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Giving Your Dog His Medicine

There aren't many food items that some dog lover hasn't popped a pill into to try to get their dog to eat it. Peanut butter and hot dogs have always been popular, but cheese (including canned cheese), liverwurst, and cottage cheese all work well, too. Who knows, maybe your dog will even eat a pill-stuffed olive?

Of course, you don't have to resort to such subterfuge if you don't want to. You can gently pry your dog's jaws apart by applying firm pressure from either side with your hand over the bridge of his nose and thumb and forefinger on either side, and then tuck the pill way, way back, at the base of the tongue. Then, hold your dog's muzzle closed and skyward and then blow into his nose while stroking his throat.

Now you see why most people use hot dogs.

If you're tentative or inexperienced, make medicating a two-person job: one to hold the dog, the other to apply medication. Some other tips include the following:

  • Liquid medication. Ask your veterinarian for some large syringes, with the needles removed. These are marked on the sides to make measuring easy, and they're easier, too, for getting liquid medicine in the right place. Raise your dog's muzzle and lift her lip on one side. Ease the tip of the syringe to the back of the throat and then release the liquid in a slow, steady stream.

  • Ear medication. Lay a large towel across your lap and coax your dog to put her head on top of it with gentle massage and encouragement. Apply ear drops, massaging the base of the ear gently.

  • Eye medication. Have your pet sit between your legs and hold her muzzle up from behind. Gently apply a line of medication from the tube across the length of the eye, being careful not to touch the surface. Try to hit drops squarely in the center. Close the lid for a couple of seconds to let the medication distribute evenly.

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