Thursday Tips, May 31 – Dogs and Pills

This is my dog. Her name is Lucy and she’s six year old beagle. She takes medication for seizures and high blood pressure.

Have you ever tried to give a dog a pill?

When I was a kid, my family had a beagle too. Her name was Reba and she was on medication for Cushing’s Disease, something with her kidneys, and her liver.

Needless to say, I have a lot of experience trying to give a dog a pill. It isn’t always easy, at least it wasn’t with Reba.

We tried holding her mouth closed and rubbing her throat, wrapping the pills in deli ham, cottage cheese, Cheese-Whiz, and, in one memorable instance when I was home alone, ice cream. All of those things worked for a little while and then she got wise to our methods and smarter than us.

Lucy is a different story. One thing works for her and it has always worked for her. Peanut butter.

The vet gave my parents the tip with Reba, but she got wise to it too. Not Lucy. She loves peanut butter. Absolutely freaking adores the stuff.

So when she gets her pills twice a day, all it takes it two fingers with a small glop of peanut butter and the pills hidden inside. With her, they don’t even have to be all the way covered. She’s very gentle too, never doing more than scratching at my finger lightly with her teeth. Twice now, I’ve dropped the pill and she’s got so excited that she licked it right up off the floor.

Maybe I’m just lucky to have my sweet, good puppy but, if you’re having trouble giving your dog a pill, try peanut butter.

As the vet explained it, because peanut butter is sticky and gooey and irresistable to most dogs, they swallow it before they can get the pill out of it.

It’s true, too. I make doubly sure she swallows the pills by pick up her water and food until after she gets the pills so she can’t spit it into her water and eating her food will make sure it goes down. I also buy the low sodium or low fat peanut butter to keep her at a good weight.

But try it, peanut butter. Nothing to lose, is there?

Do you have any tips for giving dogs pills easily?


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