Since November 2013 when Hugo came to live with us we’ve asked this question many times!
Actually, Hugo is a dream when it comes to taking tablets. One sniff, he’s not that sure about it but it kinda looks like food so what the heck, gone! But Holly, well she won’t have anything to do with anything that isn’t hand served in a diamond encrusted bowl! By which I mean she’s very fussy and taking tablets is one thing she doesn’t do well!
So, what if my dog won’t take tablets? What if they’ve been given a course of antibiotics by the vet or it’s time for the worming tablet and they won’t take it? We had this exact problem again very recently when we had to give Holly some deodorising tablets when she was in season.
The best way we’ve found to give a whole tablet is to disguise it as food! Pugs are suckers for a sneaky treat so they won’t suspect a thing! Small tablets can be sneaked into a piece of chicken or for fussy pups try wrapping it in cheese which is particularly useful for disguising the smell of the tablets too! We never just drop the whole tablets in a meal, because we like to know that they’ve definitely taken the tablet. Sometimes they just nose it out on to the floor to be swept up later or for the other pug to gobble when they’re minesweeping after finishing their own meal!
If disguising the tablet doesn’t work, and sometimes it doesn’t for Holly because she’s fussy (did I mention that!), then depending on the type of tablets you’re giving you could try crushing them. Be sure to double check you’re allowed to crush them before doing this though as sometimes tablets need to be given whole! We found the easiest way to crush them is between two tea spoons then mix the crushed tablet into a small portion of food then you know that when they’ve eaten that small portion of food they’ve eaten the whole tablet. If your dog always eats all of their meal you can just mix it in with everything. Either way you just want to know they’ve eaten the entire tablet!
Sometimes simply dropping the tablet into the open mouth of your dog and stroking their throat can work, or alternatively you can actually buy a tablet dispenser that will pop the pill in to the back of the throat leaving less chance of them spitting it out before swallowing it! We’ve tried both of these methods but found they didn’t work for us, although that’s not to say they won’t work for you so we’ve mentioned them here just in case!
If none of those methods work for you then as a last resort try, very carefully, cutting the tablet in half (or quarters) and disguise it in a high value favourite, favourite, favourite treat. If you’re still struggling after that then I’d advise a quick call to the vet who may offer a daily appointment to ensure you dog takes there tablets for the duration of the course!