Safely administering oral medication (pills/tablets)

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Safely administering oral medication (pills/tablets)

Post by Eleanor on Tue May 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Administering oral medication


While some dogs will willingly swallow oral medication, a lot of dogs are extremely reluctant to do so, particularly when it comes to tablets/pills. This thread will outline various methods of safely administering oral medication to your dogs.

The first thing you should address is the way you’ve been administering the medication in the past, as well as whether or not you’ve been doing anything wrong. Please remember that, if you tense up and expect your dog to kick up a fuss when confronted with tablets, he probably will. Dogs are extremely adept at sensing their owners’ moods. It’s important to remain relaxed in order to avoid building negative associations.

Many people find that the easiest and simplest way to administer a tablet is to hide it in a small piece of food. Ideal foods to use include cubes of cheese, soft treats, a part of his meal, etc.. Some dogs do, however, chew their food up and spit the tablet back out. One way to counter this is to prepare a small handful of your chosen food and to hide a tablet in one of them. In quick succession, give your dog a few of the empty food pieces, and then give him the piece with the tablet inside it, followed by the rest of the empty ones.

Mixing a crushed tablet into your dog’s meal may also help, but please bear in mind that he may not consume the required amount of the medication if he doesn’t finish his meal.

Coating the tablet in soft foods such as butter, peanut butter, coconut oil or creamed cheese may also help to disguise any foul tastes. Yoghurt can also be used, often made more effective by first crushing the tablet into a fine powder with the back of a spoon, before mixing the powder into the yoghurt.

Another method of administration involves dropping the tablet on the floor as you prepare your dog’s meal. The idea behind this is that the dog will eat the tablet, thinking it is a part of his dinner. Please be aware that this method may encourage your dog to eat things off of the floor which you may not want him to eat, including potentially dangerous objects.


You can also administer tablets by hand:

  • Ensure that your dog’s throat is moist. This can be done by administering the tablet after your dog has had a drink or eaten. If your dog’s throat is dry, the tablet may become stuck.
  • Lift your dog’s head up with your hand under his lower jaw. Do not force it.
  • With your other hand, gently open his mouth.
  • Carefully throw the pill towards the back of your dog’s throat. Don’t do it too hard, as this may surprise and/or hurt your dog. Although many people manually push pills to the back of dogs’ tongues with their fingers, this method can cause injury to both the dog and human. Pushing your fingers into the back of a dog’s throat is likely to alarm him, which may cause him to instinctively close his jaws, biting you in the process. Sharp nails may also scratch the dog’s throat.
  • Keeping your dog’s head pointing upwards, close his jaws and stroke his throat to encourage swallowing.
  • When you feel your dog swallow, give him plenty of praise and reward.


Warnings:

  • Some tablets should not be broken. Please check before attempting to use methods which involve crushing the tablets.
  • Do not attempt to push or throw tablets to the back of a brachycephalic (short-skulled – pugs, for instance) dog’s throat, as this may cause breathing difficulties. If no other methods work, consult your vet for advice.



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Eleanor

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Re: Safely administering oral medication (pills/tablets)

Post by LyndaW on Wed May 07, 2014 8:59 pm

This is very useful Eleanor, thank you.  thumbs up 
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Re: Safely administering oral medication (pills/tablets)

Post by Wendy on Wed May 07, 2014 9:32 pm

Good post!
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Re: Safely administering oral medication (pills/tablets)

Post by Eleanor on Thu May 08, 2014 10:53 am

Thanks! hug
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Re: Safely administering oral medication (pills/tablets)

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