HELPFUL HINTS ON HOW TO MEDICATE YOUR PET

Every animal is an individual with individual tastes and preferences. The same supplement one dog or cat likes another dog or cat may refuse to eat. Supplements can come as tablets, capsules, powders, or liquids. Sometimes very small capsules and tablets can be coated with butter and then be placed directly in the back of the pet’s throat. The pet can be encouraged to swallow by blowing in his nose or rubbing her throat. However, larger pills and capsules may need to be made into a powder and then mixed with or hidden in the pets regular food or in something else they especially like.

Peanut butter is a particularly good way to hide whole tablets or capsules. Of course you could crush the tablet or open the capsule and mix with the peanut butter. A marshmallow or hot dog is another good way to hide medicines. Cream cheese, liverwurst, cheese whiz, etc are other ways to accomplish the task. A pill crusher, hammer or the back of a spoon can be used to pulverize pills..

If you prefer to mix supplements or medicines in your pets own food you could place it directly in the food or you could first mix it with some other food like honey or molasses. Then take that mixture and mix it with the pets regular food.. This approach will better hide the taste and odor of the offending supplement. Another example is to first mix a powder with tuna oil and then take that mixture and mix it in with cooked or raw meat. If there is no special liquid your pet likes you could mix the pet’s medicine with flour and honey to make a paste. This paste can be fed directly to the pet or mixed into the pet’s regular food. Liquid medications can be mixed in honey and then fed directly to the dog or cat. For cats the honey mixture can be placed under their nose or on the top of their paws.

Instead of giving the whole dose of a supplement right from the start, it is often best to wean the pet on to a supplement by first adding only 1/3 of the recommended dose and then progressively increasing the dose so that the full dose is being given within 3 days. It is also advisable not to add more than two new supplements to a pet’s food at one time. That way, if the combination is not readily accepted or is vomited up or causes diarrhea you can easily figure out which supplement is causing the problem by temporarily eliminating one of the two and then seeing if the problem continues. Once you determined which supplement is the culprit you can eliminate it and move on to adding the rest of the supplements in the same manner.

Finally, if all else fails, you can liquefy the powder or crushed pill with water, honey, molasses or other palatable liquids and force feed it, with a small syringe, directly into the pet’s mouth. Some people who find it easier to pill their cat or dog can purchase empty gelatin capsules and place the powder in these capsules. The capsule can then be coated with butter and placed into a “pill popper”. If you must give your pet 2 or 3 small pills it might be easier to put all 3 pills into a single capsule. A little butter on a capsule or pill will help it to slide down the animal’s throat more easily.

If you are switching to a different food and also adding new supplements you may want to first get the pet use to the new food and then begin to add supplements. Or you may want to get the pet started on the supplements before changing the food. When changing foods you should do so slowly by adding progressively more of the new food to the old food. One to two weeks should give you adequate time to switch entirely to the new food. If you switch too fast from one food to another your pet is likely to develop diarrhea.

Flavoring agents that can be added to the supplement or food containing the supplement include poultry fat, butter, dehydrated cottage cheese, yogurt, garlic powder, bullion, clam juice, tuna juice, sardine juice, anchovy paste, brewers yeast, liverwurst, and cheese whiz.

Dogs and cats have definite taste preferences:

Dogs: Beef, cheese, chicken, liver, marshmallow, molasses, peanut butter, raspberry, strawberry, cheese

Cats: Beef, butter scotch, cheese, chicken, liver, marshmallow, molasses, peanut butter, tuna

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