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Caissie Canine Instruction: Helping your K9 take their medication

We begin this week’s "RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful Jack Russell/Yorkie mix named Missy.

Missy came into our lives five years ago, when we adopted her from the Rat Terrier rescue. She’s seven years old now.

She is a lovable ball of energy that loves to go for walks and have zoomies around the house. She will invade your personal space as much as possible for pets, cuddles, and treats.

Missy enjoys playing with balls and toys, sometimes a little too much. She loves her sister Sophie and will bear the presence of her cousin Conan. She is a feisty girl with tons of personality.

Welcome to Doggie Dialogue

Learning to give your K9 medication, especially pills, can be tricky, as dogs are smart, and some dogs can still spit out their pill, even if it is hidden inside a treat or in a piece of food. Some of our clients have found K9 “pills" behind the couch or under the bed.

You may find that you might have to put the pill directly into your K9’s mouth. To do this you must first have your dog in a safe and comfortable area, and the pill easily accessible to you.

You can lubricate the pill with a very small amount of gravy from your canned dog food. (Not fatty or greasy gravy) This will allow the pill to slide down your K9’s throat easier.

(Pill pockets also help coat the outside of the pill for easy swallowing)

When you are ready, first start by holding the pill between your thumb and index finger with your dominant hand.

Secondly, gently grasp your dog’s muzzle from above with your other hand, placing your thumb behind your canine’s teeth on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other side.

Once you have a firm, but gentle grip, tilt your dog’s head towards the ceiling. The lower jaw will naturally drop open. With your “pilling hand” use your ring finger to open your K9’s mouth further by gently putting downward pressure on the lower lip and front teeth.

Quickly place the pill as far back over the tongue as possible. Do not place your fingers too far back as you may stimulate a gag reflex.

Close your K9’s mouth and hold it closed while you return his/her head to a normal position. Watch closely to ensure the pill is down.

Patience and practice is the key, however if you find this is an on-going battle, speak to your vet about a possible “liquid” version of the medication or an injection.

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