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Oh goodness! Not only is your precious pet ill but now you have pet medication from the vet that you have to get inside him! How in the world are you going to do this? Even if the pet medication tastes good (and it often doesn’t), getting your pet to take it can be singularly challenging.

Here are tips on giving your furry friend pet medication

Cats: Cat owners often joke about the difficulties of getting medication into cats. Truth be told, it can be pretty hard if you don’t know what you’re doing. So here are some ideas for medicating felines.

  • Hide the pill in a treat. There are actually treats made specifically for pill-hiding, which should be available at your local pet supply store. However, this does not always work – you may find your cat eating the treat and spitting out the pill!
  • Surround the pill with strong-smelling, wet cat food. The stronger the odor, the better. Mold the wet food around the pill, using as little food as possible so your cat must eat the pill to eat the food. Make sure to reward your cat with more wet food after he or she takes the pill. That will help mask any pill taste that may come out, and should help your cat associate the pill with something good and tasty.
  • Wrap your cat if necessary. Some people have luck wrapping their cat in a towel or sheet so that their legs (and therefore their claws) are immobilized. Then you can manually pop the pill into your cat’s mouth. Wrapping also helps for the administration of liquid medication.
  • Once the pill is in, stroke the cat’s throat while holding its muzzle shut. This encourages swallowing.
  • For liquid medicine, you need one hand free to open the cat’s jaws. Put your thumb and forefinger on either side of the cat’s mouth and squeeze gently. This should force open the cat’s mouth. Put the dropper as far into the cat’s mouth as you can, squirt the liquid in all at once, and try to keep hold of the cat long enough to stroke its throat.
  • Mix the liquid medicine with something strong, like tuna or the water drained from a can of tuna.

Dogs: If you have the kind of dog that will snark up anything off the floor, you may be in luck. This kind of dog may do fine with a pill wrapped in a piece of cheese or inserted into a slice of meat or a soft dog treat. You can use commercial pill-holding treats for dogs, too. Here are some other ideas for getting him to take his pet medication.

  • Mix liquid medicine with beef or chicken broth. You can give this to your dog to lap up as-is, or pour it over its kibble and mix.
  • If you have to pop the pill into your dog’s mouth, the pinching technique described above should work for your dog, too. Pop the pill into the back of the dog’s mouth and hold its muzzle close with your hand while you stroke its throat.