Whether it’s for their flea & worming, or when they’re sick and need medication, you can reliably predict that your dog will not swallow the tablet no matter how nicely you ask. The tablets often have a bitter taste to them, and your dog can always tell that you are anxiously trying to make them swallow the pill, which makes them instantly suspicious.
There are ways to trick / convince your dog into swallowing the tablet though, and here are some of our preferred methods to help you enjoy stress-free pill taking.
These are a meat-flavoured pouch that fits the pill inside it, often perfectly. There are many brands available, all doing exactly the same thing. They are a very convenient way to hide the tablet in a tasty covering.
High Value Food
A cheaper option to the pill assists is using high value foods in the same way – covering the tablet with the high value food so your dog doesn’t realise the tablet is there. Favourite options here include:
- Peanut butter
- Ham (which has a particularly good wrapping quality)
- Cream cheese
If you wish to not use treats to trick your dog, and instead wish to train them to take the tablet willingly, then you can reframe the tablet and make it something they actually want.
You almost certainly train your dogs to obey commands (sit etc) for food. When you bring out the tablet, make your dog sit – or whatever you make your dog do for food, and then once they have performed the command give them the tablet like it is the treat.
Most dogs will be conditioned enough to work for food to eat the tablet like any other treat. Do this simple routine enough times in a row (flea and worm tablet tend to be monthly) and your dog will no longer be suspicious around tablets, and will instead think of them like any other item of food you present to them.
Occasionally there will be a tablet so bitter that this might not work (Denamarin is a classic example), and with these you can bring out the tricks above, but for the most part you will no longer need to use treats to feed your dog tablets.
Humanely By Force
If all else fails and you can’t get any of the above to work, then place the tablet in your dog’s mouth, gently hold it shut, and squirt a syringe of water into their mouth behind one of their K9 teeth. They will swallow the water, and tablet along with it.