Dog Medication

Tablets – General Advice

Giving tablets to a dog can be a daunting and difficult task. This section arms you with some simple techniques for stress free pill giving.

Techniques are in order of how much restraint is used. If it is safe to do so, try the easiest technique with the least restraint first and make sure you leave breaks between trying each technique to allow your dog to calm down. If you are having problems or if your dog becomes aggressive or distressed, talk to your vet about alternatives to tablets, don’t struggle on alone. For example:

  • Many drugs are also available in injectable forms. This may mean repeated visits to the vets but some dogs find this less stressful than being given tablets. Some drugs are available in long acting forms which only need to be injected once.
  • Your vet may be able to recommend a different form of treatment.


Method 1

  1. Hide in a very small amount of tasty food for example butter or cheese (not if your dog is on a special diet). Butter or cheese can be moulded around the tablet to prevent your dog smelling the drug.
  2. Act very excited as though you are giving your dog a brilliant treat, you could even pretend to eat some yourself.

Method 2

  1. Enclose the tablet in some soft tinned dog food. This technique can also be performed with the tablet alone but offer your dog some food afterwards so that the tablet doesn’t get stuck in the throat.
  2. Hold your dog’s nose, roll the upper lips over the teeth and gently open the mouth.
  3. Push the tablet or the food containing the tablet to the back of the tongue.
  4. Hold the mouth gently shut until the tablet or food is swallowed, you will need to release the hold slightly to allow swallowing.

Administering drugs to a dog Administering drugs to a dog

Giving Pastes, Liquids and Syrups

See methods for giving tablets. When administering pastes, liquids or syrups aim into the back of the mouth and syringe slowly giving the dog time to swallow properly. If you have to give your dog liquid paraffin be particularly careful, liquid paraffin has no taste so dogs can easily choke if it is syringed to quickly into their mouth. If possible try to administer it mixed with food.

Spot on administration

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the preparation. Most commonly the fur needs to be parted over the shoulder blades.

Administering spot on

Usually spot ons should be administered onto the skin, not the fur. It may help to administer the spot on in a few different places in the required area to make sure it all goes onto the skin.

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