How to Give Your Dog a Pill

Being your dog's best friend means getting her to take her medicine when she needs it. Here are a few tricks to help the medicine go down!

You will need

  • A pooch in need of a pill
  • Dog pills
  • And some dog treats
  • A helper (optional)
  • A small amount of cheese
  • cream cheese
  • or peanut butter (optional)
  • Some sugar water (optional)
  • An infant medicine syringe (optional)
  • And a canine pill gun (optional)

Step 1 Make dog sit Make your dog sit.

Step 2 Pry open mouth Use one hand to pry your dog’s mouth open. With your other hand, pop the pill way back into her mouth. Make sure the pill goes behind the back of her tongue.

Step 3 Hold mouth closed With one hand, hold the dog’s mouth closed, snout pointing up, while gently rubbing her throat with your other hand.

Step 4 Wait for swallow Once the dog swallows and licks her lips, you can be sure that the pill is safely down.

Step 5 Check with vet If you’re having difficulty, check with your vet to see if it’s safe to give your dog a pill concealed in food and, if so, try hiding the medicine in something soft like cheese, cream cheese, or peanut butter. Let the dog lick your fingers after you feed her the pill—that will ensure she swallows.

Step 6 Crush pill If your dog doesn’t fall for the pill-in-the-food trick, crush the pill, mix it with a little sugar water, and use a baby syringe to squirt the liquid into the dog’s mouth.

Step 7 Try pill gun Still not working? Try a pill gun (available from your vet or local pet store) to propel the pill down the dog’s throat.

Step 8 Give a treat When the pill is all gone, praise your dog, pat her, and give her a nice treat to take away the taste!