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It comes to a point in every pet’s life where medication is needed. In a perfect world, your pet would simply open up and swallow a pill without any problems. No running away. No carefully eating everything in the food bowl BUT the pill. No spitting it out halfway down the hall!

Truth is, most pets avoid taking pills due to the taste and/or odor of the medication.  However, these meds can prove to be necessary for the health of the patient. So, what is a frustrated pet parent to do when your pet won’t take medications? We’re glad you asked!

10 Helpful Tips When Your Pet Won’t Take Medications

Given that most dogs and cats won’t just cozy up to taking pills, your friends at The COVE have some tips to assist. In most cases, being sneaky with the snacks is your best recourse.

  1. Canned food – Wet food is considered a treat to those who typically get kibble, so they’re likely to eat up.
  2. Pill pockets – Greenies and Milk-Bone are two brands that offer these delicious disguises.
  3. Gel Caps – Gel caps [of various sizes] are empty capsules with a flavored coating on the outside. Simply open the capsule and fill it with one or more of your pet’s medications.
  4. Mushy foods – Food items like banana, peanut butter, or white bread can be good choices for the food motivated pet.
  5. Lunch meat – Roll the pill up in a slice of lunch meat, or place in a chunk of hot dog.  Avoid high fat meats and keep to minimum amount as possible.
  6. Crunchy treats – Many cats go bonkers over crunchy snacks. Look for treats that add some crunch but have a soft middle. Splice the treat in two, place the pill, and mold them together.
  7. Mix it up – Some meds can be mixed with water or broth, such as certain cardiac medications. Please ask us.
  8. Compounding – Approved pharmacies are able to compound medications into flavored tabs or liquids to ease administration. This method may be more expensive and have limited shelf life.
  9. Coat it – Coating the pill with vegetable oil or butter can help with swallowing.
  10. Pill popper – A pill popper is a device that helps gently and safely directs the pill to the back of the throat. They are available for both cats and dogs.

When it comes to pet medication woes, the safest approach is to work with us or your primary care veterinarian so you can find the best route to successful ingestion for the pill-anxious pet.

We are always here for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we can assist you with any concerns regarding pet health, or offer additional help for a pet who won’t take medications, please call us.

About Us

The COVE’s veterinarians and staff wholeheartedly embrace the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity. This focus ensures that pets, the people who love them, and their primary care veterinarians have as positive and affirming a healthcare experience as possible, regardless of the circumstances that bring us all together.