How do I get my dog to take these pills?

He has something called “Kennel Cough”, he’s a pretty sick boy. :frowning:
He needs to take 4 pills twice a day. I’m thinking that’s too many, to be hidden in food. Even if they’re crushed, the taste will be overpowering. The pills are about the size of an aspirin.
Any suggestions are welcome.

Has he rejected the pills before? Our dog used to just eat pills if you held them out to her, and she’d look around for more if you didn’t follow up with something to eat.

Perhaps try to bribe him, give him a pill then a small treat (a piece of cheese or something?). Make the pills associated with something nice and tasty.

How big is your dog? We give our cat several pills a day, one of which is pretty big and very nasty-smelling. We grind it up and mix it with some Nutri-Stat (which is just basically a vitamin supplement) and a teeny bit of water, put it in a syringe (we got a kitten mothering kit and cut the tip of one of the syringe off so the opening would be fairly large, so squirting a thicker liquid through it would be easier) and squirt it into her cheek with her head held back. If your dog’s small enough, you could try it that way. Hope he feels better soon!

Drop the pill into your dogs mouth, keep his mouth closed, with his head tipped back, and rub his throat. He should swallow it that way. Good luck!
I tend to put most meds into a bit of a slice of cheese. Mold it around the pill, and give it to the dog. They’ll eat it that way, too.

Well, there’s the cheese/hot dog method: Take two small chunks of the food and mold one around the pill. Get the dog fired up about the treat (with words, tone of voice and by letting him smell it.) Then toss the dog the pill-free chunk, and the one with the pill after he’s gobbled the first. Even a picky dog won’t investigate the second treat as carefully.

My vet reccomended grinding up the pill and putting it inside somethign tasty like peanut butter.

Something that works for my dog is i take a treat she likes and break it into 2 pieces. I give her one piece and wait for her to eat it, then i open her mouth, pop in the pill and the other half a treat and she eats it right up.

If your dog will let you, drop it as far back on his tongue as possible.

With my smaller dogs: I just sit them in my lap and hold them down with my legs. I tilt the head back, open the mouth, toss the pill as far back as it’ll go, hold the mouth shut, and rub the throat. Sometimes you have to hold their mouth shut for a minute or two, but they’ll eventually swallow.

With Scooby (the great dane who is bigger than me): I grab a chunk of cheese off of the block, make alittle hole in it, stick the pill in, cover the hole with cheese, and toss it in his mouth. He’s like a duck- no chewing; so he doesn’t even notice the pills. Lately he doesn’t like the cheese we bought (I swear- I think he is a cheese snob :eek: ), so I take a little piece of cinnamon roll and stick it in there.

The cheese method has worked well for our dogs. Velveeta cheese loaf makes it really easy; the stuff is soft enough that you can roll it into a ball with the pill in the center.

That’s pretty much what I do. Open the dog’s mouth, poke the pill to the back, close the mouth, tilt head back, rub throat. I do it so quickly the dog doesn’t have time to object or get unhappy. Then of course, pet the dog, and tell him/her “good dog.”

I get a cheap block of cheddar cheese, grate it, and then mold some of the grated cheese around the pill. This works with my notoriosly picky dog.


One thing I have NEVER found to fail with any dog - put the pill in braunsweiger . It is mushy enough you can form it around the meds , and over-poweringly livery enough it hides the taste . My dogs LOVE to get sick ! :smiley:


I have always had 1 dog that will take the pill naked and one who will do -anything- not to. I have tried peanut butter and crackers and cheddar and hotdogs and sliced meat and the only thing that works is…

Cream Cheese. Balled up in cream cheese. The only way it works.

Our dog hates having anything forced into her mouth … just caused trauma for all concerned. PLUS she would tuck it into her cheek and spit it out anyway.

Capsules (like salmon oil and vitamin E) we just put in with her food and she likes to chew on those and has never hesitated to eat them up.

Tablets (like most dog pills) we would grind up really small and mush them with peanut butter. But that can be pretty messy and sometimes she wouldn’t take all of the peanut butter anyway.

So we started grinding them up and dissolving them in water as much as we could, and pouring it onto her food like gravy … she would take them that way no problem. Of course if it’s SERIOUS medication (like heart medicine or something) you would have to be careful with this method, as there is no guarantee she is getting every single morsel of medicine - nitpickers would note that some might be left as residue on her food dish.

Kennel cough is pretty serious, IIRC.

The cheese method has always worked for my family, although I might have to recommend to Mom and Dad that they try the “two pieces” method for their girl dog, who is notorious for eating only the cheese and spitting out the pill.

I was going to recommend this method. Both of my mom’s dogs are on daily meds, and this method works wonders. Rusty is incredibly cheese-intolerant, or else I’m sure that’d work well too, they both love the stuff. Too bad it doesn’t love him.

My dad used to do this with our dog when I was a teenager. Being a doctor, he would jokingly use the medical term bolus meaning ‘a large pill’…and in very short order the dog had learned to come running, all but drooling, when he heard the word bolus. Fond of cheese, was he.

My old dog would take the most vile pill known to man and beast if it was stuck into the middle of a glob of cream cheese. Sometimes she’d refuse that, but then I’d take the glob and put it between 2 slices of American cheese to make a sandwich, and I’d lose fingers to her because they got in the way.

Cheez Wiz was almost as good as cream cheese, too.

The hot dog trick was already mentioned. I’ll add that a soda straw can be used to make a tunnel through the weiner to stick the pills in. Run the straw through, and then hold a thumb over 1 end to make a vacuum to pull out the core.

I’ve always had good luch smooshing cheese around the pill. You have to get cheese that molds around the pill. The sliced stuff makes it too easy to eat the cheese and spit out the pill. If you give a bit of cheese first, most dogs will wolf down the second bit without even chewing or tasting it.

If you want to grind up a pill and put it on his breakfast or dinner, you can add some of that dog food gravy to it. Iams makes some and it comes in a convenient squeeze bottle. It stinks to high heaven, but I don’t have to eat it. You mix up pill, dog food, and gravy and the dogs gobble it up.

What a waste of good wurst. I’d never consider giving my 2 canines any wurst with the possible exception of bologna. I refuse to share the artery clogging goodness of braunsweiger with anyone - human or beast, so instead will 2nd the peanut butter recommendation.