Now You Can Administer Dog Medicine Without Stressing Your Pooch

Administering medicine to your dog can be tricky. Like many humans, dogs generally do not enjoy taking their medication. Here are a few tips and techniques to help you painlessly administer medicine to your dog.

Like a good physician, adopt a pleasant bedside manner. Administer any medicine properly and positively. Always stay calm and affirming as it’s important for your dog to view this experience as something positive. It’s never safe for you to approach your dog aggressively. This will not result in a good experience for your dog and may even lead to hostility when administering medication in the future.

For oral medications

You can hide and/or crush and mix medication in food, have your dog’s medication compounded into liquid or get medication in ointment form.

To hide a pill in food

Choose a food that strong tasting, malleable (peanut butter, cream cheese). Serve your dog several different tastings of food so that they may not notice which sample holds the medication. With the medication buried and hidden inside the food, make sure to reward your dog for eating his/her “treat.”

To crush a pill in food

Before ever crushing medication for your pet’s food, consult your veterinarian as some medications should not be crushed.

Getting your dog’s medication in liquid and/or ointment form

Should your dog not accept medication hidden or crushed in food, ask your veterinarian about a flavored liquid alternative. If your pet doesn’t accept liquid medications, you can check with your veterinarian to see if medication can be made into a form that is rubbed directly onto the skin, which is called transdermal dog medication.

For eye drops or ointment

Make sure to hold your dog securely and if you can’t do this alone, ask someone to secure your dog while applying medication. It is most beneficial if your dog sits or is lying down. Next, clean your dog’s eye area before applying medication. Open your dog’s eye by gently placing your hand on top of your dog’s head, holding the upper eyelid open. Hold the medication at an angle above the eye and put the appropriate amount of medication into the eye. Be extra careful not to touch the eyeball directly. When finished applying your dog’s eye drops or ointment, allow your dog a moment to shut the eye and then massage gently.

For ear drops

Again be sure you hold your dog securely or seek help if needed. Always communicate with your dog in a stress-free and calming way. Gently clean your dog’s ear passage with cotton and then put the ear dropper slightly outside his or her ear canal. Be sure to not to insert the medication to far into your dog’s ear.

For subcutaneous injections

Subcutaneous injections takes expertise, so be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions after training. You will need a bag of room-temperature solution cooled in warm water, IV tubing and needles, and rubbing alcohol. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Remove the port of the solution bag, usually located towards the bottom of the bag where you will connect the IV line. Next, connect the IV tubing to the bag of solution. Locate the clamp on the IV tubing and fasten the IV line to bag of solution. Now join the tubing to the solution and IV line.

The IV line, which is now connected to the solution bag, will allow you to monitor the flow of fluid. To assure the safe, steady flow of liquid, you can partially fill the tubing reservoir with liquid, which avoids air bubbles. Remove the needle without removing the needle cap. Put the needle on the end of the IV line and secure. Now, uncap the needle and loosen the clamp. Make sure the clamp is secure and recap the needle.

With alcohol, clean at the injection area, usually between the shoulders. Trim the hair around this area if necessary. Take the extra skin, uncap the needle fully into the skin and inject your dog’s medication promptly. Once you have injected your dog’s medication, put your finger on top of the needle, holding it in place where the needle enters the skin. Slowly open the clamp to the IV and let the liquid flow. Hold the needle into place and monitor the flow.

After administering your dog’s prescribed medication, clamp the IV tubing and remove the needle. Apply pressure to the injection area with alcohol to disinfect the area and prevent bleeding. You will notice a pouch of fluid under your dog’ skin and will slowly dissolve. If the bubble does not dissolve to some degree, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Home Safety – Check Your Medicine Cabinet

Children have little sense of what is safe and unsafe, especially when it comes to understanding the dangers of medicine. It’s time to check your medicine cabinet for unused, unneeded, or expired prescriptions. Disposing of these items safely will ensure they keep out of the hand of young people. Following are household safety tips for keeping medicine out of reach of children:

Remove the products from their original containers.
Mix the medicine with used coffee grounds, cat litter, or other undesirable items to divert accidental ingestion by children or pets, or double-bag the medicine.
Seal the mixture in nondescript containers, such as empty jars or sealable bags.
Throw all containers in the trash.
Return unused drugs to the pharmacy take-back locations for safe disposal.
Store used medicine in a locked cabinet, out of sight and out of reach of children.
Use child-resistance caps on all medicine containers.
Keep medicine in its original container so they are not mistaken for something else.
Take medicine with you if you’re called away before administering it, such as when you’re on the phone or if someone is at your front door. Don’t leave the container behind where your child could get a hold of it.
Replace lids and return medicine to its proper storage place as soon as you’re done with it.
Resist the urge to call medicine “candy” so your child will not intentionally seek it out.
Keep purses, diaper bags, guests’ luggage, etc. out of your child’s reach if they contain medicine.
Unpack medicine first from grocery bags before your child has a chance to investigate the contents of the bags.

Try crawling on your hands and knees to view things as your child does. This way, you can check to make sure medicine is out of reach according to your child’s perspective.