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General Practice Services

Medicating Your Dog

Administering Medication

Just like you, your dog is going to get sick occasionally and you may come home from the veterinary practice with some medication to administer. Learning how to do it right will make the process easier both for you and your dog. Always follow the instructions given by your veterinary surgeon. Be sure to administer the full amount of medication over the number of days instructed by your veterinary surgeon.

Tablets and capsules

dog tablets

Step 1

  • Place the pill between the thumb and the index finger of one hand.

  • Firmly grasp the upper jaw with the thumb and index finger of the other hand. 

Step 2

  • Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you open the mouth. This will reduce the chance of being bitten. 

Step 3

  • Rotate your wrist to tilt the head upwards. 

  • Use your middle finger to slowly open the lower jaw. 

Step 4

  • Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. 

  • Immediately close the mouth. Keeping your hand over the mouth, put the head down to facilitate swallowing. 

Step 5

  • Stroke the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing.

Liquids and syrups

Liquids and syrups

Step 1

  • Firmly grasp the dog's muzzle with one hand while holding the syringe or dropper with the other hand. 

Step 2

  • Gently squirt the medication into the pouch between the teeth and cheek. 

Step 3

  • Hold the dog's jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly. 

  • Stroke the throat or blow on his/her nose to encourage swallowing. 

Step 4

  • Should your dog gag or cough out the medication, lower their head and calm them down. 

  • Wait a few minutes and then try again. 

Helpful Hints

  • Always read the label instructions carefully. 

  • Ask your veterinary surgeon if the medication can be given with food or must be given on an empty stomach. If it can be given with food, just put the pill into a small piece of meat. 

  • Get a friend or family member to help. 

  • Medicate your dog on the floor or on a table with a non-slip surface. 

  • When administering medication stay calm - your pet can sense if you are nervous making it more difficult to apply the treatment. Always praise and reward your pet with a treat. 

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