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5 Tips for Giving Pets Medicine


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If you have ever tried to give your pet medication, you know it can be a hassle. You do not want to hold them down and wrestle the pill in their mouth, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Administering medications correctly and on time is important to the recovery of your pet. So what can you do when they continually resist?

Here are 5 tips for giving your pet’s medicine:

Hide Pills in Food

Hiding medication in food is the most common option pet owners try. It’s easy, and often does the trick!

Use soft, wet, food that has a strong scent to cover the medication. Do not let your pet see you prepare it! They are smarter than you think and if they see you putting it in, they will know to avoid it.

It may be tempting to crush pills into a powder or cut them into smaller pieces to make them less likely to be detected. This is never a good idea. Medication is formulated and coated for a timed release. Breaking or crushing the pill would allow the medicine to release more quickly, and may cause it not to work as well or as long. As a general rule, you should administer medications only as directed.

If your pet needs a little more coaxing than their normal food, offer medication hidden in butter, peanut butter, cheese, deli meats, yogurt, or ice cream – just be aware of harmful ingredients like xylitol!

Commercial Treats

There are many treat options on the market now specifically for administering medications, such as Greenies Pill Pockets, that may be worth a try. You can also use treats you already have and know that your pet likes.

Start out by offering a few plain treats, followed by a medicated treat, and then a few plain treats again as a “chaser.” Make a big deal of the coming chaser treat to encourage quick consumption of the medicated one before your pet realizes what is going on.

Administer While Your Pet Is Distracted

Is your pet too aware of the fact that you are trying to give medication? Go for a walk, or to a new-to-them place. Your pet will be too distracted by change in scenery and exercise to pay attention to the fact that there is something different about their treat.

Try offering medication when your pet is tired, such as upon waking up or when they settle for bed. They will be too groggy to care that their treat is medicated.

You can also offer a medicated treat using training or play as a distraction.

Contact a Compounding Pharmacy

A compounding pharmacy is able to transform medication into more desirable forms, such as a flavored pill or chew. Check with your local compounding pharmacy to talk about your options. They may even be able to make a liquid that can be easier to dispense.

Pay Attention to Demeanor

As important as the medication may be, pay special attention to your pet’s demeanor. If they seem agitated or are growling, abort mission! You could end up injured if they lash out and bite. 

If you are still having trouble getting your pet to take the medication, call us for some more ideas or assistance.

Veterinary Services & Pet Pharmacy in Potomac, MD

Trying to administer medication to a resistant pet can be frustrating and discouraging. You want your pet to get well, but it is a constant fight. What is a caring pet owner to do?

At Falls Road Veterinary Hospital, we make your visit and treatment as easy as possible. An on-site pharmacy means that you can have prescriptions filled right after your appointment. If your pet prefers, we offer flavoring and liquefying of medications to make it easier for you to administer.

Need a refill? Call ahead for pickup or even have your pet’s medication delivered right to your door when ordering from our online pet pharmacy.


Contact Us

Falls Road Veterinary Hospital


10229 Falls Road Potomac, MD 20854

Clinic Hours

Mon-Wed: 8:00am - 8:00pm
Thur & Fri : 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sat: 8:00am - 1:00pm
Sun: Closed