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Medicating Your Dog

August 28, 2021

Every now and then your dog might require some medication, unfortunately with their lack of opposable thumbs it simple isn't possible for them to administer it to themselves. So knowing how to correctly give your pet their medication will make the process easier for both you and your dog.

There is currently a long acting antibiotic injection available where one injection replaces an entire course of antibiotic tablets, eliminating the problems associated with missed doses, either through not being able to administer the tablets or not finishing the course. You can speak to your veterinarian about whether this long acting antibiotic injection is right for you!

If your dog does require medication, whether it be tablets or liquids, it's important to clarify with your vet what the dosage instructions eg how much to give, how often and whether to administer with food or on an empty stomach. Always follow the label and keep medicating your dog for the amount of time your vet has instructed.


  • If possible avoid medicating your dog on the floor, if you must, use a quiet room away from distractions and loud noises and make use of the corner of the room
  • Use a non slip surface to place your dog on to medicate them.
  • Stay calm and in control. If you are stressed or your worried, then your dog will think they have reason to be and become agitated themselves
  • It is easiest to get someone to help you medicate your dog
  • Always praise and reward your dog
  • Pill poppers can be used to avoid placing your fingers in your dogs mouth.


  1. Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger of one hand (or use a pill popper). Use your other hand to firmly grasp the upper jaw, thumb and index finger one either side.
  2. Gently fold the top lip over the teeth as you open the mouth, reducing the chance of being bitten.
  3. Rotate your wrist holding the upper jaw to tilt the head upwards as your middle finger of the hand holding the pill slowly opens the lower jaw.
  4. Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth of the lower jaw and use your index finger to deposit the pill as far pack on the tongue as possible. IMMEDIATELY close the mouth, keeping your hand over the mouth and lowering the head to encourage swallowing
  5. You can stroke the throat or blow on the nose to persuade your dog to swallow


  1. Prepare the medication, shake the bottle if necessary and draw up the correct amount.
  2. Hold your dog's jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly
  3. Gently squirt the medication into the pouch between your cat's cheek and teeth with the syringe.
  4. Hold the mouth closed and stroke the throat or lightly blow on the nose to encourage swallowing
  5. If your dog begins to gag or cough out the medication, lower their head and calm them down. Wait a few minutes before trying the process again.

If you are uncomfortable medicating your dog or unsure of the easiest way to administer medications, speak to your vet about possible alternatives or ask them to demonstrate the process for you.

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