Do you find medicating your pet stressful? If so, you aren’t alone. Many pet owners have difficulties administering their pet’s medication, but knowing the proper techniques can make the process easier and less stressful for you and your pet. Our Animal Urgent Care of Oconomowoc team knows the importance of administering prescribed medications to your four-legged friend, and we offer helpful tips to ensure your pet receives proper treatment.

1: Understand your pet’s medication

Before administering your pet’s medication, you should have a clear understanding of the prescription. Our team always provides you with detailed instructions about your pet’s medication, but if you have any questions, never hesitate to contact us. If you must administer medication to your pet, consider the following:

  • Dosage — Ensure you know how much medication to administer to your pet.
  • Frequency — Ensure you know how often your pet needs the medication, and keep in mind that if the medication should be administered in multiple daily doses, the doses should be spread as evenly as possible throughout the day. 
  • Instructions — Some medications require administering with food, while others should be given on an empty stomach. Read the instructions carefully to ensure you understand how to administer your pet’s medication appropriately.
  • Storage — Store your pet’s medication as directed, whether in the refrigerator, at room temperature, or out of direct sunlight.
  • Side effects — Read the medication’s warning label so you know the potential side effects. This allows you to monitor your pet for complications associated with their medication.

2: Stealthily prepare your pet’s medication

Some pets start getting nervous about their medication administration when they hear the pill bottle rattle or see you take the bottle out of the fridge. Ensure your pet is occupied in another room and quietly prepare their medication. 

3: Stay calm when administering your pet’s medication

Your pet knows when you are anxious, and this can make them concerned about what is happening. Stay calm and confident, speaking in a soothing voice to help your four-legged friend remain relaxed.

4: Disguise your pet’s medication

Many pets are extremely food-motivated, and they will gulp down a pill or tablet covered in a delicious treat. Pill pockets are available commercially and are specifically designed for this purpose. Alternatively, you can use your pet’s favorite, smelly treat such as peanut butter, cheese, or a hotdog. 

5: Play a trick to administer your pet’s medication

Prepare three or four treats, placing your pet’s medication in one. Toss an unmedicated treat to your pet first and then toss the others in quick succession so your four-legged friend only thinks about the yummy treats they are getting.

6: Rely on your pet’s competitiveness to administer their medication

Most pets in a multi-pet household can be competitive when treats are offered. Prepare treats for all of your pets, putting medication in one. Get everyone excited about treat time and give each pet a treat, ensuring the one who needs the medicated treat gobbles it down. 

7: Manually administer your pet’s medication

If your pet is picky about what they eat, you can manually administer their medication. To manually administer your pet’s medication, follow these tips:

  • Hold the pill in your dominant hand.
  • Restrain your pet and open their mouth by gently pressing on the sides of their jaw with your other hand.
  • Place the pill as far back on your pet’s tongue as possible.
  • Close your pet’s mouth and stroke their throat to stimulate their swallowing reflex.
  • Reward your pet with a treat, praise, and chin scratches to make the experience positive.

8: Ask for advice about medicating your pet

If you have difficulty medicating your pet, ask our team for a demonstration or to determine whether a different medication formulation or strategy is possible. For example, in some cases, your pet’s medication can be compounded in a flavored liquid formulation to make administration easier.

If your pet needs medication, you must ensure they receive it. By following these tips, the medication process should be easier and less stressful for you and your four-legged friend. If you have questions about your pet’s medication, contact our Animal Urgent Care of Oconomowoc team.