Let’s face it – most pet owners dread having to give their pets medication. It’s an act that often brings stress to both owner and pet alike. But, since we want out pets to live long, happy, and health lives, sometimes we just have to get the job done, no matter how much our furry companions may hate it. Of course, that’s often easier said than done.
That’s why we’re looking at some helpful tips for administering pet medication. We understand that a lot of medicines can taste bad or just be plain difficult to administer, so here are some things to keep in mind that will surely make the process easier on everyone:
- Sneak it with food – Sometimes, you can outsmart your pet by hiding their medicine in their favorite food or treat. Similarly, if you have to apply a topical ointment, dinner time may a good time to do so since they’ll be distracted.
- Use a dropper – For liquid medications, it helps to use a dropper to administer the meds directly into the back of your pet’s throat. This way, they don’t have to taste it, so it will go down easier.
- Use capsules – If you already know your pet’s medicine has a foul smell and is likely to taste bad, go ahead and purchase some capsules to hide the medicine in. Ask your veterinarian where to buy them.
- Crush and mix – If approved by your veterinarian, it may help to crush pills, and mix them in with your pet’s wet food or their favorite treat. But again, check with your veterinarian first because crushing pills can affect the activation time and effectiveness.
- Use your finger – If your pet is resistant to you using a dropper or syringe to administer ear drops, try just using your finger. Your pet will at least recognize this as a welcome object.
- Wait them out – It can help to catch your pet off-guard, like when they’re sleepy, to administer medications. This way, there’s no anticipation, and they’re already calm.
- Stay calm – Pets can sense when we’re stressed or worried, so as long as you stay calm and relaxed, they’ll take their cue from you. If you’re nervous though, they’ll know something’s wrong and become nervous too.
- Make it fun – You don’t want your pet to dread taking their medicine, so try making it fun. You can play “fetch” with some treats, then make sure one of the treats has the medicine inside. This way, they might not even notice the difference while they’re gobbling down their favorite bites.
- Hide the evidence – You never want to let your pet see you prepare their meds. This only leads to anxiety and refusal to comply. So, prepare it in a separate room, out of sight.
- Wrap them up – When dealing with smaller pets, it can help to wrap them up in a blanket before administering medication, especially the more resistant ones. This keeps them calm but also protects everyone from potential flying paws and claws.
- Give treats – Your pet will be more likely to comply each time you have to administer medication if they start to associate it with something positive like getting a treat after.
- Double team – For those pets who are particularly antsy or just downright stubborn, have someone help you. While one person restrains your pet, the other can administer the medication.
- Use gloves – While you want to provide a calm and safe experience for your pet, don’t forget to do so for yourself as well. If you’re dealing with a biter or a scratcher, wear heavy duty gloves when working around your pet’s mouth.
Administering pet medication doesn’t have to be a stressful event. You just have to find a method that works best for both you and your pet. And, with all of these tips, be sure to check with your veterinarian for best advice and practices for your pet’s specific needs.