How to Trick Dogs into Taking Pills? Everything You Need to Know

If your dog is into medication, you may already been searching of ways on how to trick dogs into taking pills. It is indeed one of the challenges you may encounter along the way. Yes, if it is a fried chicken, the mouth is indeed wide open. Also yes, if it is fish, the tummy is craving. And yes, if it is a delicious treat, the tail is even wagging excitedly. But pills? Hell no!

Dogs seem to have a magical gut feel when it comes to pills. Absolutely, they can sense if you are trying to feed them one and they seem to really despise it. Hence, it is definitely a battle to put that pill on its mouth, down to its throat.



Always speak to your veterinarian first regarding everything about your dog’s medication. This is always the first thing to do because this is the safest. Your veterinarian will then give you a lot of creative ways on how to make your stubborn dog to take its pills. Always remember that your veterinarian’s way is proven and tested, so as much as possible, everything you do to your dog was consulted to him/her first.


This is one of the most basic ways on how to trick dogs into taking pills. Obviously, just put the pill in their meal and hope for the best. If they taste the medication and they don’t like it so they spit everything out, then you may try the succeeding alternatives.


Pill pockets have lately been popular with dog owners. These treats are specifically designed to hold pills or capsules inside. Also, using these can trick your dog into taking its medication because these are incredibly delicious.

More importantly, just remember that this will be most effective with dogs who gulp down their treats without chewing.


Speaking of gulping down, you can also use sausages to trick your pet dog. Sausages are most likely to just be gulped down by dogs, so it is certainly a perfect hiding place for pills or capsules.


Just like with sausages, hotdogs are also most likely to just be gulped down by dogs, so they can be tricked into taking their medication. At the same time, you may try this alternatively with sausages.


You can also trick dogs by wrapping cheese around the pill or capsule. Just remember to not give them too much cheese because it may cause some digestive problems.


Dogs love these. You may want to try cooking these skins, so they can be crispy. From there, you can wrap them around the bad-tasting pill or capsule and your dog won’t even notice.


Buying empty gel caps at any drug store and then putting the foul pill inside is another creative way on how to trick dogs into taking pills. This way you can hide the bad-tasting pill inside the capsule with no flavor. Also, another good thing about gelatin capsules is that you can use one for more than one pill at a time. It means that you can easily trick your dog into taking all of its medication at once. You won’t need to suffer from forcing your stubborn pet.


A little segway into liquid medication: the rich taste and smell of peanut butter, which dogs adore, will most likely hide the bad-tasting liquid medication. Buy the creamy not the crunchy one, so your dog won’t be able to taste the medication.


You can also opt for a peanut butter sandwich, not just peanut butter solely. Your dog will truly love this! First, cut the sandwich into small pieces and then tuck the pill or capsule inside one of them.


A thick yogurt can absolutely hide a pill, just like a peanut butter.


This is another way on how to trick dogs into taking liquid medication. A right amount of canned dog food will be enough to hide the bad-tasting medication.


A tablespoon of pumpkin with enough texture will be able to hide the foul pill or capsule from your dog.


Utilizing mind games will allow you to trick your dog and you have a lot of options! First, you can try the BAIT-AND-SWITCH method wherein you will give your pet a treat or whatever food which doesn’t have the pill in it. Then you give it another one which has the pill in it. After that, give it one last treat without the pill. Your dog may not be able to tell that it just ate its medication.

Second, you may also go for the TRICK-AND-TREAT method. Here, you will let your dog earn himself the medication itself. Sounds confusing? Well, you will make your pet do a trick and then act like you are giving a reward for the obedient behavior it just showed, but there is a pill inside the treat. Again, your dog may not be able to tell that it just ate its medication.


One of the best sneaky ways on how to trick dogs into taking pills is by giving them one when they are already distracted by something. A good example is when you are doing your daily walks. With the sights outside, there is so much for your dog to see. As a result, it may not focus at all on what you are trying to put in its mouth or won’t even care a bit.


If in case you already tried everything mentioned above and nothing worked despite doing those in the best of your ability, then this is your end game. You have no choice but to literally take matters into your own hands. In this case, just bear in mind that you should only try this method if you are a hundred percent sure that your pet won’t bite you.

How to do this? First, calm down. You will be opening your pet’s mouth and you will shove the pill into its mouth. It is certainly a no-brainer that this needs steady hands, especially if you don’t want to be bitten. Also, if you are nervous, your dog may feel it and in turn be anxious as well. It is also advisable to not talk when doing this in order to not trigger panic in your dog.

Second, hold your dog’s head from the top. With a dog with a long nose, hold its upper jaw between your thumb and index finger. With a dog with a short nose, hold the head as if it is a cat’s.

Third, tilt your dog’s head back.

Fourth, you have to fold his upper lip over his teeth so that in case it bites you, your pet will bite its lip not your hand.

Fifth, you have to put your thumb on the roof of its mouth.     

Sixth, you take the pill with your other hand by using your thumb and index finger. Pull your pet’s lower jaw with your middle finger. Just remember though that your middle finger shouldn’t be placed over your dog’s sharp teeth.

Seventh, drop the pill as far back over the tongue as possible. After that, close the mouth. You can either stroke your pet’s neck or blow sharply on its nose, so you can encourage it to swallow.

Now, if accidental bites aren’t your thing, you can use a pill device. It will put the pill into your dog’s mouth without you having to use your own hand. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with liquid medication, you may use pill droppers or gun tablets which are long syringe-like tools that are used to squirt medication into a dog’s throat.


Most dogs hate swallowing pills, so you really need to have the patience that it takes to put that pill down into his throat. Additionally, knowing how to trick dogs into taking pills needs you to unleash your creative side. Why? Dogs are smart, so they will be able to detect your sneaky ways. This is why the first time in whatever trick you decide to use is crucial. If you fail, your dog won’t trust you anymore and you may not be able to trick it the second time around.

Some of the things you also need to take note is that if you are going to trick your pet, make sure that you wash your hands after preparing the medication. Dogs have an impeccable sense of smell. Yes, you may be prepared with your peanut butter sandwich in small rolls. Also yes, you are ready to implement the BAIT-AND-SWITCH method. But if your fingers leak of pills or capsules, then you are already busted! Also, look for other ways other than what are mentioned here. Therefore, consult your veterinarian about pills that can be broken down and crushed down into fine powder. In some fortunate circumstances, there may be flavored alternatives for the bad-tasting pills too!

Lastly, just make sure that whatever way you will try to make your pet dog take its medication, you and your dog won’t be harmed.