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Tricks for giving your dog oral and coat medicine

Aside from the medication which is given by your veterinary doctor, as dog owners, people do have a responsibility to give their dog simple forms of medication. These are usually in the form of oral medicines or drops on their coat. As with all animals, it is impossible to explain to them that what you are doing is good for them, and most dogs will fight to avoid being given medication.

For drops, such as flea products, it is best to place these either at the back of their neck or above their tail, as they cannot reach around to lick the medication off. The person who is closest to the dog, and who the dog trusts the most is usually the best person to do this. Try to place the drops when your dog is relaxed, so sat curled up or being brushed or combed. This will calm them and if you are quick enough, they will not even notice you have done this.

Oral medication is a little trickier. The obvious way is to hide it in food. If you can disguise it this way then this is the easiest. Ensure pills are crushed up thoroughly. Depending on how cunning your dog is, there is a chance that all the food will be gone but the tablet remaining. If it is liquid then your dog may notice that it smells different and refuse to eat it. If this is the case, or if the tablet or capsule needs to be taken whole, then there are several options. The first is to hide it in a one-off piece off food, like soft treats or food your dog likes such as a small piece of meat or even toast. The other way is to give your dog the tablet and encourage him or her to swallow by gently stroking their throat. Once the dog has taken the tablet, reward him or her with a treat and a pat on the head to tell them they have been good.

Never force medication on a dog or be too rough with them, as once you associate a bad experience with medication you will have a recurring problem. The more comfortable and normal you make it for your dog, the easier it will become.


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