How can I get my pet to swallow their tablets?
It can be frustrating when you're trying your hardest to help your sick pet, and it's trying its hardest to avoid taking its medicine. As strange as it sounds, it could be time to reach for the Vegemite.
“It has a strong flavour that masks the smell and flavour of the tablets,” Greencross Vets' Tessa Jongejans says. “They love the taste and as it is sticky it will make the tablet 'stick' in your pets mouth so it's harder to spit out. It is also healthier than some alternatives.”
The trick works for dogs and cats alike, the Greencross Lambton vet says.
“I've even heard from some of my clients that their cat is addicted to Vegemite now,” Dr Jongejans says.
Cheese or paté can also work well as they're quite smelly.
Failing that, try a pet piller – a long, syringe-like device that helps you administer medicine without placing your fingers in harms' way.
“It is easier to use the two person approach for this one,” Dr Jongejans says.
You can also ask your vet if the medication comes in an alternate form, maybe a paste or liquid instead of a tablet.
If you're treating your pet for fleas, ticks, worms or skin conditions there is a range of alternative applications such as meat-flavoured chewable tablets that your pet will enjoy and spot ons.
Feed your cat some of its favourite treats, then slip in one laced with medicine, quickly followed by a regular treat
For dogs, take a handful of treats and throw some for it to catch in its mouth. Slip in a tablet and hopefully your pet will have swallowed the medicine before it knows what's hit it
Sit your dog upright and tilt its head backwards, place the tablet between your index and middle fingers and deposit it at the back of your pet's throat. Remove your fingers and hold your dog's jaw closed. When you see its tongue dart out and lick its nose, you'll know the tablet has been swallowed
As a last resort, crush it into its food. But check with your local Greencross Vets whether the medicine is suitable for this approach first.