Medication Tips For Your Pet

Veterinarian holding pet medication

Tips For Effectively Administering Pet Medication

Trying to slip a pill between your pet's clenched teeth just might be one of the hardest pet-related tasks you'll ever perform. The experience can be difficult and frustrating for both of you and may prevent your pet from receiving much-needed medication. These tips can make the process much easier and less stressful.

Follow This Step-By-Step Procedure

If your pet's veterinarian has prescribed pills, follow these steps:

  • Place the pill between your index finger and thumb.
  • Tilt the pet's head back slightly to make it easier to swallow the pill.
  • Lift the upper jaw using the middle and ring fingers.
  • Drop the pill into the center of your pet's tongue and close the jaw.
  • Gently rub the throat to encourage swallowing.
  • Use a pill applicator if you have difficulty placing the pill in your pet's mouth. The device deposits the pill in the back of the mouth for easy swallowing.

If you'll be giving your pet liquid medication, don't tilt its head back, as this position may cause choking. After you open your pet's jaw, squirt the medicine in the side of the mouth.

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If a friend or family member isn't available to hold your pet, wrap your dog, cat, rabbit or small animal in a towel or blanket to limit squirming and prevent injuries.

Get Creative

It may not be practical to use the above method if your pet is very large or difficult to control, even if you have help. Hiding whole pills or liquid medication in food or treats may offer a simple way to ensure that your pet receives the medication. Don't crush pills without speaking to your pet's veterinarian first, as some medication may not be as effective if it's crushed.

The food you choose should be large enough to conceal the medication completely and tasty enough to tempt your pet. Buy treats that contain pill pockets or hide medication in foods your pet enjoys, such as tuna, canned meat, peanut butter, cream cheese, baby food or wet pet food.

Try Pet-Approved Flavors

Beef, chicken or fish flavors can be added to some medications to make them more attractive to pets. If your pet takes medication that contains one of these flavors, be sure to store the container in a safe place to prevent an accidental overdose.

Don't Share Medications

Dosage amounts vary depending on the size and type of pet. A therapeutic dose of a medication for your large dog may sicken your cat or smaller dog. In some cases, your pet may be prescribed the same drug that you take. Although it may be tempting to save a little money by offering by your dog or pet half of one of your pills, the dosage may still be much too strong for your pet.

Some medications intended for use by humans can be toxic for pets. Aleve, Motrin or Advil may help your aches and pains but can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers and kidney failure in pets, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause red blood cell damage in cats and dogs and liver failure in dogs. Before you give your pet any drug intended for humans, check with your veterinarian first.

A Few Things to Remember

Keep these things in mind when your pet is taking medication:

  • Follow Instructions Carefully. Some medications should be taken with or without food or water. If you don't follow these instructions, the medicine may not work as well. It's also important to give doses at the intervals noted on the label.
  • Use the Entire Prescription. Your pet may begin to feel better a few days after starting a medication. Unfortunately, the symptoms may return if you don't give your pet all of the prescribed pills or liquid medication.
  • Be Alert for Side Effects. Pets can experience side effects from medications just as people can. Ask your pet's veterinarian to describe common side effects and explain which effects are serious and warrant a call to the office.

Do you have any questions about your pet's medication or symptoms? Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.

Sources:

Institute for Safe Medication Practices: Top 10 Tips for Keeping Pets Safe Around Human Medications, 3/14/19

American Kennel Club: 6 Tips for Giving Your Dog His Pills, 8/22/18

AVMA: Your Pet’s Medications

Pet Poison Helpline: Top 10 Human Medications Poisonous to Pets

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-8:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

Open 1st & 3rd Saturdays of each month. Closed 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month.

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "We have a new 8 week Boston Terrier that we took to Springfield Vet yesterday for the first time. Absolutely pleased with the service, attitudes and genuine care shown to our little boy. The whole team was so professional, but took time to talk to you and explain everything. Dr Cynthia Wiseman is so wonderful, she sat in the floor did Logan's exam and played with him. What bedside manners. I will continue to use them, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a caring and professional vet."
    Roi W.
  • "We absolutely love this vet clinic and the staff! The facilities are modern and always clean. Everyone is always so friendly and genuinely care for you and your animal- they make you feel as if you are apart of their family.

    Our boy, Samson, is a Rottie (and quite the problem child). We are usually in the clinic almost every other month for something and they are always so helpful and show great care and love for our pup! We are very picky/protective puppy parents, so we were very grateful to have found both Dr. Cynthia and Dr. Heath shortly after getting Samson.

    We have definitely found our "home" in the vet world, and would highly recommend to anyone who is currently looking!"
    Machaelie H.
  • "I have taken my dog here since he was a puppy. The staff are so friendly and caring, a very clean place and they always get us in quickly. When we come in no one passes us without greeting my dog and I and they're never in a rush to get us out of there."
    ShealynR.
  • "We decided to start taking our new kitty here this past fall and we love it! He was not on his best behavior (to say the least) for his first appointment, and the staff was so patient and was still able to safely run his bloodwork and give him his vaccinations. Every service has been reasonably priced, and they did everything they possibly could to make sure that our little guy was off to a healthy start after we adopted him. What I love is that they really seem to focus on the small details, too, like trimming our cat's nails after remembering that I had expressed interest in doing so at a previous appointment, or supplementing his flea treatment with something to safely speed up the process. We will definitely keep coming here as long as we live in Springfield!"
    Megan J.
  • "I have been taking my dog to SVC since 2012 and when I adopted my cat in 2015. I have never had a bad experience. We have seen Drs. Heath & Cynthia Wiseman and I love them both. Always professional, always take their time when looking my pets over, asking questions, and answering mine."
    Katherine P.
  • "We’ve been taking our Moose there for a few years now. After swallowing a toy when he was a puppy, getting fixed, having surgery on his eyelids a couple times, and most recently having a breed specific illness; I can I say I would recommend everyone to go here. They’ve taken the best care of our boy time and time again and went above and beyond."
    Ashley J.
  • "We’ve been taking our Moose there for a few years now. After swallowing a toy when he was a puppy, getting fixed, having surgery on his eyelids a couple times, and most recently having a breed specific illness; I can I say I would recommend everyone to go here. They’ve taken the best care of our boy time and time again and went above and beyond."
    Ashley J.
  • "Pleasant staff.,very informative. Great environment for your pets, including own room for cats to play so as they aren't stressed out."
    Cheryl K.
  • "Dr. Cynthia Wiseman has helped my little Shiba dog with chronic hip problems tremendously with consistent acupuncture therapy! So thankful for this practice and the high quality of care they offer my pets!"
    Lacey M.