Giving Pet Medications

Giving Pet Medications

Giving pet medications can be quite tricky!

Below are some tips and suggestions to simplify the procedure and make giving pet medications much less stressful for both you and your pet.

The easiest and least stressful method of giving pet medications is to mix the medication with your pet’s food or put it in a treat. 

Sometimes, however, medications must be taken alone or a pet will refuse to eat the food or treat containing the medication.  

If you are having trouble getting meds into your pet, the following tips should help.

Giving Pet Medications: Helpful Hints

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you read this article’s instructions on giving pet medications:

  • If your pet clenches its teeth closed tightly, it will keep the liquid medication from going into its mouth. To remedy this, gently pry your pet’s teeth open slightly with your fingers.
  •  If your pet tries to back away during the process, place its rear end in a corner or get someone to hold it for you. You can also sit on the floor with your pet between your legs facing and your pet facing the opposite direction.
  • Cats may need to be gently wrapped in a towel to protect you from being scratched.
  •  If you have trouble getting your pet to swallow the medication, gently hold its mouth almost closed and massage its throat. When your pet’s tongue sticks out briefly from between the front teeth it has swallowed. You can also put your thumb over your pet’s nostrils to get it to swallow.

Giving Pet Medications: How to Give Liquid Medication

There are two effective techniques for administering liquid medication to dogs and cats:

  • Prying the mouth open
  • Making a “pouch”

Prying the Mouth Open

When prying the mouth open, you need to have the liquid medication measured and ready to administer from a spoon or dropper.

To pry your pet’s mouth open, gently hold its upper jaw with one hand.

Then, insert your thumb and fingers in the gaps between the fangs.

If your pet is tiny, you will only need to use one finger in the gaps between the fangs.

After doing prying the mouth open, your pet should relax its mouth slightly.

At this point, pour the liquid medication between the front teeth. Then, after pouring the medication into your pet’s mouth, tilt its head back so that the liquid will run down its throat.

Making a Pouch

When making a pouch, have the liquid medication measured and ready to administer from a spoon or dropper.

With one hand, tilt your pet’s head back and hold it there, and using one or two fingers pull out the corner of your pet’s lower lip and make a little pouch.

Then, with the other hand, pour the liquid medication into the “pouch”.

If your pet’s head is no longer tilted back, tilt it back again to make sure the medication goes down its throat.

Giving Pet Medications: How to Give Pills and Capsules

To give your pet capsules or pills, hold the capsule or pill between your thumb and forefingers.

Gently pry your pet’s mouth open by holding its upper jaw with one hand and inserting your thumb and fingers in the gaps between the fangs.

If your pet is tiny, you will only need to use one finger in the gaps between the fangs.

Use the free fingers of the hand holding the pill to press down on your pet’s lower front teeth and pry its mouth open.  

Place the pill or capsule as far back in the throat as possible.

Gently hold your pet’s mouth almost closed and massage its throat.

When your pet’s tongue peeks out from between the front teeth it has swallowed.

You could also put your thumb over your pet’s nostrils to get it to swallow.

Giving Pet Medications: Giving Homeopathic Medications

Many pets will take homeopathic tablets or pellets whole.

Homeopathic tablets dissolve quickly and are fairly easy to administer.

It is best not to touch homeopathic tablets or pills, so we recommend giving them directly from a clean spoon.

You can crush the pellets into powder if your pet won’t take the homeopathic medication from the spoon.

To crush homeopathic pellets into powder, get an index card and make a crisp fold in it.

Pour the tablets directly from the bottle into the open fold.

Close the fold so the outer edges come together and tap with a heavy glass until the pellets are crushed into powder.

Most homeopathic medications taste sweet, so your pet might lick the medicine directly off of the index card.

If not, you will have to pry your pet’s mouth open. 

To pry your pet’s mouth open, gently hold its upper jaw with one hand.

Then insert your thumb and fingers in the gaps between the fangs.

If your pet is tiny, you will only need to use one finger in the gaps between the fangs.

After doing this, your pet should relax its mouth slightly allowing you to pour the homeopathic medication from the index card into its mouth.

After pouring the medication into your pet’s mouth, hold it’s mouth closed for a few seconds for the powder to dissolve.

Source:  Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.

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