Do you have a hard time getting your dog to eat their pills?
Some dogs accept medications well, some are quite finicky and some, like Jasmine was, couldn’t be fooled. She accepted a pill hidden in food once. Found it in there and that was it forever. She could tell whether the food was manipulated or not. If she really wanted the food, she’d eat around the pill and spit it out. Or she’d just spit out the whole thing.
The only way of getting any medication into Jasmine was by sticking it down her throat. And even then she’d somehow manage to “cheek it” and spit out later undetected.
Why some dogs take their pills and some don’t?
I believe that the most important difference is whether a dog chews their treats or not. If your dog inhales anything they are offered, they likely won’t have any idea that they ate a medication. With such dogs, it is easy to hide the pills in anything that is yummy enough.
One of the successful methods includes throwing the adulterated treats if the dog is used to getting treats for tricks that way.
Further information: Pills? 5 Easy Solutions for Uncooperative Pooches
If your dog chews their treats
JD was a gulper. Giving him medications was easy.
Jasmine chewed everything she got. Cookie chews most things she gets.
I can only hide Cookie’s pills in stuff that I know she won’t chew. And there are not many of those. I am pretty much limited to peanut butter and cream cheese.
Some medications and supplements are made in a chewable form. They are meant to be given as a treat.
JD took those happily. To Cookie, however, they’re not attractive enough. I have to cut them up small and also hide in food.
Pill pockets type of delivery can be great if your dog just needs one or two pills a day and, again, doesn’t chew them. Cookie, with all her herbs and supplements, gets over 15 pills, gels, and capsules a day. Even if they worked, pill pockets would have to replace her meals.
What does the medication smell and taste like?
Jasmine actually used to like her integrative herbs mixed with her meals.
Cookie does not. I started by just introducing literally a pinch into a small portion of her food. She turned her nose on it and refused the rest of the food as well even though it was not tainted.
“What did you do to my food? It’s contaminated!”
How would we ever get her to accept the full dose, which was substantial?
A different idea
Did you hear about compounding pharmacies? They customize the medication to individualize and making it acceptable to the dog. They can transform the substance into any form that might work best. You can try and become your own compounding pharmacy to get your dog to take their meds.
Some medications come in capsules, such as Gabapentin Jasmine was on. When we were weaning her off it, we had to reduce the dose to less than a content of the capsule. What do you know, if you do it carefully enough, these things come apart quite well.
My initial thought was to try and get some blank capsules and put Cookie’s hers in that. When we talked to our pharmacist, though, he said that it is cheaper to buy something benign such as gelatin capsules instead, and just empty them and replace the content with whatever we need Cookie to take.
And it works quite great.
In the meantime we got Cookie’s herbs already in capsules, however, I’ve been using these for some other things that come in powder and she’s not keen on.
You don’t have to use the capsules just for powder medications.
Some pills, such as Tramadol, Zytran, and as it seems even Cookie’s Trazodone taste quite awful. When Jasmine got a taste of Tramadol or Zytran she was very unhappy, foaming like crazy and trying to get the horrible taste out of her mouth. Now imagine that is she did spit it out hubby still had to go ahead and put it right back in.
Cookie too found the Trazodone in her cheese roll and was less than impressed. As it turns out, many of these things fit right into the capsule too. The capsule itself doesn’t have any taste on its own and hides the nasty content really well.
So if you have some pills that are nasty tasting, or powder your dog won’t eat, make your own medication capsules.
Making the Medicine Go Down: Giving a Dog a Pill