Cat at veterinarianDoes your pet immediately make a getaway as soon as you pull out the pill popper? Widely known as a pet’s worst nightmare, the popper can simultaneously get the job done and make your pet disdain you. But, there’s more to medicating your pet beyond the ubiquitous popper. With our tips, your pet will get the medicine he or she needs without the fear and loathing.

Remain Calm

Already an uncomfortable task for everyone involved, medicating your pet is made worse by rising frustration or anxiety levels. The fact is, you cannot force your pet to swallow a pill. Doing so increases your chances of a defensive bite or scratch – and has a negative effect on how your pet sees and responds to you.


Instead, work on helping your pet associate medication with something he or she really enjoys, like a walk or playing. We’ll get into using food as an effective method below, but it’s important to note that this may not be helpful if your pet requires medication each and every day for chronic conditions. Likewise, obese or overweight pets shouldn’t consume any extra calories, even on a short-term basis.

With a Capital “P”

Back to the pill popper…If you are using something scrumptious to entice your pet into forgetting about the pill, use the popper to dispense treats or a preferred soft food (cheese or canned food). If this doesn’t work right away, simply:

  • Hold the popper while getting his or her food out and putting it in the bowl
  • Over time, place the popper in the bowl so your pet eats very closely to it
  • Once your pet is accepting food off the popper, add the medication to the soft food
  • Your pet may possibly grow fond of the pill popper, making medicating your pet an absolute snap!


    Sometimes you just have to get the job done, right? To administer medication without the use of a popper or food, we offer these tactics:

  • Sit next to your pet and help him or her to tilt the head back (a good chin scratch works nicely)
  • With one hand, squeeze the jaw open by pressing on both sides of the muzzle
  • The other hand places the medication on the far end of the tongue
  • Close the jaws and hold them together while stroking the throat
  • Reward your pet with loving words and affection, or a walk/play time
  • If you need help medicating your pet, The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are happy to assist.

    Medicating Your Pet the Easy Way!

    Many pets are surprisingly happy to take medication – especially when enfolded in a super tasty edible. Crushing pills or simply wrapping them up in the following food items are guaranteed to work:

  • Piece of hot dog
  • Spoonful of peanut butter
  • Cheese
  • Tuna fish
  • Wet or canned food
  • Tasty DIY treats
  • Follow the instructions on the medication. Some are not to be ingested with food, and others cannot be crushed. Ask about liquid medications if you believe your pet would have an easier time accepting that.

    If you ever have any questions, please let us know. Good luck medicating your pet!