How to Give a Dog or a Cat a Pill? Best way and Tips

Wondering how to give a dog a pill? You have a recalcitrant dog or cat? Like any good terrier, I’m a little stubborn when I don’t feel like doing something. So Mom had to try several methods to get me take a pill easily.

Every three months, I have to take my flea and tick repellent tablets, as well as my deworming medication, not to mention antibiotics when I am sick, for example when I had abscesses on my paws.

In this article, we explain all our tricks to make a recalcitrant cat or dog take a pill, from our failures to our successes!

Methode n°1: the tablet “palatable”.

French bulldog in front of pills
This French bulldog is not a big fan of pills

My anti-tick and anti-flea tablet is palatable. It is therefore supposed to make me want to eat it like I would with a candy…

Except that it doesn’t work at all with me. When Mom tries to give me the pill to eat, I sniff it and turn my head to show I don’t want it.

Even if she says words that I love, like “reward” or “carrot”, I don’t let myself be fooled…

Tip: Try the palatable tablets. Some dogs or cats like them, others don’t… If your pet knows a word like “reward”, tell him by giving him the tablet. It may work, but clearly not with me!


Method n°2: hide the tablet in the kibble.

I admit that I am very, very greedy. Mom thinks that she can take advantage of my gluttony to make me swallow my medication without me realizing it…

That doesn’t work either! I’m so naughty that I sort out as soon as there’s a suspicious tablet in my bowl. If I put a piece in my mouth by mistake, I spit it out. The pill has to be really small so that I don’t notice it.

Tip: If the tablets are divisible, make the smallest possible pieces and mix them with your pet’s kibble or pâté. With most dogs and cats, it works.

Method n°3: How to give a dog a pill when he won’t eat.

This is the method suggested by veterinarians.

Every time I spit out my pills, Mom had to give them to me in a way that was not pleasant for her or me…

She stands next to me, behind my head, opens my mouth and puts the tablet at the bottom. Once done, she prevents me from opening my mouth and caresses my throat, which triggers my swallowing. It works every time!

Below is a video.

Tip: Don’t forget to wait until swallowing to make sure your dog or cat can’t spit out its medication. Throat massage is very effective.

Best way to give a dog or cat a pill.

The method of the veterinarians not being very pleasant, Mom prefers to use my greediness to her advantage.

As soon as I have a medicine to take, she makes sure I get processed cheese. She then puts the tablet(s) in a cheese triangle. It’s swallowed in the blink of an eye!

It’s our favorite method: not only is it not unpleasant, but I’m glad to have a reward.

Tip: Identify one of your dog or cat’s favorite foods and put the tablet inside. Cheese is ideal for this.


You now have 4 different methods at your disposal on how to give a dog or cat a pill. Test them in order to identify how to give a medication to your cat or dog in an effective and pleasant way for both of you.

Have you already tested these methods? How do they work with your pet? Do you use others? Explain everything in the comments below.

For more articles on dog health, visit this section.

A French bulldog with a lot of pills
How to Give a Dog or a Cat a Pill? Best way and Tips

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