Having a sick pet at home can be stressful for owners, especially if they don’t know how to properly medicate their pet. All dog owners should learn how to safely administer medicine because, at one point in its life, a dog would need medication. Medicine can only do its job if it reaches its target, and this requires you to ensure that your dog takes its medicine. Of course, it can be difficult for pets to cooperate and you need to have a specific strategy to make the daunting task of pill administration a tad bit easier. Here are some effective tips that can help you safely medicate your canine friend.
Disguise It in Food
This is probably the easiest method to trick your dog into having its medicine. Just disguise the pill in your dog’s favorite food or delicacies like cheese or canned food. If your dog isn’t that particular or picky about food, and if luck is on your side, the dog will simply gulp down the food containing medication.
Unfortunately, some animals can sniff out anything that isn’t supposed to be in food with their sensitive noses and can eat around it and leave the portion containing medication. In order to minimize the chances of your pet spitting the pill out, try disguising it in strong-smelling wet food. There are tasty foods especially available in pet stores and veterinary clinics to disguise the pills.
If this trick doesn’t work, you can also try giving one ‘primer’ dose of treat which doesn’t contain medication, and then quickly offer a treat that does contain medication. Consult your pet’s veterinary doctor to make sure that the foods you use to disguise pills are safe and don’t have any significant interactions with the medication.
Use Syringe or Dropper to Administer Liquid Medication
Liquid medication might seem trickier to administer because it can’t easily be crushed or disguised in solid food the way pills can. However, compared to pills, liquid medication is easier to administer as you can use pipettes or syringes. A lot of research is done on the usage of CBD oil on animals, in one such article “Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs”, it is mentioned that the oil can be safely applied either topically or can be given through the sublingual route. Using a syringe or a dropper can be really helpful in the administration of liquid medication.
All you need to do is take the required dose of medicine in a dropper and hold it in your dominant hand. Bring the dropper near the side of your dog’s mouth, and use your other hand to hold the dog’s head. Empty the dropper, and give a gentle throat massage to encourage swallowing. You can also try rubbing your dog’s favorite treat on the side of the dropper to make the medication more appealing.
You can choose to add the medication to your dog’s food, but mixing it with food can alter the medicine’s effectiveness. You should also reward your dog with plenty of playtimes and treats after successful medication. This will make your dog more eager to take its medication in the next session.
Injectable medication is probably the most painful of all methods listed. Plus there are some medications like antibiotics that can only be given through a needle to ensure that the entire dosage reaches directly into your dog’s bloodstream. Injectable medication will be administered in a veterinary clinic, but you have to give an extra helping hand by distracting your pet. Use cooing voices to calm your dog, and don’t forget to reward your dog afterward as this will create positive reinforcement, and will make the entire process less painful for the dog.
Use a Little Healthy Competition
This trick can work if you own more than one dog. Gather all your dogs together, and give them ‘treats’. Most dogs don’t give a second thought and gulp down the food that is present in front of them in fear of the other dog snatching it away. You have to be strategic and have to place the medicated treat in front of the sick dog. In the presence of other dogs, the one who is sick is most likely to quickly gulp down the pill without even realizing the change of taste. However, there is a drawback of this trick as it can backfire with the medicine ending up in the wrong dog’s tummy.
Medicating dogs can be a daunting task as our canine friends may not realize why it’s essential for them to have their medication. You can make the process easier by using the tips and tricks mentioned above, and hopefully, safely medicating your dogs would no longer be that much of a challenge. It just involves a little bribery and deception on your part so that your furry friend can feel better in no time.