Administering Medicine to a Dog

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Administering medicine to your dog doesn’t have to be a futile task. (By: Tim Massey)


There are many devices to aid in administering medicine to a dog. In particular, pill plungers are effective and available online. A syringe with no needle is good for liquids. Ask your veterinarian for some other ideas.


  • Open your dog’s mouth and drop the pill down as far back as you can, on top of and in the center of the tongue.
  • Close the dog’s mouth and hold it shut while stroking the throat until your dog swallows.

If your dog licks his nose, chances are that he swallowed the pill. Giving your dog a treat afterward helps ensure that the pill is swallowed.

Pill plungers also work well. Or you can try hiding the pills in a treat, say cheese or peanut butter.

Greenies Pill Pockets are one of the greatest inventions ever. Just place the pill inside, pinch the treat closed at the end, and let your dog devour it.


  • Tilt the chin up at 45 degrees, and place the neck of the bottle into the cheek pouch, between the molar teeth and the cheek.
  • Seal the lips around it with your fingers and pour in the liquid.

Large amounts can be given this way. Hold the muzzle firmly while the dog swallows. Bottles, syringes and eyedroppers can be used. Your vet can help you out here.


If you must administer eye drops to your dog and the dog resists, try the following trick: Stand behind your dog and hold the eye open to administer the drops. You don’t appear as dominating this way.

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