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Pets and Medications

I’m sure that all of us who own a pet have had to administer some type of medication at one time or another for various ailments.

If you are lucky, your pup will willingly take and eat whatever you give him but that is not the case with a majority of our furry friends.  As many of us know, getting your pup to take a pill or to swallow a liquid medication can be quite an ordeal. 

Some medications are flavoured and can be given to your pup as a “treat” and, in most cases, there is no problem.  But other medications may not be as easy to swallow.  Most vet clinics have “Pill Pockets” on hand for sale which come in Beef and Chicken flavours.  These Pill Pockets work well to conceal a pill or capsule and, in most cases, your pup will take it with no problem.  However, there are some pups who are masters at eating the “treat” and not swallowing the pill inside.

If you have a pup who doesn’t like to take medications, you have to resort to other measures.  If your pup manages to get a pill out of a pill pocket, or refuses to eat it, you may want to try putting the pill in a small piece of cheese or smearing it with cream cheese or peanut butter.  If these tricks don’t work, you can try using a piece of bread coated in cream cheese or peanut butter to hold the pill.  If these things aren’t to your pup’s liking, you can use a cooked hot dog, preferably boiled to remove any fat.  Give your pup a small piece first, without the pill, and if he eats it willingly then give him another piece with the pill.  If your pup enjoys fruit, you can put a pill in a piece of banana or a blueberry.

All pups are different and have things that they like and dislike, so you need to experiment with different things until you find that special something that your pup likes.  As with any medication, you need to carefully read the instructions as to whether it should be given on an empty stomach or a full stomach.  You also need to ask your vet if it’s alright to give the medication with a dairy product, as not all medications work well with dairy.  Also remember, if using peanut butter, do not use peanut butter that contains an artificial sweetener, such as Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Generally, if your vet prescribes a “Liquid” medication, it comes with a syringe that you can fill to the proper amount prescribed and put it in the side of your pup’s mouth and release the liquid.  But, if you have a pup who is defensive about something being put in his mouth, you need to find an alternative.  You may want to try putting the measured dosage in a small bowl with a little milk or yogurt. If using yogurt, use a good quality plain yogurt.  If the liquid medication does not smell or taste badly, you may be able to just put it on top of your pup’s kibble or mix it in with a small amount of “wet” food.  Alternatively, you may want to crush the pill and mix it with a powdered liver treat and put the mixture in with your pups’ regular kibble, or a small amount of wet food.

Regardless of the medication given, be sure that you give it to your pup in the prescribed dosage and at the required time of day and be sure that your pup gets and ingests each dose.  Once you finish the medication, follow up with a trip to the vet to be sure your pup is in prime health.

We all hope that we don’t have to give medications to our beloved furry friends, but it is sometimes necessary and lifesaving, so be sure to follow the advice of your vet and keep your furry friend happy and healthy.


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