There’s a good chance that most pets will have to take some kind of medication during their life. While the experience is often unsatisfactory at best, giving a pet a pill does not have to be defined by struggle or end in exasperation. To get the job done without force or fear, create your own pill pockets with their favorite snacks. They’ll scarf them down so quickly, they won’t even realize they’ve also taken their medication. Win-win!

Your Pet’s Mindset

Who hasn’t tried to offer a pill pocket, only to stand back and wait for the pill to wind up on the floor? A pet that manages to eat the pill pocket, but not the pill, is pulling off a serious magic trick. Somehow they know that medication lurks beneath layers of tasty goodness, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to fold your hand.

Outmaneuver Your Pet

Once they know what you’re up to, you will have a harder time getting them to trust that the “treat” you’re offering them is free of medicine. 

Start strong the first time out of the gate, leave no room for error or discernment by your pet’s suspicious palette, and remain as relaxed and enthusiastic as possible. Since you know exactly what your pet likes to eat, you should have no problem creating your own pill pockets to entice them. 

The Full Flavor

Making homemade pill pockets is easy. Making use of their favorite foods is definitely part of the puzzle, but it’s also important to keep your efforts on the down-low. When making the pill pockets, be sure that your pet is distracted with something else so they are fully surprised when you give one to them. 

A good strategy might be offering an empty pill pocket to your pet first. Once they swallow it, quickly encourage them to have another. This time, have the pill surreptitiously squished into the pill pocket and enthusiastically praise them for eating it. Lastly, give them one more empty pill pocket so they truly have no idea that they just ate their medicine. 

It might be fun to turn this into a game by tossing the pill pockets up in the air and rewarding them when they catch them. They’ll be so caught up in the thrill that they won’t notice anything untoward. 

Recipes for Pill Pockets

For the easiest possible pill pocket, and possibly the most successful vehicle for medication, cut up a hot dog into bite-sized pieces. Press the pill into the center, and watch it disappear. 

Healthier options involve peanut butter, yogurt, low-fat cheese, and cream cheese. 

These peanut butter pill pockets are very popular with dogs:

  • Combine 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon peanut butter (Xylitol-free, please!), and 2 tablespoons flour of your choice
  • Mix well with hands until you can roll into a ball
  • Divide into small pieces that will accommodate the size of your pet’s medication
  • Make small divots in the dough for the pill
  • Refrigerate in sealed container

You can also mix together 1 tablespoon broth, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 2 tablespoon chicken powder, and/or substitute any other  ingredients for those that your pet prefers. 

The Right Choice

Giving your pet the medication they need doesn’t have to be a power struggle. Because we know how frustrating the experience can be, our team wants to help you with this process. Please give us a call at (916) 726-2334.