What is the best way to give a dog pills?

@sharra1 (6341)
Australia
January 23, 2008 5:25pm CST
My dog has a saw jaw and is having trouble eating. He is on liquid pain medication and pills. I have always given pills in cheese to my dogs because they love it and do not realise there is a pill inside. But this time I do not know what to do as he is nervous about eating anything. He ate his soft food last night for the first time in 3 days. Any suggestions for the best way to give pills to dogs?
4 people like this
7 responses
@schilds (410)
• United States
24 Jan 08
If you cant trick him with food - you have to be fast. Don't give him much warning that it's medicine time. push the pill as far into his throat as you can, then hold his mouth shut and blow in his face. I can't remember why - but blowing in their faces seems to work to make them swallow. I have 2 100+lb labs and that has always worked for me. I don't make a big deal out of it. I just walk up to them and stick the pill in thier mouth (obviously my dogs are pretty mellow). By the time they realize whats going on they've already swallowed it. Liquids are more difficult, but I do pretty much the same thing.
2 people like this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
I have had a few dogs in my life and never got this to work. Even my vet had trouble with one of my dogs, said she had a clever tongue. With her I gave the pills in cheese and she ate it no problem. This is the first time I have had to give pills to a dog who is wary of eating. Also his jaw is sore and opening his mouth hurts him so this method is hard.
@sizzle3000 (3038)
• United States
23 Jan 08
I am sorry to say giving a dog medication is not easy at all. My dad had a germanshepard and he was a nasty dog. He would hide pills. As for the liquids they were harder. We would have to work together and hold the dog. Open his mouth and use a suringe and put the medication as low as possible. Then close and hold his mouth closed until he swallows. Then you need to let him up so that he doesn't choke. It sounds terrible but this is the only way I know to do it. Dogs are not like humans that you can explain to them why something has to be done you just have to do it and hope they will be ok. I hope you dog gets better soon.
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
23 Jan 08
We had that problem last night trying to give him pain medication. It took both of us to hold him. Ours is a mastiff/ridgeback cross and he is a lovely dog with a gentle temperament but very strong. We tried coaxing etc but he knew what we were up to and did not want to take it. The vet says it tastes ok so I do not know why he was being so difficult but in the end my partner had to hold him while I quirted it in. Today I have to start giving him the antibiotic pills. The next 10 days are going to be interesting. Still at least we now know what is wrong and the pain treatment is easing his pain. I wish I knew what caused the problem. I have never had a dog with strained jaw muscles before.
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
24 Jan 08
Hello Sharra1, I use thin sliced ham. In the same way that a capsule holds the powder or gel, the ham acts as a capsule for the pill. Spread the ham out on a paper towel, place the capsule in the top-center. Fold the ham over the capsule, then roll the folded piece of ham. Imagine "pigs in a blanket", and you'll see what I mean. Of course, this works better with dogs with healthy appetites. For a dog with a diminished appetite, I would heat up some broth, with any kind of meat broken into very small pieces. Once the broth is warm, you can mix the content of the capsules into the broth. Of course, you don't want to add additional meat if the dog has renal problems! You have not indicated how old this dog is, or what he ails from. Though, if you're talking about pain meds, I'm imagining a structural issue with perhaps a geriatric dog? There are certain nutriceuticals that might actually work better than prescription pain meds. Moreover, certain pharmaceuticals are really hard on the animal system. For example: Rimadyl is a very common pain med for dogs. Some dogs do very well on it, others do not! So, if you want to provide any further detail, I or another MyLotter might have some helpful suggestions. For example: Homeopathic "Arnicaid" is sublingual, so it dissolves in the dogs mouth. Herbal "Cox2Tame" is a dynamic cox2 inhibitor. It works in the same way that Vioxx did for so many people with chronic pain. Though Vioxx was actually causing strokes in humans. The "Cox2Tame" is plant derived, very safe pain reducer for both humans and canines. Its primary ingredients are ginger, resveritrol (from grape seed), and curcumin, (from cumin). This stuff is amazing! Arctic Fish Oil is terrific at reducing inflamation.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
Thankyou for your response. He is 4 and has a saw jaw. It seems that he has strained the muscles around the hinge and so is scared to open his mouth or chew. The vet has told us to keep him on soft food for a week. No bones or biscuits or anything hard that requires chewing. I do not think his appetite is gone. I think he is scared to eat in case it hurts. When the vet opened his mouth to look inside he screamed. Well it was a terribly loud yelp which sounded like a dog scream to me. The best thing is that he ate his soft food last night and I am so happy about that. After lots of trial and error I found that mixing his pill into some soup worked and last night I used some sauce from our dinner and that worked for both medications. He is on antibiotic pills twice a day and an anti-inflammatory liquid at night for the pain. Tonight I am going to try putting his evening medicine in his food and see if that works. If it does then I only have to worry about his morning pills. I have always wrapped the pills in cheese or meat like ham in the past and it worked because the dogs love it so much. But with his jaw being so sore he has been scared to eat anything and that made it very hard.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
We don't know what caused the pain in his jaw. It appears to be soft tissue damage. All we can do is ease his pain and wait as it gets better. He is a mastiff/ridgeback cross and weighs around 40 kilos. Well he did. He lost 2 kilos in two days of not eating anything. It is all muscle and he is very strong. We prefer not to force him as it upsets everyone and could cause him pain since the sore jaw is the pain area. I will keep trying to find tasty liquids and using his food if that works. He is on antibiotics for 10 days just in case there is infection that we cannot see and the metacam is to help ease the pain until it heals naturally. I hope it heals quickly. I worry about him.
1 person likes this
@miryam (6507)
• Italy
24 Jan 08
MY DOG ARE DIFFICULT NO EAT THAT SO I PUT The PULVERIZED PILL IN LITTLE WATER IN ONE SYRINGE And THEN IN MOUTH,
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
We found last night that crushing them and mixing them with a tasty liquid was the best way as he can drink without using his jaw much. He resists the syringe method and he is strong but we also do not want to force his jaw as that is where the pain is.
@youless (100217)
• Guangzhou, China
24 Jan 08
In the past when we had a dog, we usually hid the pills inside the bread and fed our dog. It worked all the time. Our dog would eat it happily and it made us happy, too.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
This has worked for me in the past as well. For some reason he will not take bread from me as well. I am currently crushing the pills and mixing them in a liquid. I think he is just scared of eating anything. Yesterday I could not even get him to take bacon scraps and he adores bacon. I am hoping that he gets over it quickly. He has been so miserable and that makes everyone miserable.
@megumiart (3780)
• United States
24 Jan 08
I recently had to give my dog pain medication pills after he had a surgery. The easiest way to give them was to have one person hold his mouth open, and then another person put the pill as far back in the throat as possible, then hold he mouth closed and massage his throat until he swallows.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
I have tried this method and never managed to get it to work. In this case though the dog has a saw jaw and it is very hard to get him to open his mouth at all.
• United States
23 Jan 08
I crush them up and put them in his dog food. My dog always chows down so I don't have to fight with him to give him medicine. It is hard when you have a dog that can't take medicine or simply just doesn't want to take it at all.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
23 Jan 08
I would do that but I cannot be sure he will eat the food. He only ate last night for the first time in 3 days and he will not even take bacon scraps off me. He would normally be at my feet when I am cutting bacon and beg for scraps but last night he just sniffed them and walked away. Then later I noticed that his dinner had been eaten so he finally ate some food but he is suspicious of everything I give him now and I have to give him half a pill twice a day.