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How to Give a Dog  a Pill

You've never really lived until you've tried to give a pill to a dog who doesn't want to take it, have you? If you're facing this glorious moment of dog ownership for the first time, you've come to the right place! We've got some great tips to make this rite of passage in dog / owner wrestling a little less eventful.

A Necessary Struggle

Many times if your dog is ill, your vet will give you pills to administer to your dog, an exercise which sounds simple enough, but isn’t in some cases. Your dog could be like some children, and simply refuse to take that pill, no matter how much you beg and plead, and promise him that the tablet will make him better. Or he might be one of those delightful puppies who lulls you into a false sense of security that he's swallowed his medication, only to spit it out triumphantly the moment your back is turned.

The thing is though your vet has assured you that the medication will sort out the problem, so you have to get your dog to take the pills, and especially if they are for a chronic condition, you're going to have to win this particular battle of wills!

Give a Dog a Pill the Way the Pros Do

With your knees behind your dogs shoulders, grip him tightly so that he can’t run away. Holding the pill and being careful that he does not bite you, hold his snout with your one hand, and open his lower jaw with your other hand, then quickly drop the pill as far back as possible in his mouth. Hold his jaws closed with your one hand, and holding his chin up, massage his throat with your other hand, which will prompt him to swallow the pill. When he starts licking his lips, praise him for taking his medicine like a good boy.

A little water in a syringe can make this even easier. Once you have placed the pill, a quick squirt of water will force your dog to swallow, and the pill will go along for the ride!

Or Try Bribery!

Another easy way to give your reluctant dog a pill is to hide it in a piece of his favorite food, such as cheese, some bread, or even a chunk of meat. Natural peanut butter is another great option to give a reluctant puppy their medication!

If neither of these methods helps, and your vet okays it, you can crush the pill, mix it with a little sugar water, and using a syringe, squirt it into the side of your dog’s mouth until all the liquid has been swallowed.

The fact is, at some point, nearly every dog will need to take a pill, and the sooner you and your pup can work out a system that works for you, the easier it will be for everyone.

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