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Giving Your Dog a Pill

At one point or another, just about every dog owner will have to give their pet a pill. Unfotunately, this can oten be easier said than done. This article offers some helpful tips on how to get your dog to take their medication.

Hiding Method

The easiet method of adminitering medication in pill form is to hide it in food or a treat. Try placing the pill in a small ball of your dog's canned food, or wrap the pill inside a small amount of chees, meat or peanut butter. This method is preferred over putting the pill in your dog's entire bowl of food; it's much easier to make sure you dog has actually consumed the medication.

Crushing Method

In some case, you may be able to crush the pill up using a hard object, then sprinkle the medication over food or stir it in to conceal it. Always check with your vet before doing this, though. Some medication may be rendered ineffective if they are crushed up. Even more dangerously, some pills that are designed to release medicine over time may release it all at once whn in powder form, leading to overdoses and other serious health complications for your dog. Only crush a pill if you've received approval from your vet. 

Chewable Varieties

Keep in mind that some medication are now available in chewable tablet form. Often, these medication are made to taste like dog treats, causing most dogs to scarf them right up without ever realizing they've swallowed medication. Ask your veterinarian if any of your pet's medication are available in chewable form

Manual Administration

Of course, many pets are very good at avoiding pills in food, eating around them or spitting them out. For these dogs, you'll have to administer the pill manually. Begin by lubricating the pill with a small about of butter of margarine. This will make the pill much easier to swallow. Sit down with your dog in a quiet, well-lit area. Grasping the pill between your thumb and index finger, place your other hand on your dog's muzzle. Position your thumb on one side of the mough and your remaining fingers on the other, just behind the canine teeth. Tilt your pet's head toward the ceiling. If the mough doen't open automatically, use your fingers to press gently on the lower teeth; this should cause your dog to open their mouth. Be cautious not to put your fingers entirely inside the mouth during this process. Once your dogs mought is open, place the pill near the back of the tongue. Close your dogs mouth and lower the head back to the standard position. If your pet doesn't automatically swallow, try rubbing the throat gently and blowing on the nose. This should trigger your dogs swallow refelx. Remeber to check your pets mouth afterward to make sure the pill has been swallowed, then reward your dog with a tasty treat for a job well done.