Administering medications to dog or cat

Administering medications to dog or cat

Administering medications to your pet is not always easy. Worming prevention, as well as medications for an ill pet, is often to be given orally, either in pill or liquid form. The following information should assist owners in medicating their cat or dog at home.

Liquid Medication

When owners give their dog or cat liquid medication, it is best to sit beside the animal rather than in front. This provides better control and minimizes the chance of the owners being spit upon by their pets.

As cats generally don’t like to be messy, squirting medications on the foreleg may be appropriate, as most cats will lick the liquid off in an attempt to clean themselves. This method will not work with dogs.

A syringe or dropper is usually provided with liquid medications, however, should something happen to it, or one isn’t supplied they can be purchased from a pharmacy or simply ask the veterinary clinic to supply one.

Medication in Pill Form

Pills can often be hidden inside pieces of canned food, peanut butter, cheese or some other delicacy; however, some pets will simply sniff out the pill and refuse to eat the treat or eat around the pill.

If hiding the pill doesn’t work, owners will need to give the pill themselves. Owners should place the palm of the hand over the muzzle with fingers on one side and thumb on the other.

A well-trained animal is not likely to bite its owner, however, a very sick or injured pet may not be on its best behavior so when holding the muzzle, owners can slide the animal’s lips over its own teeth. Animals are unlikely to bite their own lips so this can offer protection to human fingers – just in case.

The other hand is used to hold the pill between the thumb and forefinger and the other fingers on this hand are used to lower the jaw. Point the head up slightly as this also helps to open the lower jaw slightly. Owners should place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible, then close the pet’s mouth and stroke its neck to encourage swallowing. Owners should watch pets for a few minutes to ensure they don’t spit the pill out.

Pill poppers can also be purchased at some veterinary clinics, which can make administering pills easier. If owners are having difficulties they should consult their veterinary clinic for assistance.