How to Get a Dog to Swallow a Pill

How to Get a Dog to Swallow a Pill

If swallowing the pill is "a bitter pill to swallow" for your dog, you might want to check out this article!
Dog care & health

There will be many times when you’ll have to give your dog a pill. From vitamins to antibiotics, pills often increase the quality of your dog’s life. You might think that it’s easy to give your dog a pill, but it can often be challenging with some dogs.


The most common and obvious way to give your animal a pill is to hide it in the food. Pieces of cheese or meat are great because dogs usually like it and swallow it without biting. Some dogs also like bread, vegetables and fruit - use whatever your dog likes. It’s also important to use small pieces of food to prevent your dog from biting it, which would increase the chances of your dog spitting the pill out. Always make sure that your dog has swallowed it. You can also crush the pill and divide it among multiple pieces of food.

Put a tablet in your dog’s mouth

When a dog needs to be given a pill as soon as possible, and the food is not available, it’s the best to put a tablet in your dog’s muzzle and hold it shut until the dog swallows it. It might sound cruel, but it only takes a few seconds for your dog to swallow it and sometimes it can be life-saving. This technique can also be used if your dog keeps spitting out pills. Make sure to reward a dog after swallowing.

Pills that taste good

Pharmaceutical companies are trying to make pills dog-friendly, and that’s why they are making them tasty. Ask your vet for the alternatives and try to find medications with meat flavor. It is probably the most convenient way how to give your dog a pill.

Tablet alternatives

Consult with your vet about alternative options. Some tablets can be bought as powders or as a paste. The powder can sometimes be dissolved in the water your dog drinks, and paste can easily be mixed with your dog’s food. Such alternatives are, unfortunately, not available for all kinds of medicines.

Giving a pill to a dog can sometimes be tricky, but it’s often unavoidable. It’s not a big deal, and with some practice, you and your furry friend will both get used to it. Don’t give up, if your dog spits out a pill multiple times!

Check also category health and care for your furry friend! Subscribe to our newsletter to have the rest of this series delivered to your inbox!


Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

Looking for another topic, help us find it