Giving your dog a capsule can often be a challenging task. It’s not uncommon for dogs to spit out pills or simply refuse to take them. However, it’s important for your dog’s health to ensure they take their medication properly. Understanding how to give a dog a pill is important. Administering a capsule doesn’t have to be a fight. With patience, positivity, and the right method, you can make the process stress-free. Here are five tips for how to give a capsule to a dog with less stress on you and your furry friend.
How to Give a Dog a Capsule
When giving a dog a capsule, pet parents should always stay calm and patient, ensuring the experience is as stress-free as possible for their pet. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to administer a pill to your dog, allowing you to choose which works best for your unique pup.
Before diving into the methods of administration, it’s important to note that if your dog has a difficult time taking pills, full spectrum hemp extract can be offered in advance. Full spectrum hemp extract can help keep your pet calm and relaxed, making it easier for both you and them.
1. Hide Oral Medications In Food
Hiding your dog’s medication in their food can be a helpful strategy when your pet is resistant to taking their medicine. Certain medications might have a bitter taste or an unappealing texture that dogs dislike. By disguising the medicine in your dog’s food, you can ensure they get the necessary treatment without the stress of forcing the medication.
Here’s how to get a dog to take a capsule using pill pockets:
- Soft foods: Soft foods like a small amount of cheese (no other dairy products), peanut butter (ensure it’s xylitol-free), or canned dog food can easily mask a pill. Simply embed the medicine in a small amount of the chosen food. If you have liquid medications, as long as it’s okay with your vet, they could also be placed in your dog’s canned food to mask the taste.
Watch the following video link for more ideas on how to mix Earth Buddy Mushroom Capsules and Glutathione Capsules into food for dogs: How to Mix Capsules of Earth Buddy Mushrooms into food
- Special treats: If your dog loves a certain treat, consider hiding the pill inside. For instance, you could hide the pill inside a piece of human food like a hot dog or piece of sausage.
Watch the following video link for ways to mix capsules into a light snack for dogs:
- Open and mix: For dogs that are expert pill detectives, consider crushing the pill (if the medication can be administered this way—some medications lose effectiveness if crushed, so always consult with your vet first) and mixing it with their regular food or a special treat. The medication’s taste is often well-disguised in a larger volume of food.
Always follow up the medication with a little more food or a treat, so your dog looks forward to medicine time. Always check with your vet before hiding medication in food, as some medications need to be taken on an empty stomach. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. Your dog’s health often depends on taking prescribed medication regularly and correctly.
2. Give Your Dog a Pill With Pill Pockets
Administering medicine to dogs can sometimes be a challenge due to the taste, size, or texture of the pills. Pill pockets offer a convenient and effective solution to this problem. These are edible treats designed with a built-in pouch where the pill can be hidden. The outer layer of the treat masks the scent and taste of the hidden pill, making it a stress-free and enjoyable experience for your dog.
Here’s how to use pill pockets to administer medicine to your dog:
- Choose the right size: Pill pockets come in different sizes to accommodate different pill dimensions. Choose the one that best fits your dog’s medication.
- Insert the pill: Open the pill pocket, place the medication in the built-in pouch, and close the opening by pinching it shut.
- Give the treat to your dog: Most dogs are excited to receive a treat and will readily accept it. Since the treat disguises the smell and taste of the medication, your dog should consume it without hesitation.
Watch your dog eat the treat. It’s important to ensure that your dog fully consumes the treat and the medication within it. Some dogs might try to eat around the pill or spit it out, so keep an eye on them to make sure it’s actually taken along with the pill pocket.
Using pill pockets can significantly reduce the stress often associated with giving dogs medication and ensure that your dog gets the necessary treatment.
3. Make it a Game Using The Best Foods
Making medicine administration a game for your dog can transform a potentially stressful experience into an enjoyable activity that encourages even the most uncooperative dog. Here are a few steps on how to do so:
- Hide and seek with medicine: If your dog is food-motivated, you could try hiding their medication in a treat or in their meal and then “hiding” this special treat in an accessible location for your dog’s nose to find. Their natural instinct to sniff out and find food will turn this into a fun game. However, remember to observe from a distance to ensure your dog consumes the medication.
- Treat toss game: If the medication can be wrapped in a tasty treat, turn it into a catch game. Toss the treat for your dog to catch. Most dogs love this game and will look forward to medication time. However, make sure you’re using soft treats or pill pockets to avoid a hard pill causing any harm.
- Puzzle feeders or toys: You can use a puzzle toy or feeder to make taking medicine fun for your dog. Simply hide the medicine (wrapped in a treat) inside the puzzle toy. Your dog will enjoy the mental and physical stimulation from the toy and receive their medicine as a reward. This can work especially well for dogs who are keen problem solvers.
- The three cup game: If your dog is particularly clever, you might use the classic “three cup game.” Hide the medication in a treat under one of three cups and shuffle them around. Then encourage your dog to find the right one.
Remember, it’s crucial to supervise this entire process to ensure your dog actually consumes the medication. Every dog is unique, so a game that works for one dog might not work for another. Be patient and find what works best for your pup.
4. Use a Pill Gun to Give Your Dog a Capsule
A pill gun (also known as a pill dispenser or pill shooter) is a useful tool for administering dog pills, especially to dogs that are adept at finding and spitting out pills hidden in treats or food. It allows you to place the medication directly in the back of your dog’s throat, bypassing the taste buds and making it more likely the dog will swallow the pill.
Here are the steps on how to use a pill gun to give your dog a pill:
- Load the pill: Place the pill or capsule in the rubber tip of the pill gun. Ensure it is secure but not too tight, as it needs to be released easily.
- Prepare your dog: Sit or kneel beside your dog. Make sure your dog is calm. Some owners find it helpful to gently pet their dogs or talk to them in a soothing voice to keep them relaxed.
- Open your dog’s mouth: Using your dominant hand, gently grasp your dog’s upper jaw. Tilt the head slightly backward, which naturally causes the dog’s jaw to open.
- Administer the pill: Place the pill gun into your dog’s mouth, aiming towards the back of the throat, away from your dog’s teeth. Try to place it as far back as you can without causing discomfort or irritating your dog’s tongue. Then push the plunger to release the pill.
- Encourage swallowing: Immediately after releasing the pill, remove the pill gun, hold your dog’s mouth closed, and gently rub their throat to encourage swallowing.
- Reward your dog: After your dog swallows the pill, reward them with praise, petting, or a small treat (if allowed with the medication).
Remember, every dog is different, and some may be more resistant to pill guns than others.
5. Giving Pills Manually
In some cases, dog owners may need to administer the capsule manually. Place the capsule at the back of your dog’s mouth, close their mouth, and gently stroke their throat to encourage swallowing. Always be gentle and careful when using this method. Taking your dog for their daily walk may also help make your dog more willing to take a pill since they will be a bit sleepier than before.
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