Giving a Tablet

Giving a Tablet


Dogs are not keen on taking their medication and can be very good at hiding pills in their mouths and spitting them out when you are not looking.  Rather than calling a dog to you for his medication, have it ready and wait for him to come of his own accord.  You wont want him to associate you calling his name with the rather unceremonious act of stuffing a tablet down his neck! Perhaps you could disguise the pill in  his dinner?  Or maybe if he’s too savvy for that, you could try hiding it in a piece of ham, moulding it inside a bit of bread or smearing it with a good glob of peanut butter.  If he’s a dog who likes to catch his treats, perhaps throwing one treat, then another, then his “spiked” titbit could be successful.

You can try breaking or grinding the tablet up into a powder a hiding it in their food.  Please remember that if the tablet is to be given on an empty stomach, this method cannot be used.  Similarly, if the tablet is “enteric coated” ie it has a shiny smooth coating on it, this should not be ground up either as the coating on it has been designed to ensure the tablet does not disperse until it is in the correct section of the digestive tract.  Often, these tablets will cause acid or nausea if they do not go down far enough before they begin to disperse.

If none of these methods of subterfuge works for you, it might just be easier to actually administer a tablet manually.  There are pill poppers you can buy to help you with this task.  Buy Pill-Popper Here


Pill Popper helps to administer medication to dogs and cats
Pill Popper aka Pet Piller

Put the tablet in the soft rubber end and you can safely and harmlessly insert the tablet onto the back of your pets tongue by pressing the button on the end. Easy to use with a little practice, and saves getting your fingers bitten!  It is a good idea to get your dog used to taking a tablet by practicing the procedure using something like a tiny bit of cheese or ham (any soft titbit will do that your dog likes).  If he regularly gets given a bit of roast chicken or something nice in this way, he will be more than happy when its “medication time”.

If you don’t have a pill popper, this is how I would go about administering a tablet in the usual way:-

1) Ask him to sit and hold him firmly between your legs, using your knees just behind his shoulders to prevent him from escaping.  You are going to be using one hand to open his mouth and the other to drop the tablet as far to the back of his throat as you can, if possible beyond the hump of his tongue.  Follow the instructions to do this safely:-

Examining the inside of the mouth
Open the mouth and pop the tablet to the back of the throat quickly.

2) Open his mouth by holding his muzzle with one hand and using your other hand to take hold of the lower jaw, slotting a finger just behind his large canine “fangs”.  Be very careful not to get bitten, as a fearful dog may nip out of fear rather than aggression.

3) Drop the tablet as far to the back of his throat as you can, if possible beyond the hump of his tongue, hold his muzzle and begin to stroke his throat with your other hand, around the region of his Adam’s Apple, all the while reassuring him.

4) Continue holding his muzzle and stroking his throat until he swallows and licks his lips which indicates that the pill has been swallowed successfully.

5) Praise the dog enthusiastically for being such a good boy and make the experience more palatable to him.

Another option (and a much sneakier way for those cunning canines who always know what you’re up to) is to hide the tablet in a small piece of food and leave it where they can “find” it, say just by the back door before you let them out. It will be down the bone-shoot quick smart if they think its a bonus find rather than a suspicious offering!  N.B. this is only possible if you are sure that the dog you intend to find it, does!  If you have more than one dog then perhaps this is not the method for you unless you can ensure the other dogs are kept right out of the picture at the time.

Perhaps the following image best depicts why giving medication in tablet form is so darn difficult! lol

The reason we all struggle to get tablets into our dogs
Administering Tablet Medication to Dogs

The following was sent to me by one of our Rhodes 2 Safety Facebook followers – Im sorry I have no idea who the author is but did think it worthy of a share, particularly for our cat lovers – JUST BRILLIANT AND A MUST READ!

How to give a cat a pill…

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand.  As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from yard.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink one beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of Scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the friggin’ cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

13. Tie the dang thing’s front paws to rear paws with twine and bind tightly to leg of dining room table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for Humane Society to collect mutant cat from **** and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How to Give a Dog a Pill 1. Wrap it in bacon


  1. Reply

    . C..So many tablets and post op,turned into a nightmare,Dogs already on Sporonox, Atopica,Arhritis tabs ,ear and eye lotions,terrible ear infection in conker. Think his ear no more- middle ear destroyed I think. Worried that hes been very sick with the painkillerssuch that he just getting the antibiotics,keeping those down but Tramadol making him sick,such that stopped them,andthen keeping the antibiotics down,and laying off the other tablets ,cos Hes looking chipper as to fighting his surgery,And wanting to eat tho not a well doggy and lives with his fraternal brother equally allergic, but so far his inner ear not damaged, Conker comes home and fed differently because of the HELMET,Doug so jealous and thinks hes a filmstar,take the helmet off but have been givingConker his own bowl where they have always shared there food,suspicion someone getting preferable treatment and conker on invalid food and Doug eating everything

    • Reply

      lol, so you’ve made one think the other is getting something better …. what a brilliant trick! Mine are so jealous of one another Im sure that would work with them too! I must remember that in future if anybody asks. Hope he’s feeling better very soon xx

  2. Reply

    How to get tablets down dogs throats,having baited them with cheese,salami ,pate, chicken skin,chipolatas and they can smell the drug and instantly get it skewerred on their tooth,Having to just shovel inhis mouth but not sure the secret hold his mouth shut and stroke his nose… seems to work …not pleasant is this the secret or is there another secretxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Reply

      Sadly, not really much of a secret other than making sure you get the tablet all the way over the hump of his tongue at the back. If you manage to get it over the hump, it will likely to backwards and go down rather than him managing to spit it out. Another trick you can use is baiting it in something and popping it on the floor so when you open the door for him he “finds” the prize and scoffs it down thinking its a bonus special find and doesn’t associate it with any foul play on your part of administering medication! 😉 Obviously, you need to put it there just before you open the door and with the safe knowledge that none of your other pets can pinch the baited treat!

  3. Reply

    Given up with the treats embalbing the Dolcelatte,Chicken liver pate,etc. Finally got to feeding tablets by sticking on the back of throat head up like a foie gras goose,and then give them a treat! More sucessful than the the tablet wrapped in cheese or pate,or ham or chorizo or butter! Tho other boxer loves itx

  4. Reply

    Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am inspired!

  5. Reply

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