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How To Give Medications


If your veterinarian prescribes pills or liquid medication, give it to your puppy or dog directly, rather than try to mix it in with his food (unless otherwise directed by the doctor). Most dogs can sense when something unwanted has been added to their food and will leave the medicine untouched. Stay calm, be patient, and speak reassuringly to your puppy or dog while giving medication. If you aren’t sure how to administer the medication, ask your veterinarian to show you.

To give a pill: Place the palm of your hand over his muzzle. With the thumb on one side and your fingers on the other, press hard against and under the upper teeth. Tilt the head up slightly. Use the middle finger of your other hand to push the lower jaw open. With your thumb and index finger, place the pill in the center on the very back of his tongue. Close his mouth quickly and firmly stroke downward along his throat until he swallows.

To give liquid medication: Gently tilt his head back at a 45° angle. Make a pouch in the corner of the lip fold by pulling the cheek outward. Using a spoon or eyedropper, slowly pour the liquid into the pouch. Encourage him to swallow by stroking his throat. If your dog does not swallow the liquid automatically, jiggle the pouch slightly or tap him in the nose with your finger; this will cause him to swallow. Be sure to keep the head tilted back until the liquid is swallowed.