How do I get my dog to take a pill when I can't hide it in food?
May 24, 2010 6:52 AM   Subscribe

How do I give an anti-nausea pill to my dog when he won't eat?

I took my dog to the emergency vet yesterday because he had refused food for 48 hours (and thrown up his previous meal). At the vet, he perked up immediately and after the vet examined him and pronounced him otherwise healthy, he ate some sample food she brought in like a champ. Just in case, she gave him an injection to keep him from vomiting and gave me a box of pills to give him for a few days at home. This morning, although he seems much better than he was yesterday (energetic and alert, not listless and hiding under things), he won't eat. I think it's possible he's feeling kind of yucky again, and the pill will help -- but how do I get him to take that pill?
posted by emumimic to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I find that my dogs will usually take a pill with peanut butter or cream cheese even if they aren't interested in dog food.
posted by Pax at 6:59 AM on May 24, 2010

You don't want to put it in his food anyway. Check out the ideas Basically, you're going to do everything you can to relax your dog ahead of time, get the pill to the back of his throat, then keep his mouth closed long enough (and keep him from running away) to make sure it was swallowed.
posted by artifarce at 6:59 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

(Like Pax, I've also tried to use food in the past. It may or may not work, depending on how tricky your animal is.)
posted by artifarce at 7:01 AM on May 24, 2010

If the peanut butter doesn't work (my dog sucks it off and leaves the slimy pill on the floor) you can just pry open his teeth and pitch it down his throat. Make sure it lands behind his tongue and rub his throat, it encourages him to swallow. Have a treat following right behind and he won't think to spit it out.
posted by Miss Mitz at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

My dog is a picky eater, so like others have said above, I give her all of her pills (even the flavored ones!) by pushing them as far back in her throat as I can, and holding her mouth closed while I stroke her throat in downward motions. I also find that cooing at her helps, strangely, as it makes her happy and she sort of...smacks her lips (it involves moving her tongue around, not sure how else to describe it) when she's happy. She can't smack her lips and also try to cheek the pill, so once she starts doing that, I can be pretty sure the pill is down.
posted by emilyd22222 at 7:22 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

just pry open his teeth and pitch it down his throat.

How? Sit on the sofa with your dog next to you, facing forward. Wrap your left arm around your dog. Place your left hand on top of his muzzle with your fingertips into the sides of his mouth. Pull up on the top of his muzzle so that his head points up. His mouth will open.

Pitch the pill as far down his throat as you can. He'll start trying to work it out with his tongue - if you've pitched it to the back of the throat it will go down instead of out. Hold his head up until it's swallowed.

This position prevents him from wriggling away as you work. If you work quickly, it's over before he knows it.
posted by evilmomlady at 7:44 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks, guys. I got him to take it. Hiding the pill in food certainly WOULD work if he were eating (he's a gulper), and in fact is what the vet told me to do. stroking his throat didn't get him to swallow, though, so I washed the pill down with a little water, administered via turkey baster. He's not even mad :)
posted by emumimic at 7:46 AM on May 24, 2010

« Older What songs have a military sounding snare drum in...   |   There But for the Grace of Clergy Leadership or... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.