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New Ways To Pill Your Dogs


Recently, we had to take Brock in for an emergency. We weren’t sure what was happening at the time, but as it turns out, he had gotten a little “weed that shall not be named” (a foxtail) caught in his foot. The small foxtail embedded itself so completely, we didn’t know it was there. Brock’s foot became infected, which caused a fever, which spiked his heart-rate and it was a whole thing… Anyway – you can read more about it here if you’re interested. But, today we are talking about ways to medicate your pets.

Luckily for us, Brock is super easy to medicate. Actually, since we started feeding The Honest Kitchen, all of our dogs are very easy to medicate. They eat twice a day, so we just drop any medication in the food, stir, and everyone is totally happy to consume it.

But, there are a lot of dogs that are not easy to medicate and who are onto every trick in the book. Well, we’ve got some new tricks…

[note icon=”yes”]We may have received product samples from the company mentioned above, however our opinions are our own and we are under no obligation to create a positive review or article. We occasionally utilize affiliate links when linking out to products. [/note]


This year at SuperZoo, we ran across a company called Kinn. They have created an interesting way to trick even the most hardened pets into taking their medicine. It’s a contraption called Kudose.

The theory behind this invention is that every dog has a special treat they really love. It might be chicken or peanut butter or applesauce or even cheeseburgers. This handy contraption capitalizes on their love of a favorite food. Bear in mind, this is not going to be a system that works for everyone because it is a little time-consuming. But if you have a dog who has to take a lot of medication each day, and is onto every other trick you have, you’ll love this.

First, whip up a batch of whatever your pet enjoys eating. It could be a peanut-butter-chicken mash-up, or baby food or anything that can be blended. If you don’t have an idea what your pet will love because they hate (or mistrust) everything, Kinn has many recipes you can try for free at their website. They offer dog and cat recipes that are either quick and easy or gourmet blends – so I can promise you’ll find something your pet loves.

Once you have whipped up a batch of your dog or cat’s favorite recipe, you pour it into the bottle (which is called “the Katalyst”) that comes with the kit. The bottle is fairly large (about the size of a mustard bottle), and it’s great if you have to give a lot of pills to your pet – possible if they have something difficult to treat like Valley Fever.  Just make sure you keep the remainder of the batch refrigerated in between making capsules.

Place a Kapsule at the end of the hold, squeeze a little treat mix in, slip a single dose of the medicine in at the end, add a little more treat mix and then cap the gel cap. (You can also find Small Chicken Flavored Kapsules)

When I write that, it seems like a lot of work. It really isn’t… If you have multiple pets on medication, or just one pet on multiple types of medication, it’s worth the time. The time-consuming part is making the treat your pet will like. But we found a shortcut for that too. Here’s a video that makes the process much easier to understand:

[bt_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VblrSTsEs38″ width=”600″ height=”400″ responsive=”yes” autoplay=”no”][/bt_youtube]

The tried and true ways will always work eventually. Here are the other options if you don’t think Kudose is the machine for you:

Feeding healthy leftovers

We all know we shouldn’t feed pets our leftovers. It’s in bad form, it’s bad for the dog, and its just… Bad. But our dogs love leftovers, right? We want them to be happy. DoggieShotz has solved this problem by creating a flavor-based supplement in a bottle. Its the best of both worlds.  A snack for the dog that smells and tastes like people food, but DoggyShotz is all natural and low calorie. It also makes a great filling for a medicine filled treat capsule.

In all, there are six different flavors:

  • Bacon N Eggs
  • Three Cheese
  • BBQ Baby Back Ribs
  • Bacon Cheeseburger
  • Chicken Stir Fry
  • Turkey N Mash

So whether you are simulating holiday leftovers or a special burger, there is a flavor each of your dogs will love. DoggyShotz is a great way to flavor your pets food, cover up the taste and smell of meds, and still make your pets think they’re getting a treat. (Wish we’d had that when we were medicating our beagle…)

Drop in food

Our feeding ritual, that is, feeding The Honest Kitchen meals, make pilling my dogs ridiculously easy. This makes pilling my dogs incredibly easy, but there was a time this wasn’t the case. Like, when I had my coyote. Or when I had to pill a rambunctious, stubborn, highly intelligent Aussie. When we worked with them, we had to be very creative in pilling them. For my coyote, I relied on peanut butter (but it always put my fingers in danger and you can read more about pilling a coyote here). The fact remains, there are many foods that are easy to use for pilling – but they aren’t always healthy alternatives.

Pill Pockets

These are handy little treats that most dogs love to eat, which are hollowed out so you can drop a pill in and close it up. Then you feed them 2-3 treats so they think they know what they’re getting – slip in the little Greenies Pill Pockets with the meds – then hurry and give them another treat. It usually works incredibly well. Especially if you have other dogs who are also begging for treats – that’s when they get really motivated and end up off their guard.

Force it

This is the most effective, and least appealing, way to get your dog to take his meds. Here are the steps:

  • Hold the pill in one hand. Place that hand on your dog’s lower jaw. Place your other hand on your dog’s upper jaw.
  • Press lightly in on the sides of the jaw and gently open his mouth. Using  your fingers, place the pill on the back of his tongue and quickly close his mouth keeping his head elevated.
  • Gently massage his throat downward, keeping his mouth closed, which should force him to swallow. Do this for a moment until you’re sure he swallowed.
  • Immediately give him another treat to reward him for swallowing the medicine.
  • Pour yourself a drink. Congratulate yourself on not getting bitten. If you got bit, skip the drink and ask your friend to make a drive to the ER for you…next time, try one of the other methods.

And if you need a visual (like us), check out this informative video on the proper way to get your pet to take a pill without restraint:

[bt_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li5oijX1bCE” width=”600″ height=”400″ responsive=”yes” autoplay=”no”][/bt_youtube]

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