Medication Tips For Your Pet

Veterinarian holding pet medication

Tips For Effectively Administering Pet Medication

Trying to slip a pill between your pet's clenched teeth just might be one of the hardest pet-related tasks you'll ever perform. The experience can be difficult and frustrating for both of you and may prevent your pet from receiving much-needed medication. These tips can make the process much easier and less stressful.

Follow This Step-By-Step Procedure

If your pet's veterinarian has prescribed pills, follow these steps:

  • Place the pill between your index finger and thumb.
  • Tilt the pet's head back slightly to make it easier to swallow the pill.
  • Lift the upper jaw using the middle and ring fingers.
  • Drop the pill into the center of your pet's tongue and close the jaw.
  • Gently rub the throat to encourage swallowing.
  • Use a pill applicator if you have difficulty placing the pill in your pet's mouth. The device deposits the pill in the back of the mouth for easy swallowing.

If you'll be giving your pet liquid medication, don't tilt its head back, as this position may cause choking. After you open your pet's jaw, squirt the medicine in the side of the mouth.

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If a friend or family member isn't available to hold your pet, wrap your dog, cat, rabbit or small animal in a towel or blanket to limit squirming and prevent injuries.

Get Creative

It may not be practical to use the above method if your pet is very large or difficult to control, even if you have help. Hiding whole pills or liquid medication in food or treats may offer a simple way to ensure that your pet receives the medication. Don't crush pills without speaking to your pet's veterinarian first, as some medication may not be as effective if it's crushed.

The food you choose should be large enough to conceal the medication completely and tasty enough to tempt your pet. Buy treats that contain pill pockets or hide medication in foods your pet enjoys, such as tuna, canned meat, peanut butter, cream cheese, baby food or wet pet food.

Try Pet-Approved Flavors

Beef, chicken or fish flavors can be added to some medications to make them more attractive to pets. If your pet takes medication that contains one of these flavors, be sure to store the container in a safe place to prevent an accidental overdose.

Don't Share Medications

Dosage amounts vary depending on the size and type of pet. A therapeutic dose of a medication for your large dog may sicken your cat or smaller dog. In some cases, your pet may be prescribed the same drug that you take. Although it may be tempting to save a little money by offering by your dog or pet half of one of your pills, the dosage may still be much too strong for your pet.

Some medications intended for use by humans can be toxic for pets. Aleve, Motrin or Advil may help your aches and pains but can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers and kidney failure in pets, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause red blood cell damage in cats and dogs and liver failure in dogs. Before you give your pet any drug intended for humans, check with your veterinarian first.

A Few Things to Remember

Keep these things in mind when your pet is taking medication:

  • Follow Instructions Carefully. Some medications should be taken with or without food or water. If you don't follow these instructions, the medicine may not work as well. It's also important to give doses at the intervals noted on the label.
  • Use the Entire Prescription. Your pet may begin to feel better a few days after starting a medication. Unfortunately, the symptoms may return if you don't give your pet all of the prescribed pills or liquid medication.
  • Be Alert for Side Effects. Pets can experience side effects from medications just as people can. Ask your pet's veterinarian to describe common side effects and explain which effects are serious and warrant a call to the office.

Do you have any questions about your pet's medication or symptoms? Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.

Sources:

Institute for Safe Medication Practices: Top 10 Tips for Keeping Pets Safe Around Human Medications, 3/14/19

American Kennel Club: 6 Tips for Giving Your Dog His Pills, 8/22/18

AVMA: Your Pet’s Medications

Pet Poison Helpline: Top 10 Human Medications Poisonous to Pets

Location

Find us on the map

Monday:

8:30 am-8:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:45 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
    ~R.H
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
    ~T.C.
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
    ~L.B.
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
    ~G.B.
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
    ~W.C
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
    ~T.F.
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
    ~P.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
    ~C.W.
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
    ~R.M.
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
    ~A.M.
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
    ~O.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
    ~Budkus
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.