Hiding Pills To Administer Medicine To Dogs

Sometimes administering pills to pets is a challenge.

Every possible tactic you can think of has probably been tried.

Some are a rousing success.

Some are remembered for the magnitude of the failure.

Tucker has turned into an enchilada dog to get his daily medicine.


Many are recalled because of how well they worked at first, only to have the technique rejected later.

When our Peyton was in the last stages of liver failure, taking massive quantities of medication every day, his mood was not always good. The classic “open his mouth, push the tablet behind the fold in his tongue and it will go down” was usually accompanied by the sinking of teeth into the administerer’s hand.

Just as Pearl had a smorgasbord of meals to choose from in her final days, Peyton had a veritable smorgasbord of materials to hide his medications in. The foodstuff used to hide medicine one day might or might not work the next, and certainly wouldn’t work beyond a week.

One day a package arrived at our hospital with a sample of what we dubbed “sausage,” intended to be a nutritional supplement for dogs. I thought, “Who better to try this out on than Mr. Particular?”

It worked, and it worked well enough and long enough that we placed several orders with the company. On the day he finally rejected the “sausage” for the last time, we fed the remainder to Pearl.

I’m reminded of that saga in pet ownership today because of an email I got from Tucker’s mom, Lisa, who suggests:

Dogs love peanut butter but sometimes they just lick the peanut butter off the pill. I’ve been using a small piece of a tortilla and peanut butter to make a small ‘enchilada’ and it works great. The peanut butter is all inside the tortilla and so he just gobbles it up whole. Tucker is loving getting ‘sandwiches’ twice a day. Of course Annabelle gets a pill-free version as well.

Clients and regular readers know how adamant I am that pets not eat “people food,” but when it comes to getting medicine into a patient, anything goes. We have had fabulous success with the Butler/Schein Animal Health product, Lean Treats. Made from lean chicken and easily molded around a pill, they work wonders, are low in calories and fat and taste delicious.

Except to that occasional pet who is just too hardheaded to eat them!

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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