for them. Try training them for a couple of minutes, such as holding out a treat and asking them to sit. Once they do, you can give them the treat with the pill together. They will be so excited about the treat that they will eat it so quickly and not notice the pill, or perhaps notice the pill once they've already eaten it. Then, you can give them one more treat for having the pill and to get the taste out of their mouth and avoid vomiting.

If your dog usually eats their treat off their dog bowl and not your hand, you will do the same thing and place the pill closely next to the treat or over it. If your dog doesn't inspect it before eating the treat, this method should work swimmingly. However, if they do inspect the treat and decide to separate it from the pill, you will need to try another method we mention below.

How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery - 1. Give them a treat

2. Hide the pill in their meal

Another effective method is to hide the pill in their wet dog food meal. Therefore, once lunch or dinner rolls around, prepare their meal as you usually do but add the pill inside. Most likely, your dog will not even notice it in their meal. This is especially true as dogs prefer wet dog food to dry treats.

Therefore, if the last method didn't work on your dog, this one should have a better chance. Make sure the food is fresh and one that they enjoy, and don't forget to place the pill in the middle. There should be some wet food on top of the pill but also under it. If you place it right on top, your dog may be put off by it and if you place it right at the bottom, they may not eat it as they've already eaten all of the wet dog food. That's why the middle is the ideal placement.

You may also be interested in our article about the benefits of homemade dog food.

How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery - 2. Hide the pill in their meal

3. Hiding the pill from an attentive dog

If your dog is very careful and always seems to spot and avoid the pill, you will have to try more sneaky methods like this one. In this case, you will need to make a special meal specifically so your dog takes their pill.

In this photo the dog companion used a cracker, some cheese and meat. However, you should replace the cheese with another meat product if your dog is lactose intolerant, such as a homemade burger where you can then place the pill. The goal of this method is to make a new and irresistible meal for your dog, one that will make them gobble their food up and not even notice the pill.

If you need any more ideas, check out our article about our homemade dog treat recipe.

How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery - 3. Hiding the pill from an attentive dog
Image: kiwanofruit

4. Break the pill

If the last methods haven't worked, the next method is for your dog. This method involves breaking the pill in pieces or until it is almost dust and mixing it with their wet dog food, or even making a special meal for them with the broken pill.

Before trying this method, you must contact your veterinarian and ask them if the pill can be broken into pieces or dust in order for your dog to have it. This is because there are some types of pills that must be had whole in one go. Once they give you the approval, you can go ahead and try this method that is full proof!

How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery - 4. Break the pill

5. Syringe for dogs

As a last resort you can always opt for a syringe for dogs. This will make it easier for you to feed them their pill, especially if your dog is uncooperative and stubborn, but it is not sustainable. The syringe is to force feed a dog. If you do this once or twice, it won't create a problem.

However, if you need to continue to use this method, your relationship with your dog may be affected as they may associate this negative experience of being forced-fed with you. Dogs will not understand that the pill is for their health and their own good. Therefore, before using a syringe for dogs, we recommend you first consult your veterinarian.

Syringe for dogs can be bought at your local pharmacy or even online. All you will need to do is to break the pill into a powder and mix it with some water. You'll add this to the syringe. Then, once your dog is sitting, you can hold their head slightly up and insert the watered pill.

As their head is held slightly up, they will quickly swallow, but they will not be happy about it. We recommend you give them a small treat once they've had the syringe so they can associate the syringe with a treat and a positive experience. This will also help them forget the taste of the pill and, thus, avoid them throwing it up.

How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery - 5. Syringe for dogs

Other tips

Lastly, we want to leave you some other tips that may help you when trying to get your dog to take their pills after surgery or simply when ill. They are the following:

  • If you're still having trouble trying to get your dog to take their pill, consult your veterinarian who will be able to help.
  • If you have two dogs who must take the same medication, we recommend you give it to them at different times, such as the morning and night. This way, if one of them throws up the medication, you will know which one it was.
  • Avoid stressing your dog. This is why we first recommend you hide the pill in your dog's food. It's a very subtle way that won't stress your dog out.
  • Don't forget to contact your veterinarian if you see that your dog is having any side effects form the medication. It's very important that they know in order to make sure that your dog's recovery is going well.

You can also watch this video where a veterinarian shows you how they get a dog to take their pill.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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How to Get Your Dog to Take Pills After Surgery