Tuesday, January 20, 2015

9 Ways to Hide Your Pet's Medicine

Some pets take their medications enthusiastically. Others... well, not so much. One of the easiest ways to get your pet to take their medicine is to hide it in something delicious. Finding the perfect treat to hide your pet's medicine in can take a bit of trial and error, so we've created a list of ideas that you can try.

Depositphotos/damedeesa

And if these ideas don't work, you can always ask your pet's veterinarian for ideas and suggestions. Remember that medications come in many different forms - pills, flavored tablets, liquid, and sometimes even topical or injectable. Find out what's available to you and choose an option that works.

  • Peanut Butter - This is a popular and favorite choice for hiding dog pills in. Get your dog his own jar of peanut butter, or at the very least no double dipping. 
  • Canned Food - Hiding your dog or cat's pill OR liquid medication in canned food is easy. You can put a whole pill or crushed pill in the canned food and mix it up. To make sure your dog or cat eats all of the medication, start with a small amount of canned food at first. 
  • Cheese - Again, another favorite among dogs. Just roll a pill up inside of a slice of cheese and smash the ends of the cheese together. 
  • Greenies Pill Pockets - When I worked as a Vet Tech, these things were life savers. All the dogs loved them and they made giving medication so much less stressful for both the dogs and I. They are also available for cats. 
  • Banana - If your dog likes bananas (like mine) hide their pills in the middle of a piece of banana. It's quick and easy and bananas are healthy fruit! 
  • Hot Dogs - Your dog will love you if you put their pill inside of a chunk of hot dog!
  • Bread - For birds, I've heard that you can soak liquid medications into a small piece of bread and give it as a treat. If you try this method, you have to make absolute certain that your bird actually eats ALL of the bread and not just some of it. This method could also work for small rodents like hamsters or rats. Bread works great to hide a dog's pills in too.
  • Meat - Meats like beef and chicken are perfect for hiding pills in for dogs and cats. Whether your dog or cat eats a raw diet or cooked meat is up to you. All you need to do is hide the pill inside of the meat. 
  • Tuna - Canned tuna is a popular treat among cats and hiding a pill or liquid medication in this food is easy. Dogs also probably would not turn their heads to this tasty treat. 

Of course, the list of things to hide your pet's medication in is endless. You know what kind of foods and treats your pet likes best. Use your own personal knowledge of your pets' preferences to figure out the best way to medicate them and make it work. And if one type of food doesn't work, try something different next time. 

Just remember to watch your pet and make sure they actually take their medication and don't spit it out or hide it. Pets can be little tricksters sometimes when it comes to taking medicine. And again, always consult with your Veterinarian if you are having trouble medicating your pet. Good luck! 

Do you have suggestions for way to hide your pet's medicine? Share them with us in the comments!

45 comments:

  1. many thanks for sharing so much good ideas! we prefer the cheese-way and fortunately (knock on wood) Easy is such a greedy guy that we can hndles the pills-problem very best. it only gets difficult when a pet refuses to eat anything .... that's a super challenge...
    Easy Rider

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  2. Great advice! Ma usually hides my medicine in cheese because cheese is delicious!

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  3. I tried many of these with Jewel, and she just was NOT having it. The one that may have worked that I didn't try was hiding it in a hot dog piece. She loved hot dogs!

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    1. Some cats are just too smart for their own good... I wonder how well the hot dogs would have worked with her...

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    2. We hear ya on THAT one - we three are stupid smart when it comes to sniffing out pills. We get them compounded - then mom can load up the syringe and plunge it down our throats. MOL!

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  4. We ended up with the peanut butter one when all the others failed and gosh we tried them all LOL. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Haha! I've been using peanut butter a lot with Shiner lately.

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  5. When Bain was younger I could use canned food. He's gotten picky though, so tossing hot pieces works for us =)

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  6. Humans are very sneaky tricking us like that! Peanut butter is the worst, it sticks to the roof of your mouth and there's no way to not swallow that pill! Mom is still looking for a way to sneak my eye drops. Thanks for the tips, I think! Love Dolly

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    1. Hmmm maybe I can write about that sometime. Eye drops can definitely be tricky, but I know a good way to do it. Tell your mom to come from behind ;)

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  7. In Switzerland we have a kind of liver dough called "Parfait". We luvluvluvluv it, and it's purrfect to hide powder or small pills ! Purrs

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    1. Hmmm I hadn't heard of it before. It sounds like it works pretty good though!

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  8. None of these work on cats. Pill pockets may work once of twice but they never worked on me. TW used to pill Chizzy by gently forcing his mouth open, sliding the pill all the way in and massaging his throat but he’d still spit it out. MOL!

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    1. It is an art to give a cat a pill successfully lol!

