Just like human children, cats and dogs do not like to eat anything healthy if it’s not served together with something sweet and unhealthy. With the exception of my dog, who generally eats anything but her own food, feeding medicine to your pet can be difficult if your pet is a picky eater. This would generally be fine if you have all the time in the world to try and get your pet to swallow their medication. But if you live alone or everyone in your household is busy with work, you would much rather prefer if there was a faster way to get the medicine in your pet so you could get to work.
Here are a few tips and tricks that can do just that.
Bait N’ Switch
This is the oldest trick in the book. Get your pet’s treats and their medication. Now give them a couple pieces of their treats. After that, switch the next piece of treat with the medicine and give it to them. Your pet will gobble it up thinking it’s their treat! By the time they realize it wasn’t their tasty treat, the medicine would be on its way to their stomach.
Mask With Strong-Smelling Food
Dogs and cats have a keen sense of smell which allows them to identify the bitter tasting medicine. One way to mask the smell of the medicine is to hide it in a strong-smelling food. The smell of the food will overwhelm their sense of smell and they won’t be able to identify the medicine and will eat everything. Wet foods commonly produce a strong smell, so we suggest getting some.
An example is Royal Canin Recovery. This is a prescription diet used for dogs and cats recovering from an illness and need a boost of energy and nutrition. The smell from this food is strong and pungent. You can use this as an example to shop around for strong-smelling food. PLEASE DO NOT FEED Royal Canin Recovery TO HEALTHY PETS. As always, consult your veterinarian.
If your pet’s regular food has a strong smell, then you can hide it in there and not worry about it.
Empty Gel Capsules
You can get some empty gel capsules. These are typically made from gelatine, an animal protein derived from collagen. Place the medicine in the capsule and feed it to your pet. The capsule will stop your pet from tasting the bitter taste of the medicine. Once in your pet’s stomach, the capsule will dissolve in the stomach acid, releasing the medicine.
These work the same as empty gel capsules, however they are different in that they are tasty treats instead of a tasteless gelatin. These have been specially designed to house animal medication so it’s very easy to prepare. They come in various flavors, so choose the flavor that your pet loves the most. Here is an example from Greenies and Royal Canin.
Natural Pill Pockets
If you do not want to purchase a pill pocket and are not too particular with your pet’s diet, then you can use foods like peanut butter, banana, plain yogurt, marshmallows, hot dog pieces, liver pate (a thick paste that’s made up of ground meat), chicken hearts, sardine, etc. Just be sure your pet is not allergic to any of the food you decide to use.
Use Your Hands and Fingers
This is the fastest method among all.
- Prepare your cats food in their bowl and place it down. Wait for your cat to approach the bowl and start eating.
- Get behind your cat to stop them from backing away.
- Keep yourself calm or else your cat will be able to pick up on your stress and get stressed themselves.
- Dip the medicine in yogurt or sour cream. If your cat’s food is wet, you can dip it in that as well.
- Wait for your cat to eat the food.
- Using your non-dominant hand, place a thumb and forefinger on either side of the top of your cat’s mouth.
- Next take your dominating hand and place a thumb and forefinger on either side of the jaw.
- Pull their jaw open and quickly place the medicine at the back of the mouth.
- Close their mouth and hold it pointing towards the ceiling for three seconds.
- Your cat should have swallowed the medicine and you can allow your cat to continue eating their food.
With some practice you can do it in just a few seconds.
What About Liquid Medicine?
Although you can mix the wet medicine with the wet food, there might be situations where your pet is having digestive issues and you will need to administer the wet medicine into an empty stomach, or your pet has a loss of appetite.
Therefore, this medium requires the use of a syringe, and the process is relatively longer than administering solid medicine. You will need to allocate time to administer the medicine and clean the mess afterwards.
We will do an article focusing on feeding your pet wet medicine.
We hope that using these tips and tricks, you will be able to save time on feeding your pet their medication. With that being said, we here at The OMG pray that your pet is always and forever blessed with excellent health, and you will never have to use any of these tips and tricks.
That’s all for me this time. Take care and see you in the next one.