It’s time for another Man’s Best Friend training tip knife giveaway and this week’s winner addresses something that all of us have to deal with at some point: giving your dog medication. I don’t know about you, but my luck with dogs and pills is mixed. I’ve had dogs that happily swallow every pill I’ve ever given them without issue, and then I’ve had dogs that could eat around a pill hidden in six ounces of chopped sirloin and then spit the pill back in my face.
But if you’ve got a dog like that, here’s a slick little tip from reader Patrick Chapin that might help. Chapin writes…
I’m presently having to medicate my lab on a daily basis. She’s a sweet dog and usually very cooperative but getting a pill into her can be tricky in the best of situations. For years I have been using strips of cheese slices to wrap pills in before giving them to her. This usually works very well because most dogs will simply gulp down cheese without chewing it. However, this gal has figured out something is in there that she doesn’t like and she sometimes will work it around or hold it in her cheek until I’m not looking and spit out the pill sans the cheese.
The steroids I’m having to giver her now are fairly large pills and they obviously don’t taste good, so they are a tough project even with cheese wrapping. However I have just discovered that a second helping does the trick. Keep another small piece of cheese handy and dangled in front of the dog just as the first pill package is dropped in its mouth. The pooch will be instantly focused on getting the second tidbit. The pill-laden piece gets fired right down the gullet in anticipation of gobbling the next piece. Works EVERY time! This trick will be a godsend for administering dosages of those large and VERY smelly antibiotic pills dogs often have to take during the course of their lives.
I gotta say, that’s a helluva neat little trick, using our dogs’ natural gluttony against them. Intrigued, I tried it out on my notoriously pill-averse old dog. She’s not currently taking any meds, so I used a bit of diced onion (which she doesn’t like) as a pill proxy. Worked like a charm. She was so intent on getting that second piece of cheese that she didn’t hesitate for a second swallowing the first onion-loaded piece, even though after nine years she’s pretty wise to the old balled-up cheese slice trick.
Congratulations, Patrick. I’ll be sending you an e-mail soon, and remember, if you’ve got a favorite training or gundog-related tip (or tips) send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a Swedish FireKnife from Mora and Light My Fire.