Giving your Labrador a pill can be tricky. While Labs love food, giving them the pill can be a hard thing to do.
Your Labrador will need to take medications once in a while. Liquid medicines are always easier to give but not all meds have liquid varieties, so here are some tips on giving your Labrador a pill.
Hide the Pill in Wet and Stinky Food
Giving your Labrador a pill is a tedious task. However, it is essential when your dog has a health problem. There are multiple ways you can try to give it to your pet and ensure that the dog successfully has the pill.
When hiding a pill, make sure the food you are hiding it in has a strong smell and can firmly hold the pill inside. The dog should not be aware that you have hidden it in his food. If your Labrador gulps in food with no hesitation – just like most dogs – this should be without any problem. However, some dogs can be very picky and can easily detect the hidden pill and reject it. It is important to choose a food that has a strong smell. Using canned salmon to hide the pill is a good way.
Making your Labrador think he has to compete for food may just help you in giving your Labrador a pill. If you have another dog in the house, get some soft treats, hid the pill in it. Put the treat with the pill in it in one hand and put the rest of the treats in the other hand. Feed some treats to the other dog and keep your Labrador – the one who needs to take the pill – waiting for his turn. Then, give him the treat with the pills. Most dogs eat quicker when there are other dogs present near him. This technique is not advisable if your Labrador or the another dog in your house has food aggression.
Put the Pill in a Capsule
Dogs have a strong sense of smell and can locate a pill easily. Some pills can be bitter, and your Labrador may quickly reject it as soon as he chews it whether you give it directly or hide it in his food. You can get empty capsules available in stores. Put the pill in one of the capsules and hide it in wet food. This way you are concealing the unpleasant smell and bitter taste of the pill.
Slide the Pill
If the first three tips don’t work on your Labrador, then you might have to use a little force. Giving your Labrador a pill can be quite a challenge. So here is a step-by-step guide on how to slide the pill into your Labrador’s mouth.
- Get the pill and put it in one of your hands.
- Call your Labrador in a happy voice to encourage him to come to you.
- Position your Lab in such a way that he cannot back away from you like the front of a wall or a surface up above the floor. If you choose the latter, make sure someone else is ready to assist you, so your Labrador does not fall and get injured.
- Get the pill and hold it between your index finger and thumb.
- Hold your Labrador’s muzzle using the other hand, grasping it from above with your thumb on one side and the rest of the fingers on the other.
- Squeeze behind your Labrador’s upper canine teeth while tilting his head back over the shoulders. This way, your Labrador should be looking at the ceiling. His jaw should also drop a bit automatically.
- Using the hand with the pill, use the other fingers to lower your Labrador’s lower jaw.
- Put the pill at the far back – but not too far – of your Labrador’s mouth quickly, particularly over the hump of the tongue.
- Quickly close your Labrador’s mouth and guide it to normal position. Hold the mouth closed and gently rub or blow your Lab’s nose to encourage him to swallow.
- Praise your Labrador and give him a treat after.
You may also try a pill popper. Similar to a syringe, it has the place for a pill. Draw water using it and put the pill in the popper. Put it into the mouth of your dog and press the popper to release the pill into your pet’s mouth. Water helps the pill to pass through the throat easily and thus, your Lab swallows the pill without any issue.