Tips for Giving Your Dog a Pill

Most dog owners will have to give their canine companion a pill at some point or another. You’re likely to find that it’s easier said than done! Here, your Temecula, CA vet offers a few tips for getting your dog to swallow his medication with minimal fuss.

Hide Pill in Food

Many times, the easiest way to get a dog to take their pill is to hide the pill in food. Try putting the pill inside a glob of wet dog food, or roll it up in a slice of lean deli meat. Unless your dog is extremely picky, they’re likely to gobble up the morsel without even realizing there was medication inside.

Before trying this method, check with your vet to make sure it’s okay for your dog’s pill to be taken with food.

Tossing Trick

Does your dog like to catch treats in his mouth as they’re tossed to him? This may be beneficial when getting your pooch to swallow his medicine. Try tossing a couple of treats to your dog, then the pill, then another treat in quick succession. You might be able to trick your canine companion into thinking that his pill was just another treat!

Chewable Pills

Certain types of medication for dogs, as well as vitamins, preventative medications, and even dietary supplements, now come in chewable varieties! These are most often flavored to taste just like a dog treat, so dogs tend to love gobbling them up. Depending on what sort of medicine your dog needs to take, a chewable version may be an option—ask your veterinarian for more information.


You might be able to crush or grind your dog’s pill, allowing you to sprinkle it over your dog’s meal or stir it into food to hide it. It’s important to check with your vet first, though—medication might be rendered ineffective if ground up, or it may introduce too much medicine to your dog at once. You don’t want a dangerous overdose scenario on your hands!

The Manual Approach

If the above methods don’t seem to work, you’ll have to give Fido his pill manually. Sit down with your dog in a well-lit area and gently pry open your pet’s jaws. Place the pill far back on the tongue, close the jaws, and massage the throat to stimulate swallowing.

Need help giving your pooch a pill? Call your Temecula, CA veterinarian.