A person petting a cat in its bed to calm it to take a pill.

How to give your pets a pill

Team Walmart Pets

May 28, 2021


min read

If you have been asked by your vet to give your pet medication at home, you are probably wondering how you can do that while keeping all of your body parts intact. While some cats and dogs accept pills relatively easily, there are some cunning canines and feisty felines who will do anything to not take their medicine. Here are some ways to get those pets on the road to recovery.

Pill pockets for dogs

The Pet Piller is a long plastic tube with a rubber end and a plunger. Sounds ominous, but this cheap and easy-to-use device can help save your fingers. All you need to do is put the pill in the rubberized tip, open the pet’s mouth, push The Pet Piller toward the throat then press the plunger!

Greenies Pill Pockets

Pill Pockets®,  manufactured by the same people that make Greenies®, are pliable little treats that let you hide a pill inside their pre-formed pockets. These are made for dogs, but you can use them on cats as well. Just be aware, some of the smarter pill veterans out there will still sniff out the trick. After they take their pill, consider giving your pet a Greenies for dogs or cats treat for a job well done.

Chewable flea and tick medication

You can make things easier on yourself and your pet with chewable medications. These meds, like Rimadyl® and Heartgard®, for example, are ready for your pet to eat. Others can be compounded into treats that your pet will readily chomp. Just be mindful to always store these “treat” medications out of reach of hungry cats and dogs. An overdose is never good, and in some cases, it can be fatal.

Liquid medication

Giving your pet medicine in liquid form is a great option for dogs and cats that are refusing to take a pill. Some medications already come this way, like the anti-inflammatory Metacam® or the antibiotic Clavamox (which also comes in pill form). Many other medications can be compounded into liquids with pet-friendly flavors, just ask your vet. 

If you’re wondering how to give a cat liquid medicine, there is no easy solution. For calmer cats, we recommend you sit on the floor with them, speaking softly as you place them between your legs. Once you have them secure, gently press the sides of their jaw to open their mouth, and finally—squeeze the medicine into their open mouth. Try not to press too hard, as you might make a mess. A steady flow will work better. This process won’t be easy, but it’s possible. If your cat’s more difficult, consider recruiting a helper.

Transdermal medication

Transdermal medication is a fancy way to describe medicine that’s applied to the skin of your pet. After applying to their coat, the medicine crosses over to your pet’s bloodstream. Transdermal medications are a very effective way of medicating some pets, especially when it comes to protecting your pets from fleas and ticks. Frontline medication for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens is a great medication to prevent them from harming your pet. 

Giving your dog or cat medicine

When it comes to medicating your pet, it all starts with your vet. Just like with humans, you need to be authorized by a professional before you’re able to get any prescriptions for your cat or dog. But if need be, hopefully the above tips make it easier for you to do so at home!

Pet Health

Pet Care

Photo by Marina Hanna on Unsplash