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  9. My old cat was easy I just opened his mouth and chucked it in and a way we go,xx Rachel

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    1. I was agonizing trying to give my cat her flea pill and this never occured to me...duh. Lol tried it and it worked like a charm, thanks!! : )

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  10. Bailie and I don't mind taking meds, so it is easy, but Katie will not take pills. Mom has tried all of the above and then some and the pill is always spit out clean as a whistle within seconds, so she has to have hers put down her throat.

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  11. Yep - we're cheese fiends here too :)

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  12. Great suggestions! And I agree, those Greenies Pill Pockets are the bomb. :-) With Jasper, we get his daily medication compounded at a specialty pharmacy. They mix it into a triple-fish oil base, which I squirt into his canned food twice daily, and he takes it with no issues!

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    1. Compounded meds are such a lifesaver for so many types of pets.

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  13. shiner...thanx for de tipz ...we use greenies tho even sum times that trix falls by de way side...boomerz been known ta take a pill ore two ina cake donut; gram paw dude used ta take liquid
    UNDER tuna...sauce all ways new when de food gurl wuz ...up ta sum thin....N bak in de day... de bulldog used ta take hiz epilepsy in peanut butter, til he figured out how ta werk a round that N we wood find de pilll in hiz flew !! ♥

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  14. I've tried it all. Nothing worked! Went to the vet and she wanted me to try Greenies pill pockets. Harley chewed around it and spit the pill out in front of the vet #soembarrassed Much to my surprise, he will not give me any problems when I place the pill on the back of his tongue. He takes it like a champ.

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  15. We use the pill pockets and they work pretty good. The mom found something called pill paste and it works well too.

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  16. We typically use peanut butter or wet food to give the dogs pills. I am definitely going to try a banana next time - I think they would love that!

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  17. With Jasmine it didn't matter how we tried to hide the meds. She just knew. Cookie and JD are much easier. Any oil' piece of food will do.

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  18. My beloved Loki was on as many as 15 pills a day in his last year of life. We couldn't hide them, he figured them out, eat the treat and spit out the pill, so we just would shove them down his throat and give treats after. It is something I have just taught all my dogs.

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    1. It is actually not a bad idea to get your dogs used to it. Sometimes, just out of habit I just pill Shiner without a treat.

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  19. I could drop it in my lab's food but the poodle is more discerning. I coat it in butter.
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

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  20. We use peanut butter and I make a big deal about how it is the most special of special yummies in the house. Works every time. :)

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  21. Our cats are SO good at sniffing out hidden meds. The Pill Pockets and pill paste worked a few times with Moosey, but he got wise to the trick, and would chew with his mouth open so that the pill would fall out. Luckily, he's REALLY good about getting pilled. Gracie and Zoe do not like getting pilled, nor do they like treats, so they are more tricky. Compounding helps with them -- easier to squirt something in their mouths than pilling them!

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  22. Great list! And when that doesn't work a pill piller works great for cats.

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  23. One trick we learned when using cheese was to be sure to give them a piece of cheese without the pill first, then with the pill, then another without. That way if it tastes funny with the pill, it won't ruin cheese for them!
    Cats are SO much more difficult when it comes to this. Last time we got liquid for Sam thinking that would help, but she would manage to spit half of it back out! LOL

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  24. When I have to induce vomiting in Theo (more often than I'd like!) I always soak a small piece of bread in the correct amount of hydrogen peroxide. He eats up it super fast because he can't resist any kind of food. It scares me to try and squirt a liquid down his throat, I'm afraid it will go down the wrong pipe.

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    1. Hmmm what a good idea that I've never heard of before! At least for small dogs. I know the dose is way too high in some larger dogs for bread.

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  25. I had good luck with squeeze cheese. And rice crispie treats can be wrapped around a pill and squished into a ball-ish shape. We even used gummy bears in desperation once...hard to get the pill in, but the gummy slid down easily, no worries about hurting a sensitive throat.

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    1. Rice crispy treats sound like a good idea!

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  26. I'm sure some exist but I have yet to see a dog or cat that doesn't love some type of meat and could care less if a pill is inside. For the few who seem to smell it I feed hotdog bits one after another with the meds in the 3rd one making them wait and get excited. They swallow it whole with no hesitation. Just one piece always worked for my dogs.

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  27. Would liver wurst be ok?

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  28. 50 cent size slices of bread with peanut butter folded over hides 4 meds for my Max.

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  29. I bought some #4 glycerin capsules from a compounding pharmacy and broke up pill and placed in capsule it hides the smell and taste of meds i placed the pill horizontally in small amont of wet food she ate it right up for a dog i would cover it in peanut butter.

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  30. I have to give my dog pain pills, so I use mortar and pestle to make pills into powder then melt in Beef broth. Pour over food mix well and it's gone. Hope this helps.

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  31. Warning to all who use the peanut butter method! Many peanut butters today contain Xylitol, which is dangerous for dogs to consume. If you use peanut butter to hide your pets meds then make sure you check the ingredients. It would be great if this post can be updated to include a Xylitol warning in the peanut butter recommendation section.

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