Fruit Valley Veterinary Clinic

How to give dogs pills

  1. The easiest way to pill a dog is usually to cover the pills with something that the dog likes to eat: canned dog food, Pill Pockets, or peanut butter.
  2. ALWAYS follow the pill with a small amount of food or water to ensure that it does not stick in the animal’s throat.
  3. If dog is not interested in eating it this way, you may need to help things along by hand (see these instructions from Washington State University) or with a "pill-popper" (see instructions below).

How to use a "pill popper"

  1. Insert pill or capsule into split rubber tip
  2. Open animal’s mouth
  3. Place tip with medication at the back of the animal’s throat
  4. Push plunger to release medication
  5. Withdraw the piller and immediately close the animal’s mouth
  6. Follow with a small amount of water

More tips for hiding pills in treats:

Use small treats - if the dog bites into the treat, the pill is less likely to be swallowed.

Have several treats - offer one first for the dog to investigate, chew, then give the pill in the treat followed immediately by another small treat to encourage swallowing the pill so that the last treat can be eaten.

Coat the pill with a small amount of cheese or other fat to prevent it from dissolving if the treat is moist like canned dog food

Feed the dog less beforehand so it will be hungry for your pill treats.