If you’ve ever had to give medications to your pet, you understand that it come sometimes be a pretty tricky process. Even worse, they become wise to your antics and very quickly learn to outsmart you when they hear their pills rattle in the bottle.
It’s extremely important (for both you and your pet) that you avoid making this a traumatic experience. Making medications part of a positive routine will make administration easier, and it will lend itself to the overall well-being of your pet.
Here are a few pointers for giving medications to your tricky cat or dog:
- The most obvious choice is to give medications inside of treats. Unfortunately, pets will often learn this process, and they will begin to eat around the pill. Much to the dismay of many pet owners, pills are found on the floor hours later (after having been spit out by a very wise pooch). As a way of avoiding this, try preparing multiple treats at once. Give the treat containing the pill in between the “decoy” treats. If you’re lucky, the pill will go down completely unnoticed by your cat or dog.
- Give medications when your pet is distracted. Try to sneak the medications in during play time or while going for walks.
- Try to avoid becoming obviously irritated when you’re trying to get your pet to take his or her pills. Always remember that your pet will respond to your posture, tone of voice, and overall attitude. If you become visibly tense, it will condition your furry friend to become nervous when it’s time for future dosing.
- Some pets will allow you to gently place the pill at the back of their throat. In these cases, you should avoid jamming your hand into your pet’s mouth. Simply hold it open and drop the pill as far back as possible. Hold his or her mouth closed with the nose pointed upward, and gently massage the neck until your pet swallows.
If you find that you are still unable to administer your pet’s medications, speak with your veterinarian about possible alternatives before you decide to give up. Many medications are also available in liquid form, making them easier for some pets to tolerate.
We know how important medications can be for our pets, especially with serious long-term conditions. However, they are not able to understand what we are doing or why we are doing it. Exercise compassion with your pets, and you will get the hang of giving medications eventually.