Giving Medicine to Dogs!

Giving your dog medicine can sometimes be difficult, particularly stressful for the owner, if you are worrying about the health of your dog.


To give tablets successfully the preferred option is to disguise the tablet in a piece of cheese or something equally tasty! (like butter or marmite)  If however your dog knows all the usual tricks of hiding a tablet in marmite or crushing tablets and mixing into something very palatable then you do need to have a trick up your sleeve to be one step ahead of your faithful friend.

I personally do not reccommend crushing tablets as you could end up having no idea just how much your dog has taken from the tablet (which is important as medicine doseages are based on mg of the drug per kilo weight of the dog). 

Labradors are usually quite happy to eat anything so I tend to throw the tablet to the dog but if your dog is not into eating just about anything then the following tip may help! 

A technique used in the veterinary profession is to put the tablet into the mouth of the dog (I prefer to aim for the back of the throat and push it down, however anywhere in the mouth will do with a difficult patient).  Have the dog sitting (or laying down) cradle the head with your arm and the other arm is to help keep any legs out of the way! The arm cradling the head, the same arm then holds the jaw shut (once the tablet is in the dogs mouth) then cover the nostrils for five seconds or so.  This will encourage your dog to swallow.  Some people stroke the dogs throat but I personally have found this of little benefit.  Covering the nostrils works really well and prevents the need to be forceful with your pet. 

(this technique also works with cats but beware of the legs swinging around trying to scratch you!)

Liquid Oral Medicines

If your animal is dehydrated and needs hydrating with the use of lectade or other hydration fluids (ie water!)or if giving oral liquid medicines such as kaolin.  Using the syringe that hopefully has been provided by your vet, put the nozzle of the syringe into the nook of the jaw.  The nook can be found between the big teeth (molars) towards the back of the jaw.  It is adviseable to insert liquid slowly to allow time for the dog to lick and swallow. 

If you are trying to get your dog to drink you have to be very patient with syringing water.  So if your dog is very dehydrated then you will be better off having your dog put on a drip, fluid therapy is very important in a poorly animal.  (guidelines are 50ml of water per kilo weight per 24hrs….)    It does help to have a go at squirting water through the syringe to get a feel for how quickly the plunger moves, squirting the water out.  Sounds daft but it does help to know if the plunger can be squeezed slowly to prevent the liquid from being pushed out too quickly!

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