Some Helpful Tips For Pilling Your Pet

So your pet needs medication, and your normally obedient (and possibly less-than-savvy) best fur-friend suddenly won't be fooled. Even those pets who are like furry vacuum cleaners can become finicky geniuses! 

And let's face it—this is beyond frustrating, especially when the pill you're trying to give your pet is basically saving their lives. That's why we've taken the time to share some tips that we've had up our sleeves for years so that your wanna-be genius pet takes their pills!

Of course, none of these methods is fool-proof, and every pet is different. So determining the best method for pilling your pet may be a trial and error scenario. There are several tricks you can try to attempt to give medicine. These are some of the most common methods we've had success with:


1. Hiding the Pill

This seems basic (because it is), but this is a tried and true method! Hiding your pet’s medication in peanut butter, wet food, cheese, or their favorite treat is typically the easiest way to get them to take their pills. Make sure to check with your veterinarian for foods to avoid with certain pills. Also, never crush or otherwise alter a pill without specific instructions from your veterinarian. 


2. Open and Toss

By this we mean gently opening your pet’s mouth and tossing (or placing if your pet allows it) the medication as far back towards their throat as possible before encouraging them to swallow. If your pet will allow it, you can hold their mouth shut for just a few seconds while rubbing their throat in an attempt to get them to swallow the medication you just expertly tossed into their mouth. Pets typically don’t appreciate this method as much, but it can be effective for well-behaved picky eaters.

fooling dogs into taking pills

3. Use a Piller

For pets that see our fingers as fun, edible treats, we have what's called a piller. A piller is, basically, a long stick that works like a syringe. Pet owners can place their pill into the end of it and stick the piller (instead of fingers) into their pet's mouth and release the pill towards their throat. This might sound barbaric but some pets honestly prefer this method, and it saves fingers in the case of the pet accidentally biting as a matter or reflex.


4. Get the Medication Compounded

If your pet will absolutely not take a pill no matter your creativity, you can look into getting your pet's medication compounded. This means a specialty pharmacy can modify the medication into another form, such as a flavored liquid or a transdermal gel. Compounded medications are typically a bit more expensive, but they're an excellent solution for difficult pets. Many online pharmacies have the ability to compound many medications, and they may be able to ship them to your home!

how to pill your cats

Still having trouble getting medications into your pet? Give us a call— we’re always here to help.

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