Administering Medication – Dogs

Administering Medication

Just like you, your dog is going to get sick occasionally and you will likely come home from the veterinarian’s with some medication to administer. Learning how to do it right will make the process easier both for you and your dog.Always follow the instructions given by your veterinarian. Be sure to administer the full amount of medication over the number of days instructed by your veterinarian.

Tablets & Capsules

MyVetOnline - Administering Medication to your Dog

Step 1
• Place the pill between the thumb and the index
finger of one hand.
• Firmly grasp the upper jaw with the thumb and
index finger of the other hand.

Step 2
• Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you
open the mouth. This will reduce the chance of
being bitten.

Step 3
• Rotate your wrist to tilt the head upwards.
• Use your middle finger to slowly open the lower

Step 4
• Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the
tongue as possible.
• Immediately close the mouth. Keeping your hand over the mouth, put the head down to
facilitate swallowing.

Step 5
• Stroke the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing.

Liquids & Syrups

MyVetOnline - Administering Medication to your Dog

Before starting
• Read the label for the proper dosage and, if instructed, shake the contents of the bottle.
• Fill the syringe or dropper with the medication.

Step 1
• Firmly grasp the dog’s muzzle with one hand
while holding the syringe or dropper with the
other hand.

Step 2
• Gently squirt the medication into the pouch
between the teeth and check.

Step 3
• Hold the dog’s jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly.
• Stroke his throat or blow on his nose to encourage swallowing.

Step 4
• Should your dog gag or cough out the medication, lower their head and calm them down.
• Wait a few minutes and then try again.

Helpful Hints

  • Always read the label instructions carefully.
  • Ask your veterinarian if the medication can be given with food or must be given on an empty stomach. If it can be given with food, just put the pill into a small piece of meat or cheese.
  • Get a friend or family member to help.
  • Medicate your dog on the floor or on a table with a non-slip surface.
  • When administering medication stay calm – your pet can sense if you are nervous making it more difficult to apply the treatment. Always praise and reward your pet with a treat.