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How to get your dog to swallow a pill

Posted by on December 7, 2012
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Bob Ward

Fiction author with a zest for adventure travel. Blogs, tweets, videos, and pins for research and fun. He also hosts Ward's Adventure Travel Research & Trip Journal, a weekly podcast available on EFN, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and more.

Fact: Dry capsules stick to a dog’s tongue.

Fact: Dogs can smell the bitter powder inside a capsule.

Fact: A clever dog will cheek the capsule and spit it out behind your back.

Fact: You have to get that pill down your dog’s throat before you’re late for work.

How not to succeed…

Attempted Method: Most Likely Result:
Laying the pill on top of your dog’s dry food. Pill stays in bowl. Dry food eaten.
Bury the pill in the middle of the dry food. Pill stays in bowl. Dry food eaten.
Bury the pill under a pile of moist canned cat food. Bowl licked clean, except for pill.
Break pill and sprinkle bitter powder on pile of canned cat food. Nothing eaten. Perhaps cat will eat it.
Wrap the pill in a peanut butter sandwich. Dog mouths sandwich until the pill is ruined and the bitter powder gets everywhere. Thereafter, dog turns up nose and walks away. You clean up mess.
Stick your hand in his mouth and set the pill way back there. (requires the “jaw prying” technique) Dog uses “tongue roll” technique to bring pill forward. Spits out or cheeks until later.
Chase the pill with half a bottle of water. (also requires “jaw prying” technique) Dog starts choking, tries tongue roll technique, succeeds to bring the pill forward. Spits out. You clean up water off the floor.
Wrap pill in thin-sliced turkey, wrap that in cheese, microwave on high 5 seconds. Dog eats it today, but tomorrow that trick won’t work. Tomorrow dog knows the pill is inside the turkey wrap.


How to Succeed…

Attempted Method: Most Likely Result:
Blob peanut butter on half a slice of American cheese. Press one pill into blob. Fold cheese over to make flat cheese square. Place cheese square in dog’s open mouth on extended tongue. Dog will swallow entire package immediately.
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