Top Medication Tips for Your Pet
There may be a time when your pet will need to take medication. It might be for a short-term condition, or it might be something they need to take for the rest of their life. But whatever the meds or the reason for them, one thing is almost always true: your pet doesn’t want to take them. Trying to force a pill into an uncooperative pet’s mouth is a nightmare, but luckily, there are some things you can do to make it easier. Forever Vets Animal Hospital, a veterinary hospital in St. Augustine, shares some helpful tips.
Hide It in Food
This is probably the most commonly used trick among pet owners who need to get their pet to take medication. Pills can be coated in peanut butter, hidden in treats, or placed in a tasty food your pet enjoys, such as a can of tuna. Liquid medications can also be mixed into wet foods or even dry food. If you’re adding pills to your pet’s food, don’t grind them up without speaking to your vet first; some medications aren’t as effective when they’re ground up.
Look for Flavored Medication
Certain types of medication, such as oral flea meds or hairball medicines, come in different flavors to make them more enticing for pets. You can ask your vet about these or look for them in some pet supply stores. This can make dosing your pet so much easier, as they’ll look forward to their daily medication. Just make sure you keep the meds in a safe place that’s out of reach; when medicine tastes like a treat, you don’t want to risk your pet accidentally overdosing.
Proper Administration without Food
Some animals have very discerning palates. You may try to hide their meds in their food only to find that they’ve eaten around the medication. They may spit out pills coated in peanut butter or disregard the treat altogether. If you can’t get your pet to take their meds with a treat, you will have to administer the medication without food. Here’s how:
- Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger.
- Gently tilt your pet’s head back and use your middle and ring fingers to lift their upper jaw.
- Drop the pill in the center of their tongue and close their mouth.
- Massage their throat carefully to encourage swallowing.
For liquid medications, don’t tip their head back, since this can cause choking. Simply open their jaw and squirt the medication into their mouth, then close their mouth until they’ve swallowed it. If your pet struggles, consider wrapping them in a towel or enlisting help from a family member if they’re too large for you to handle on your own.
Please be sure to discuss your pet’s medication in detail with your vet. Follow all instructions regarding dosage exactly, and don’t skip doses. Additionally, you should always keep a careful eye on your pet when giving them a new medication for the first time; you want to be on the lookout for any unexpected side effects.
If you have any questions about your pet’s medication, please contact Forever Vets Animal Hospital or visit our animal hospital in St. Augustine. Serving Jacksonville, Orlando, Nocatee, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and more.