How to Give Your Dog Medicine

If the veterinarian prescribes your dog a liquid form of medicine, it is often difficult to get a dog to take the medicine.

There are two ways to give your dog the medicine:

1. Making a pouch with the dog’s mouth:

Using one hand, pull out the corner of the dog’s lower lip to make a small pouch.  Tilt the dog’s head back and pour the liquid medicine into the mouth using your other hand.  It is very similar to what I had to do with my bearded dragon diet juvenile.

In some instances, the medicine does not go in right away.  This occurs when the dog’s teeth are clenched too tightly and the medicine cannot flow into the dog’s throat.  When this happens, gently pry his mouth open using your fingers.  If the dog tries to move away, position his rear end in a corner so he will not be able to back away from you.  You can also get another person to help you hold the dog during the process.  Another way of doing this method is to sit on the floor or a bed with the dog between your legs.  Position his rear end toward you with his head facing away.  This way, you can keep him positioned more easily.  As soon as you have the liquid medicine in, induce swallowing by carefully and gently holding the dog’s mouth almost closed and lightly massage his throat.  You can tell that he has swallowed the medication when his tongue emerges briefly from between the front teeth.  You can also make him swallow the liquid medicine by briefly and gently putting your thumb over his nostrils.

2. Prying the dog’s mouth open

Gently grasp the  dog’s upper jaw using one hand and insert your thumb and fingers in the gaps just behind the fangs.  For a tiny dog, just one finger is necessary along with the thumb.  Most dogs will then relax their mouths a little so that you can easily pour the liquid medicine with a dropper or a spoon between his front teeth.  Make sure that his head is tilted back so that the liquid does not run down his throat.

If the medication prescribed by the vet is in capsule or pill form, you will use a different method to get your dog to swallow the medicine. To get a dog to swallow a pill you will first open his mouth by grasping around his upper jaw, just like what you would do for liquid medicine.  Hold the capsule or pill either between your thumb and the first finger or between the first and second fingers.  Use the remaining fingers to press down the lower front teeth to pry the jaw open.

Once the dog’s mouth is open, put the pill into the throat and push it as far back as you can.  Induce swallowing the same as you would when giving liquid medication.  This method for giving your dog pills may seem awkward and difficult at first.  But after a few tries, you will get more experienced and find it much easier and effortless to give your dog the medicine he needs.