There’s nothing more heartbreaking to a pet owner than seeing the dog sick, lethargic, and without a will to live. One quick visit to the vet, and there you are, with the medication you need to administer.
And while many dogs don’t pose a problem with pills, others love to play with your nerves.
Pet parents often get reluctant and try everything they can for the dog to swallow the pill. But little do they know that not every food, when mixed with medication, can affect the potency of the medicine.
That’s why we are here to help you understand the best foods to hide dog medicine and other tips on administering the medication yourself.
6 Best Foods to Disguise Medicine
As tempting as it is, hiding a dog pill inside a food your dog enjoys a bite or two from time to time, like bacon, is not always successful. And yes, it may come as a shock, but some dogs enjoy all things pastry, which is not a safe bet.
Contrary to popular belief, when your dog refuses to swallow the pill on its own, you cannot just go and give whatever food you have lying on the counter just for the peace of mind that you administered the medicine.
Different human foods affect the medication’s efficiency differently, and some might even cause severe health problems during the dog’s life cycle.
So, the next time you try to administer medication, check out the best foods to hide dog pills in prior to delivering the medicine.
We’ll start out our list of foods to hide dog pills in with Greek yogurt, provided it’s xylitol free.
Greek yogurt, or any kind of yogurt for that matter, is beneficial for dogs to ingest from time to time as it acts as a probiotic, and when mixed with medication, it keeps the belly balanced while the pill does its job.
But, try not to mix Greek yogurt with pet antibiotics as it can make the pills completely useless where they bind to the calcium.
Depending on the medication you need to administer, hiding it in a banana bite might do the trick just fine. Bananas are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium which helps the overall dog’s health.
There is one thing to keep in mind, though. Hiding a pill for blood pressure or heart disease, both diseases usually prominent in senior dogs, inside a banana might alter the efficiency of the medication due to potassium.
So just to be on the safe side, avoid bananas in those scenarios, and hide only pills for parasites or other not-so-serious conditions.
Oh, the sweet taste of peanut butter that not even dogs remain inferior to its liking.
We’ve seen the wonders peanut butter does in keeping a dog calm and obedient. Just one taste of it, and a dog can go crazy whenever it hears you open the peanut butter jar. Luckily, this delicious treat is often considered one of the few treats to hide pills for dogs.
Cover the medication in peanut butter and let the dog devour this delightful treat. The thick texture of the butter can make it harder for the dog to spit the pill out.
Just be careful when choosing peanut butter, as most of them contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs and pets alike. Carefully roam through the ingredient list; if there’s no xylitol or any artificial sweetener, you’re good to go!
Also, choose another alternative if you have an obese dog or a dog that needs to avoid eating high-fat foods.
An excellent place to hide a pill would be in canned tuna. Wondering why?
For starters, tuna is a great source of omega 3 which helps keep the dog’s coat well maintained, and hiding the pill inside it is actually a win-win situation – you keep your dog’s coat silky and shiny while keeping the dog sound and healthy at the same time. Sounds just about right, no?
Lightly Cooked Chicken Or beef
If you were wondering how to hide pills for dogs, meat is a great option. But, hiding the pill in meat can be a bit tricky. Raw, uncooked meat contains harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes which are dangerous not only to your pet but to you as well.
So, a lightly cooked chicken or beef, in that matter, to hide the pill in can do very well. Dogs go crazy over the smell of chicken and will be so taken away from the smell that they won’t even taste or smell the pill inside.
If you decide to hide the dog pill inside a meat-cooked meal, don’t use hot dogs or sausages as they contain high sodium levels, which is not good for your dog’s health at all.
Cheese is a great human food to help you hide the dog pill in, especially if it’s soft, which means you can mold the piece around the medication so your dog won’t have the slightest idea that there’s an unexpected “treat” inside the treat.
If you give your dog an antibiotic pet medication, avoid cheese. Foods rich in calcium can often alter the medication efficiency as some antibiotics can bind to the calcium found in the cheese and make the antibiotic completely useless.
Also, avoid cheese in case your dog needs to avoid fatty food.
Before giving any treats with a hidden surprise inside, consult your veterinarian about how those foods will react to the medication.
And before anything else, keep in mind that some medications are best if given on an empty stomach. In contrast, others need to be accompanied by food to minimize the side effects, often the side effects being an upset stomach or nausea.
How to Give Dog Pills Without Food
If you refuse to give your dog anything but dog food, or your dog is just one smart creature that detects the pill in every meal, you might need to give them the medications the hard way- using no food.
Use pill poppers
Pill poppers are specifically designed to be tasty to dogs. They come in various flavors, so choose the one your dog likes the best, place the pill inside and let the dog chew its way to the pill and see as it swallows it without a problem.
With this technique, you’ll be at ease knowing your dog didn’t spit out the pill and that none of the ingredients will affect the medication’s efficiency.
Use the pill pusher technique
Use the pill pusher technique as your last resort. This is when things actually become hard. While you’ve seen videos of veterinarians forcing the pill down on dogs, you are not that experienced, and there’s a high chance that your dog will spit out the pill immediately or refuse to open its mouth altogether. However, once mastered, you won’t give the medications with food unless the vet advises.
First, you want to stand on your knees and behind the dog. Quietly yet with a firm grip, take your dog’s jaw and gently tilt the knees to the sky. Afterward, pry the mouth open, push the pill as far as possible, close the mouth, and gently massage the throat to encourage swallowing while keeping your hands on the jaw.
After you’ve made sure the dog swallowed the pill, praise them and give them a treat. This way, you’ll reinforce positive behavior and a positive core memory so the dog won’t refuse or run away from you the next time you try the technique.
Use a wet dog food
Lastly, if you are against giving your pet human food or know that the approved foods mentioned above will cause a sensitive stomach, diarrhea, or even vomiting, it’s better to stick with wet food.
Make a ball out of the wet food, hide the pill inside, and serve it to your dog with excitement. However, this can easily backfire as dogs have a hidden talent for discovering secret pills.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
You may have a few questions before we wrap things up; here are some of the most frequently asked:
We’ve all been there. The moment our furry best friend becomes sick, all we want to do is try to get them on their feet as soon as possible. And one thought that often comes to mind when the dog refuses to eat the pills is to crush them and sprinkle them on top of their food.
But is this at all helpful? On the contrary, crushing the pills is counterproductive. Just as with human pills, pet pills, when crushed or broken down into smaller parts, the coating loses its function, making them ineffective.
You can ask for “paltable” tablets from your vet. These tablets have flavoring to the formulation and are yummier for our four-legged buddies. But the last option should be the pusher technique.
The best way is to hide liquid in liquid. So, you can try hiding it in Greek yogurt or dairy products. If your dog is a picky eater, make sure you contact your vet to find a solution.
It depends on the medicine. Some medicine shouldn’t be mixed with any food. Before giving medicine with food, make sure you carefully follow your vet’s instructions.
Final Thoughts – Don’t Crush The Pills!
Now that you know which foods are best to hide dog pills in, rest assured that the next time your dog gets sick, you’ll be prepared.
But, under no circumstances should you crush the pills. Try to come around a way for the dog to swallow the pill whole. If none of the tips work, be sure to contact your veterinarian, and they’ll devise an alternative option.