Skip to content

How To Get A Dog To Take a Tablet

↯ Key takeaway points

  • There are seven ways to give a dog a pill, including using good-tasting tablets, pill pockets, hiding in food, chewable treat tablets, a pill pusher, positive reinforcement, and asking for help.
  • To administer a pill directly into a dog's mouth, find a safe and comfortable spot, prepare the pill using a pill pocket or canned dog food gravy, hold the pill using your fingers, gently grab your dog's muzzle and open their mouth, place the pill at the back of the tongue, close their mouth, and offer a treat and praise.
  • Giving a dog a pill does not have to be difficult or stressful if you follow these tips and techniques.
  • Three key points to remember when giving a dog a tablet: follow the prescribed medication, complete the given prescription, and refrain from sharing pills between different pets.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Friday 20 January 2023
Last updated on
Friday 14 July 2023
How To Get A Dog To Take a Tablet
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

You can have unforgettable memories of drinking awful-tasting medicines as a child. While taking them can be stressful, there will be no surprise if your dog hates them too. Therefore, if you are currently struggling when administering medications to your furry friend, this article will guide you on how to give a dog a pill!

How to Get Your Dog to Take a Pill

There are seven ways you can follow to know how to get a dog to take a pill. Fortunately, we listed these tips below to help you complete your dog’s required medications without going through the eye of the needle!

Ask for Good-Tasting Tablet

As the discovery of pet medications arises, the number of palatable medicines is steadily increasing. So, if your four-legged friend is picky about the taste of tablets, you can find one that tastes flavorful. That will also assist you in creating a hassle-free way of administration because your pup will not get stressed with taking it.

Use Pill Pockets

Pill pockets also make excellent options when getting dogs to take pills. You can purchase your favorite brand of pill pockets and insert the medicine inside it. Nevertheless, this technique applies best for canines that do not chew treats. Dogs that do otherwise will most likely taste the tablet. 

Hide in Food

Aside from using pill pockets, hiding medicines inside foods is also the best way to give a dog a pill. If your pup has a specific favorite treat, you can insert the tablet inside to entice it to gobble it up. Some advisable yet appetizing options are peanut butter, ham, yogurt, or sweet potato.

Choose a Chewable Treat Tablet

If you prefer to make things easier, you can buy a chewable tablet that looks and tastes like dog treats. Apart from being tasty and appealing for canines to eat, your furry friend will also have no difficulty taking it due to its softness. 

Use a Pill Pusher

Since you use your fingers to place the pill at the back of your dog’s tongue, there can be risks of possible bites. So, in this case, you can get a pill pusher to put the medicine without danger. Also, that will help you administer the medication quickly because you no longer need to struggle when putting the tablet inside your pup’s mouth.

Positive Reinforcement

Another helpful tip on how to get a dog to take a pill is to make the experience positive and less stressful. To do that, you can reward dog treats after every administration or provide compliments after swallowing every medicine. Furthermore, have patience and avoid getting frustrated if your friend refuses to take the tablet.

Ask for Help

If you are unsure whether or not you can handle the administration of medicines, you can always ask for help from a friend or family member. They can hold your pup while you place the tablet inside its mouth. Also, you can call your veterinarian to ask for techniques.

How to Give a Tablet Directly Into a Dog’s Mouth

Here are the steps on how to get your dog to take pills.

  1. Find a safe and comfortable spot where you can easily hold your furry friend. Prepare the pill on your side to make it accessible.
  2. Either use a pill pocket or the gravy from canned dog food to make the medicine not sticky. This way, the tablet will be easier to swallow because it will not get stuck in your dog’s mouth or throat.
  3. Hold the pill using your index and thumb fingers in your dominant hand.
  4. Gently grab your pup’s muzzle using your other hand, place your thumb behind its teeth on one side of the upper jaw, and position your fingers on the other.
  5. After having a steady yet delicate grip, tilt your pup’s head toward the ceiling. Once the lower jaw drops open, use your pinky and ring finger on your dominant hand to open its mouth further. You can put gentle downward pressure on its front teeth and lower lip.
  6. Put the pill at the back of the tongue quickly. Moreover, it will be easier for your dog to swallow it if you place it beyond the tongue’s hump. Yet, remember not to position your fingers too far because it may cause a gag reflex.
  7. Hold your dog’s mouth to close it while returning its head to its normal position. You can slowly rub its throat or nose or blow lightly to stimulate swallowing.
  8. Lastly, offer a treat and give compliments after it swallows the medication. That way, your dog will consider it a positive experience, making it easier for you to do it again next time.

