One of the most common conversations our staff has is centered around, “My pet will not take their medicine. Help!” We understand it can be not only overwhelming to try to force your pet to take their medication but also stressful and upsetting. Here are a few of our fear-free tips and tricks that won’t leave you and your pet traumatized!
Hide and Seek
The most go-to option is to disguise the medication in a mouth-watering treat. For dogs, we recommend hiding pills in a small piece of deli meat, peanut butter (xylitol free!), a bit of cheese, or in a tiny dollop of whip cream. Pill pockets are moldable treats that work well for both dogs and cats alike. In fact, we use Pill pockets for our clever clinic cat Sammi’s daily medications.
Serenegy is a local company that offers a hypoallergenic form of a moldable treat.
Mixing flavored suspensions in tuna juice or baby food (meat only ingredients) can fool most persnickety kitties.
Entice your pet by randomly giving “plain” treats and then sneak in the medicated treat followed by another plain treat. Sometimes this also works by dropping three treats in a food bowl. Two plain and one medicated. Your pet will not realize they have consumed the medication.
On the subject of games, if you are a multiple pet household, you could offer both pets “treats” at the same time. Some dogs and cats will be more likely to eat the treat with medication hidden inside if they think their furry housemate is getting something special.
Break the routine. Take your dog for a walk or a car ride and then casually give them a “treat” for being good!
Some pets just won’t be tricked. Talk with your veterinarian about getting the medication compounded. Compounding solutions can be flavored suspensions or chews, or transdermal applications (drugs that can be absorbed by applying directly to the skin).