At some point, nearly every dog needs medication for some reason or another. They're only human after all!
Our dog is on chronic medication, which he doesn't love, but unfortunately can't avoid... so tablets are a daily occurrence in our household.
As taking tablets isn't a frequent occurrence for most of our four-legged friends, many dogs find the process a bit strange and uncomfortable.
Even for those on more long term medication can find the process difficult, as many tablets aren't quite to the culinary likings of the average canine.
In fact, our dog can't even stand flea & worming "tasty chews"! We really can't blame him, after all he has 220 million scent receptors (as with the average dog), and a strong preference for more pleasant items, such as used tissues or possum poo..............! Clearly, taste is subjective.
Many pet parents will resonate with something we affectionately call, "The Tablet Game", which involves administering medication to our dogs, believing that they've swallowed said pills... and then later finding them half disintegrated and covered in hair on the kitchen floor. Sound familiar?
Here's the thing though - feeding dogs tablets doesn't need to be a painful process (for the human or the dog). It can even be something a dog looks forward to every morning, if the experience is made enjoyable enough!
Most often, this involves hiding tablets in something truly delicious and irresistible. And really, as humans we'd probably remember to take our daily vitamins more frequently if they came wrapped inside a jam donut... incentives are EVERYTHING!
Here are our TOP 5 tried-and-tested suggestions on how to give your dog their tablets... to save you from playing "The Tablet Game" next time your dog needs medication!
1. Meat & Greet
When it comes to dogs, you really can't go wrong with meat. Roll it into a ball, stuff pill inside, and voila! We use minced beef (human grade), which you can get in 500g packs for about $6-7 at your local Coles or Woolies. What you don't use, you can freeze in portions for next time!
Make those bodies sing, right?! Bananas are the perfect pill feeder - chop up into the segment size you need, make a little incision on the flat end, and insert pill. Simple. We use three pieces of banana - one chunk with the tablets hidden inside, and a plain chunk before and after... this just helps to conceal the whole operation! Shhneaky.
3. Say CHEESE
In small doses, plain cheese is great for dogs... and also highly motivating! Stick with your cheddar, tasty, mozz and cottage cheeses, and feed sparingly. Cottage cheese can be rolled into a ball with the tablets inside - and cheeses with harder consistency can be cut, allowing for a hole in which to implant the tablets.
4. Butter 'Em Up!
Never oily, never dry...! Some prefer Peanut Butter, others just plain. As with cheese, butters should be fed very conservatively due to their high fat content. A bit of PB on bread will convince most dogs that their daily medication is something to get excited about. Give it a go!
5. Pill Buddy
We've never tried these, but we're aware of products such as the Pill Buddy which are specifically designed to make tablet time FUN. We do prefer to stick to the natural/raw options where possible, but it could be super handy to have a pack of these in the pantry just in case!
There you have it! Remember if the tablets you're feeding are quite large, you can break them up into smaller portions with a pill cutter, or even pulverise them with a mortar & pestle before mixing them with butter. If you're still having trouble with medication, give your Vet a call - they have lots of strategies/options to suggest, as there's nothing they haven't heard or seen!
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Til next time...! :)