Top Tips for Giving Your Pet Medicine
You want the best for every member of your family, including pets. So when they need to take their meds, you’ve got their best interest in mind. But often they don’t seem to get the memo, and can make the process of taking their medicine tricky. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite methods of getting pets to take their medications without too much stress on either of you.
Prepare Your Pet’s Meds Out of Sight
No matter which method you use to help your pets take their medications, it’s crucial you prepare the meds out of sight, especially if it’s a medication you’ll need to give them more than once. Your pet is smart enough to be able to tell you’re getting medicine ready for them and they’ll make it difficult for you to help them feel their best. If the medication isn’t time-dependent and can be given at any time of day, mix up when you give them their dose. This way, you’ll be able to work at an advantage with any of the below tips.
Turn Pet Meds into a Tasty Treat
There are many options for sneaking medicine to a reluctant pet as a treat. Here’s some of our best food ideas:
Pill Pockets & Pill Paste
Several companies create treats in flavors pets love to wrap pills inside as a sneaky method to make medicine time a smoother process. Your pet will be too excited at the prospect of a treat to notice the pill they’ve taken! These are usually called pet pockets, and you can ask your veterinarian for recommendations on which brand will work best for your pet. An alternative version of this is pill paste, which is a more malleable substance suitable for oddly-shaped pills or multiple medications.
There’s an even simpler method to this for reluctant dogs. Most dogs love peanut butter, and it’s distinctive scent is strong enough that they won’t notice if they get a spoonful with some liquid or crushed medicine inside. This also helps with particularly bitter pills, as your dog will be too happy lapping up the peanut butter to notice the other tastes. To be safe, make sure the peanut butter is xylitol-free. No measure is worth doing if it could harm your pet!
Canned Wet Food
Most pets love wet food, just as most owners aren’t too fond of its strong scent. That scent can work in your favor here. Give your pet some wet food as a treat and mix the medicine — liquid or pill — in before letting them eat. You don’t need to use an entire can for this. In fact, we’d recommend you didn’t! A couple of spoonfuls will get the job done and leave your pet happy and none the wiser.
Make a Game Out of Med Time
For a dog that loves to catch treats and toys in its mouth, this game could be a great method. Toss several treats to your dog in a row and, once your dog has the hang of it, toss a treat with the medicine in it. Keep going after that with another treat or two — you don’t want to give the game away! Your dog won’t be any the wiser that they’ve taken their medicine.
Include Your Other Pets
Whenever you give a treat to one pet, the others will sniff it out and come to get their treat too. If you have more than one pet, you can use this to your advantage! Use one of the food ideas from above and give each pet a treat, including medicine for your affected pet in their portion. You’ll leave all your furry friends happy — and make sure your sick pet is being taken care of, too.
Use Topical Options
Topicals are applied to the skin of your pet, so if oral medication isn’t the right option, this could be best for your pet. It’s important to note that topicals often aren’t a direct replacement for oral medication. Topical medications can address different issues than oral medications and vice versa. Some of the same techniques to help make the process smooth will work well with both kinds of medicines!
Distraction works well when applying topicals to your pet. If they have a favorite toy, get their attention with that and apply the topical while they’re happily preoccupied. If they have a favorite treat, you could distract them with that and apply the topical quickly as they eat a few.
Use Our Pet-Approved Veterinary Compounds
Just like you, we love animals and want to help them feel their best! We offer veterinary compounding to make sure every member of your family, furry or not, is taken care of with our quality custom compounds. We can incorporate these medications into a custom tasty treat or liquid suitable for your pet or customize compounded topical medications for them as well.
Plus, we cover more than just dogs and cats! We offer compounding available for rabbits, birds and pocket pets like hamsters and mice too. We’re here to help, so contact us here to get in touch if you’ve got any specific questions about whether compounding could be right for your pet.