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Administering Medication

Just like you, your dog is going to get sick occasionally and you will likely come home from the veterinarian’s 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 veterinarian. Be sure to administer the full amount of medication over the number of days instructed by your veterinarian. 

Tablets & Capsules

MyVetOnline - Administering Medication to your Dog

Get Adobe Flash player 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 & Syrups

MyVetOnline - Administering Medication to your Dog 

Get Adobe Flash player Before starting
• Read the label for the proper dosage and, if instructed, shake the contents of the bottle.
• Fill the syringe or dropper with the medication.

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 check.

Step 3
• Hold the dog's jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly.
• Stroke his throat or blow on his 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 veterinarian 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 or cheese.
  • 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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