General Question

Tequila's avatar

How do you give your dog a capsule?

Asked by Tequila (337points) May 23rd, 2013

This may be a really dumb question, so I apologize, but I’m having a tough time getting my dog to take a capsule. It’s tramadol, for managing pain (she just had surgery). Can I open the capsule and sprinkle it in food?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

I usually wrapped pills or capsules in a piece of cheese or some meat.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Pill Pockets work for me and my dogs.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I sprinkle my puppy’s probiotic on her food. For pain meds, I’d check with the vet before trying it. I’m pretty sure sure it’ll be fine. If not, stick the capsule in a treat and give it to the dog.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Hot dogs, I don’t open the capsule’s. If they catch on Peanut Butter works, too.

YARNLADY's avatar

Dip it in bacon grease. Watch out if you bury it in a hot dog, he might spit it out like we do with cherry pits.

rojo's avatar

I try the cheese route first wrapping the pill in the cheese and tossing it to him to catch.
If this doesn’t work, I throw a chunk of cheese without a pill in it to him.
Then I try a second time with the pill.

On the third try I do what a vet told me to do with my cat;

Put the pill on the end of your finger.
With the other hand grab above the nose and with your thumb and forefinger push in to pry the jaws apart (you will be keeping the animals skin between its teeth and your fingers).
Once the jaws are open, take the finger with the pill and shove it down their throat until YOU are about to throw up.
Withdraw your hand quickly. (Note: if you use this technique on a cat, be sure to get out of range with all haste).

rooeytoo's avatar

@rojo has it with the third option. It is the best way to make absolutely sure your dog actually swallows the pill!

marinelife's avatar

One really easy way is to take a cube of cream cheese and wrap it around the capsule. She’ll just wolf it down.

longgone's avatar

For me, a slightly altered version of @rojo‘s plan work best: Pry her jaws apart as stated, then place the pill at the back of her tongue, and quickly close the muzzle. Hold it closed with one hand. With the other hand, try holding something yummy right in front of her nose, to fool her into swallowing – and if that doesn’t work, firmly stroke her throat. It may take a little while, but eventually, she’ll swallow.
I doubt opening it up would be okay, but try calling your vet – it would definitely be the easiest option.

Strauss's avatar

@rojo‘s method is the one that works best for me. I always assure the dog that it is not punishment, and use words or phrases of encouragement (good dog!) (What a good dog you are!). my Aussie shepherd mix seems to respond well to that.

gailcalled's avatar

I have given a large German shepherd (not my dog but injured on my watch when I was babysitting my young niece and nephew) a large antibiotic horse pill smothered in plain yogurt.

The dog scarfed it and the yogurt down.

woodcutter's avatar

Dogs are usually pretty easy to trick using the pill in the snack method. Cats are a paain because they have you figured out, and they like to claw the frack out of you when you use the pill popper. Thats the one dumb thing I really appreciate with dogs.

Blueroses's avatar

If you don’t usually give your dog “people food”, a special “pill time only” treat works great.

My favorites are liverwurst and EZ-Cheez (that stuff in a can). When I pull those out, the dogs all line up whether they need pills or not.

I use the same thing for ear/eye meds. Cooperate, get the cheez.

Very occasionally, when I know there will be a need to medicate soon, I introduce the special gift without meds in it. They don’t get suspicious when the actual deed needs to be done.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I had fairly big dogs, Goldens, and I never had any problem using cheese cubes or hot dogs. They wolfed them down so fast they didn’t notice the pills.

CWOTUS's avatar

I break off a corner from a slice of bread, smear it with peanut butter and fold the pill inside. Then I make myself a fold-over peanut butter sandwich from the rest of the same slice of bread, and feed Willow’s to her as I have my own. She won’t even chew, but just swallows hers whole. She keeps her eyes on my sandwich the whole time, hoping to get that, too.

ccrow's avatar

I have a big dog with heart failure, so he’s getting a bunch of pills… putting it in food doesn’t work for this guy, he chews everything so if there’s a nasty-tasting thing hidden in there, he finds it every time. I just pill him, as described above. It really is the only way to be sure he’s getting his meds. And he gets a treat afterwards, as a consolation prize for having my hand shoved halfway down his throat. (He has, on occasion, eaten a treat and then spit out a pill that I thought went down the hatch before the treat.) I have found that with capsules in particular, it is helpful to give him a treat first, to get his saliva flowing; otherwise, the capsules tend to stick and then get spit/coughed/gakked back out.

RocketGuy's avatar

Tramadol tastes awful, so your dog won’t eat food sprinkled with it. I would cover the pill with peanut butter and give it to him. Worked with my dog.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Pill Pockets all the way!! You can buy them at any Pets Mart, PetCo, etc.

kritiper's avatar

I stick it waaay back in their mouths, close the jaws and stroke the throat in a swallowing direction.

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