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32 Ways To Get Your Dog To Take Medicine

A recent conversation with a friend made me realize I needed write this blog post – as I realized we weren’t alone in a past pet struggle.  As we were chatting, the topic of getting pets, more specifically dogs, and the struggles of getting them to take their medicine came up.  Because getting a dog to take prescribed medication can be REALLY tricky!

32 Ways To Get Your Dog To Take Medicine

Getting dogs to take their medicine can be TOUGH!

A Sad Day

About 18 years ago, we had a German Shorthair dog named Tipper.  She was 6 or 7 at the time and was THE best dog. Seriously!  She was great with the kids, listened well, loved the farm life, but enjoyed being in the house with the family too. She never had any accidents and was just all-around sweet.

The Accident:

It was fall combining season and as the combine was coming up the final row of corn, Tipper was waiting for animals to jump out.  (Mice, rabbits, etc.)  She was so intent on watching for animals that she didn’t even hear the combine approaching.  And the combine driver didn’t realize she wasn’t moving until it was too late. (By the time he saw she was distracted, to stop would have meant the entire combine coming down and crushing her.)  So he kept going and ended up hitting her, which caused her back leg got cut off.  She limped her way back up by the bins where my husband was working.  As soon as he saw her, he called me and I immediately rushed out and ran her to the vet. 

Emergency surgery, $1,000+ vet bill, and a lot of tears later, our sweet girl was okay.  But she needed to take medicine in the form of pills to ward off infection.  That dog was so stinking smart that she KNEW when we would slip a pill to her.  So while some of the following ways didn’t for us, I wanted to compile a list of ideas for you to try with your dog as we were getting desperate in our search for a way to succeed in getting her medicine down.  (PS: Suggestion #1 is what DID work for us.)

dogs -32 Ways To Get Your Dog To Take Medicine

Are you struggling to get your dog to take their prescribed medication? We’ve rounded up the best ways to help you succeed.

First Off, A Must Follow TIP:

Do NOT let your pet watch you put their medicine in the food or treat!  Pups are intelligent and many will refuse to eat something if they see you put the medication in it.

32 Ways To Get Your Dog To Take Their Medicine

  1. Slather the pill with BBQ sauce and mix with a couple small pieces of meat. (it masks the smell and taste)
  2. Put the pills into gelatin capsules first and then into a food or treat so that they can’t taste (or smell) the pills.
  3. Coat the pill in butter, place on the back of the tongue, tip the head back with mouth closed. Typically straddled over the dog (dog in sit position) works best.
  4. If the pills are not coated, crush them first and then mix them with wet dog food or peanut butter.
  5. Use shredded cheese, put in your hand, and mix the pills in. Many dogs can’t tell the difference and gobble up the whole mess.  Cheddar is a good choice because it’s got a pungent smell and they don’t smell the meds.
  6. Slide it down the back of the throat, and immediately massage the neck so they can’t manipulate it out.
  7. Stick the pill in a marshmallow.
  8. Cover the pill with squeeze cheese.
  9. Dunk the pill in some beef bullion. Let it absorb some and give it like a treat.  Then rub their necks to keep it down.
  10. Slide pill into the center of a piece of liver sausage.
  11. Dissolve the pills in water and use a syringe to squirt into their mouths.
  12. Stuff into a fig newton. 
  13. Roll the pills in a thin slice of ham or turkey.
  14. Use pill pockets (the greenies brand). Give 1-2 regular treats before and the dog won’t have a clue.
  15. Take a small piece of bread, add some peanut butter, fold the pill up in it, and add more peanut butter.
  16. Put the pill in their mouth as far as you can, close their mouth, and then blow on their nose.
  17. Use the softer dogs treats so you can put pill inside of it.
  18. Take a small piece of bread slathered with cream cheese, put pill in cream cheese, fold the small piece of bread and give to the dog.
  19. Stick the pill in a small ball of raw hamburger.  Dogs just gobble it up.
  20. Crush and mix with cottage cheese.
  21. Freeze inside an ice cube tray in a mixture of raw egg Kiefer and fish oil.
  22. Put the pill on a spoon with wet dog food.
  23. Just poke it into a cheeseball and push it in. (I think the cheese powder covers the flavor and smell.)
  24. Pulverize the pill into a powder and mix it with peanut butter so they don’t realize the medicine is inside.
  25. Slip into a piece of liverwurst.
  26. Mix the pill in with pumpkin puree. 
  27. Hide it inside a Combo.
  28. Put a little bit of plain yogurt on the end of your finger and put the pill in it.  Place at the back of your dog’s tongue so it will slide right down.
  29. Roll the pill into a piece of milk soaked bread.
  30. Have your dog catch two or three treats, then toss the loaded one that has the pill inside.  They never even realize!
  31. Wet cat food, with high protein high fat content.  Put some on a spoon. Give them a few times without the meds and don’t let them see you put the medication in the food. Get them to open their mouth and scrape against top teeth.
  32. Crush it up and put it in a chicken and rice mixture.
So tell me, do you struggle with getting your dog to take medicine?  If  you have any special tips or tricks that weren’t mentioned, be sure to share below.  And if you have a particular way that works well, also leave us a comment letting everyone know.  


Sunday 7th of January 2024

Saving this list! The peanut butter and bread technique often works for my dogs, but sometimes they get extra finicky.