Giving medicine does not require shoving the medication down his throat. A puppy can be trained to take medication using positive reinforcement and making him feel he will be rewarded. Remember, using a patient, calm tone of voice helps convey that message. We are trying to help our dogs, not scare them.
With older dogs or dogs that resist taking medication, sometimes we must get creative. Offering a pill hidden inside a treat is the easiest approach. You can purchase commercial pouch-shaped treats with tempting flavors at your vet’s office or any pet store—just pop the pill into the pocket and give Fido the treat. It’s just as easy to make your own with something your dog absolutely loves (such as folded liverwurst patties) It may be peanut butter, hotdogs, cheese spread—anything you know your dog is going to eat. But watch out! Dogs are pranksters and may eat the entire treat then spit out the pill when you have left the room. If necessary, crush the pill and blend it into something soft, like peanut butter or a small amount of canned dog food he likes.
Your last resort is to give the pill manually. Talking calmly at all times, gently open the dog’s mouth and place the pill as far back into your dog’s throat as you can. Close the dog’s mouth and gently hold his mouth closed while you stroke his throat until he swallows. Once they swallow the pill, give them a ton of affection and a yummy treat so they remember the positive reinforcement and not the unpleasantness of having to take medicine. This is an art, so please do not get discouraged if it does not work the first few times.
Never give your dog acetominophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or any other “people” medication without your vet’s consent.