Three Key Points in Giving Your Dog a Tablet

Curing your dog’s disease or sickness will never be a walk in the park if you have done it wrongly. So, with that said, getting a dog to take a pill requires three crucial points to remember. These key points are as follows:

Follow the Prescribed Medication

You will most likely get a prescription from your dog’s veterinarian to treat whatever disease it has. Hence, ensure that you will correctly follow the instructions for administering the pills and the needed dosage daily. If you have further inquiries about how to give dog pills, do not hesitate to call your vet again.

Complete the Given Prescription

We recommend giving the medicines until the disease or sickness disappears. That is because stopping the administration of antibiotics before the prescribed period can aggravate the growth of drug-resistant bacteria in your pup’s body. Still and all, you may not complete the medication if your veterinarian advises or the label states otherwise.

Refrain from Sharing the Pills between Different Pets

If you live in a multi-pet household, and most of your furry friends catch diseases simultaneously, we suggest not sharing the medicine between them. Giving a medication intended for canines will be dangerous for cats and vice versa. Therefore, there must be separate pills for every animal in your house to prevent drug toxicity.

How To Get A Dog To Take a Tablet: FAQs

Worry not if you still have further inquiries about how to get your dog to take pills. We have listed several frequently asked queries to provide additional yet crucial information about this matter!

How do you give medicine to a dog that refuses?

If your dog is stubborn to take its medicine, the best way to give dog pills is to hide it in its meal. For instance, you can put it inside a sweet potato, peanut butter, a few canned dog food, or a soft chewable treat. You can also ask for a delicious pill that tastes like kibbles!

Can you force a pill down a dog?

Yes. You can gently open your furry friend’s mouth and place the dog pill at the back of its tongue. Nonetheless, remember not to force your pup aggressively to take its medicine. You will still need to delicately guide the tablet or capsule to your dog’s throat to avoid causing trauma and stress.

Can I crush my dogs’ pills in water?

No. Getting dogs to take pills by crushing them in water will most likely lead the medication to lose its efficacy. Also, you can notice that some medicines take time inside your pup’s digestive system to release their effect. So, cutting or crushing them before they can even enter the body will release the medication all at once, leading to a possible overdose.

How do I get my dog to take a picky pill?

Hiding the medicine inside your four-legged friend’s favorite treat is the answer to how to get your dog to take a pill. You can get peanut butter, hotdog pieces, plain yogurt, chicken breast, or any food and treat your dog loves to eat. Moreover, it would be best if the medication does not taste awful, so your pup will not throw it up.

What can I wrap my dog’s pill in?

You can wrap your dog’s pill inside a wide range of food, including sweet potatoes, peanut butter, hotdogs, chewable dog treats, plain yogurt, cheese, marshmallows, and canned dog foods. However, it is advisable to double-check whether or not your pup is allergic to such foodstuffs. Preferably, you can select one your dog likes to eat the most.

Do vets recommend pill pockets?

Yes. Using pill pockets when administering medicines to dogs is a convenient and pet-friendly option. It allows you to hide the pill successfully to make your dog take it without difficulty. Nevertheless, despite its delicious taste and ability to attract dogs, it may not be the healthiest choice you can have in giving a dog a pill

Giving your dog its prescribed medication does not require pain in the neck. If you wish to create a painless administration of medicines for you and your furry friend, you can re-read this article to learn how to make a dog take a pill. That way, you can quickly bid goodbyes with whatever disease your dog suffers today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *