Giving your dog medication

Getting your dog to take medication can be very stressful – for you and them! As well as staying calm and giving them plenty of fuss and rewards, here are some other tips for making it a little bit easier.

Swallowing a pill

  • Put your hand around your dog’s muzzle and gently point their nose towards the ceiling
  • With your other hand, open their lower jaw and place the pill at the base of their tongue
  • Close your dog’s mouth and massage their throat or lightly blow on their nose
  • Watch your dog carefully to make sure they’ve swallowed the pill

Or, you could try disguising the pill inside a small chunk of meat.

Swallowing liquid medicine

A small pipette will make this easier.
  • Put your hand around your dog’s muzzle and gently point their nose towards the ceiling
  • With your other hand, insert the pipette into the side of their mouth
  • Squeeze the liquid in slowly, stopping to let your dog swallow.

Giving ear drops

Speak to the vet if your dog's ears are very dirty - drops won't be effective if their ear canal is blocked
Make sure there are no sores or scratches in your dog's ears, otherwise the alcohol in the drops will sting.

Giving eye drops

This is much easier with two people.
  • Give your dog the 'sit' command
  • Ask your helper to point your dog's nose towards the ceiling by gently holding their muzzle
  • Gently roll back your dog's upper eyelid and administer the drops

If you don't have a helper, there are two ways of giving the drops.
  • Give your dog the ‘sit’ command, then approach them from the front
  • Use one hand to gently roll your dog's upper eyelid back
  • Use the other hand to administer the drops

Or, if your dog won’t cooperate:
  • Kneel down and wrap your arm gently around their neck in a headlock position, with your hand under their chin
  • Use your other hand to administer the drops

If you’re still having trouble, ask the vet or a veterinary nurse to give you a demonstration.

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