How can you hide a pill inside a treat for your dog to eat?

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Most pet owners dread the thought of having to administer medications at home to their pets. It can be a constant battle between man and dog, and a little nerve-wracking if you’ve never had to do it before. Be it a liquid, capsule, or tablet, our dogs can be quite talented in evading the medication that is good for them.

There are several ways to “pill” a dog. The basic standard is to have your dog in the sitting position while you quickly open their mouth and poke a pill down the back of their throat. Often, the pill gets stuck to dry mucous and eventually can be flicked out of the mouth by the dog. This method also increases the risk of being bitten by the animal. A safe alternative is using the treat method. Commercially purchased soft treats, can food, or small morsels of people food can be used to hide the pill.

Some medications may have a strong odor, so it may be necessary to use a treat that can effectively mask the offensive smell. This method works well with food driven dogs, and it’s especially effective if you act as if they are getting a reward for good behavior. A treat is always highly anticipated if the owner is especially excited to give it to them.

Take the soft treat, canned food, or people food like sliced cheese or bread and poke the pill into the middle. It’s important to make sure that the medication is completely hidden from the dog, so they do not eat around it. Encourage the animal to be excited about the treat so they are less likely to drop it on the floor and investigate it.

If they do drop it on the floor, sometimes pretending to take it away is enough to encourage them to eat it entirely without investigating it. Be careful in using this method, as some food aggressive dogs may snap at a hand. Stepping towards the treat and reaching out to it with a foot may be safer with a food aggressive dog. The point of this exercise is to get the animal to consume the treat without investigating. Several different treats may need to be tried before you find one that works the best for your dog.

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