How to give a dog a pill

   My 15 year old Lab, Ralph (seen left) has a minor skin infection.  He has to take Keflex, two pills twice a day, for two weeks.

Like many Labs, Ralph will eat anything.  The only thing he ever spit out was a collard green leaf.  (Can’t blame him for that.)  But, like many dogs, he is a genius at finding pills hidden in food.  He can eat a piece of cheese, bread or hamburger completely, then spit the pill out on the floor undamaged.  It’s quite the talent.

The Keflex is in capsules, which makes it easier because there are no hard edges to get caught on the way down, and the scent is not as strong.  But the capsules are HUGE.  I’m glad it’s not me taking them.

Because of Ralph’s gift for avoiding pill-swallowing, I have had to get creative with my pill presentation technique.  And I’ve hit on the perfect solution.

The idea is to hide the pill in something that he won’t chew, that will slide right down and get swallowed before he realizes that there’s anything there except the disguising agent.  And the two foods that are just right for that are ice cream and jam.

The ice cream has to be firm enough that you can stick the pill in the middle and hide it.  Same with the jam.  That’s why jelly doesn’t work; it doesn’t hold together well enough.  Right now I’m using orange marmalade.  I get a big scoop of it from the jar, stick the pill in the middle, and hold it out to Ralph, and he laps it up and swallows it right down.  Works like a charm.

I know there are meat-flavored pill pockets you can buy to give your dogs pills in, but why spend the money?  You probably already have jam and/or ice cream in your fridge.

You’re welcome. 🙂


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