How to Give Your Dog a Gel Capsule

by Eric Mohrman

Only give your dog medications prescribed by her veterinarian.

You understand how important your pooch's medication is, but she doesn't. While some dogs take medication without any fuss, these creatures are notoriously resistant, not to mention how picky they can be about what they willingly ingest. There are a few approaches to giving your dog a gel capsule, so try them all to find which works best for you and your pet. Ideally, you can trick her into swallowing the medicine without even realizing it, rather than forcing her to take it, which can be stressful for both of you.

Step 1

Toss a few small treats that are approximately the same size as the gel capsule to your dog in quick succession if she enjoys catching them. After a few, toss the capsule without breaking stride or otherwise drawing attention to it. Follow it with a few more treats so your dog doesn't have the chance to realize what happened.

Step 2

Roll six balls of your dog's favorite wet food. Keep them small enough to swallow without chewing. Press the gel capsule into the center of one. Alternatively, prepare six small bites of soft cheese and press the capsule into one. Feed three without the capsule to your dog quickly, then give her the one containing the capsule, then follow it with the last two plain bites to mask any taste from the capsule. If your dog likes catching tossed treats but spots an undisguised capsule, this may be a better way to try the tossing trick; otherwise, just hand-feed the bites.

Step 3

Call your dog to you calmly if you have to directly administer the gel capsule. Hold the capsule between your thumb and forefinger and take your dog's lower jaw in that hand. Grasp her upper jaw with your other hand and gently open her mouth, angling her head upward. Deposit the capsule near the middle of her tongue as far back as you can reach. Remove your hand from her mouth quickly and hold her jaws closed with one hand. Keep her head tilted up and gently rub her throat in a downward motion to encourage swallowing. When you think she's swallowed, squirt some water into her mouth from an oral syringe. Then give her a treat.

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