Pet-Pilling Demystified

Your four-legged friend hasn’t been feeling quite right, and a trip to the vet has resulted in medications that needs to be given at home. This task may seem insurmountable, but it is certainly feasible! In this post I’m including tips, tricks and general information that may help you accomplish the task at hand, and get your little one back on the mend.

Basic pet-pilling involves simply opening your pet’s mouth, placing the pill at the back of the mouth, and quickly holding your pet’s mouth closed for a few seconds. You’ll generally know that the pill is gone when you see their tongue flick out slightly as they swallow. You still need to check to be sure the pill has been swallowed, as some pets are pros at cheeking pills and spitting them out as soon as your back is turned! This may be made easier through the use of specially designed pill-hiding treats such as Pill Pockets. The pill is tucked into the treat, and many pets will simply gobble them up. For suspicious pets, it may help to first give a treat with no pill, followed by the treat with the hidden pill. If your pet has no dietary restrictions, pills can also be hidden in a favorite treat like a small piece of cheese or a meatball made of canned pet-food.


Another very important point is; it is essential that you finish the medication as it is prescribed. If your pet is feeling better, this is not a sign that it is time to stop your antibiotics! Just like in humans, the misuse of antibiotics can cause microbial-resistance. In essence, by not completing the antibiotics you’ve been prescribed, you may be left with the toughest bacteria surviving, and the infection could potentially come back with a vengeance.


Does weeks of pet-pilling still seem like an impossible task? Speak to your veterinarian! There are often alternative medications that can be used. There are injectable antibiotics that last for 2 weeks and could save you the trouble of chasing Fluffy around 2 or 3 times a day. It may also be possible to have the medication compounded with a tasty flavor, or placed in a transdermal form.


In the end, we want Fluffy happy and healthy, and following doctor’s orders will help to ensure this!


By Danika Cormier