Dog pills can be challenging to administer. The best food to hide dog pills in conceals the dog’s medication completely. It hides the tablet visually, and even helps to obscure the smell. Stinky meats or cheese are ideal for this, but simple household basics like bread do the trick for most dogs. If your dog unwraps even the most carefully hidden pills in their food, you’ll need to crush the pill up and mix it into something irresistible, or very familiar.
Food Suggestions And Techniques
The Best Food To Hide Dog Pills In Whole
Entire dog pills can be hidden effectively in several foods you are likely to have in your cupboard or fridge. My personal go-to choices are
- Cheddar cheese
- Canadian bacon
- Cooked cold sausage
I use cheddar or red leicester cheese as we usually have this in the house, and all of my dogs love it. They have a strong association with it being used as training treats and find it very rewarding. My dogs also don’t think twice about swallowing a piece whole, so the pill almost always goes totally unnoticed.
Take a small square or corner off the cheese block and squeeze it in your palm until it becomes a little more malleable. Then push the dog pill into the centre of the piece and squish the cheese sealed. Ta-dah! Hidden medication that is usually gulped straight down.
Canadian Bacon, or Ham to the English, is a very tasty treat for dogs and smells amazing. Strong enough to hide any hint of a tablet from even the most suspicious canines. I fold a small piece around the dog’s pill and pop it straight into their mouth.
The only caveat is it can be quite high in salt, so if you are wanting to repeatedly give them tablets it’s not the ideal choice nutritionally speaking.
Cooked cold sausage
Another common item to be found in my fridge, and often used as jackpot or bonus dog treats when I’m training. Cut off a section of the sausage and simply bury the dog’s pill in the centre of it. The meat naturally curls over for most high protein low grain sausages, giving it an instant and easy place to stay secure until your dog has eaten it.
Avoid sausages with lots of onion in them, try to go for those that are fairly plain in terms of ingredients. Especially if you’re going to use them over a period of several days.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a dog that didn’t love it when they very occasionally got their jaws around a tiny bit of bread. No, it’s not an ideal snack or regular treat. But a tiny bit of plain white or brown bread won’t hurt, and it’s very easy to totally disguise a dog’s pill inside this food. Simply squeeze a bready coating around the tablet and pass it to your pup!
Dogs That Don’t Like Taking Pills
Sometimes I will spend a few minutes selecting some tasty bread or cheese, carefully squeezing and wrapping up a pill and handing it to my dog. Only for her to unwrap it with her tongue, swallow the food and spit out the pill like some kind of twisted magic trick. I can’t lie, it’s impressive, but also infuriating.
Fortunately, if you know your dog is going to be a reluctant pill taker there are some things you can do.
Tiny Food For Little Pills
Contrary to what you might think, smaller packages of food with dog pills hidden inside invariably work better. A lot of pills can be easily divided into quarters. That way I can give my dogs the tiniest amount in order to obscure their medication. This encourages them to simply swallow it down without biting into it and discovering the hidden drug inside.
Top Medicating Tip
A great tip for getting dogs to swallow pills inside a little parcel of food is to make several identical parcels. Put the dog pill inside a parcel and leave the others empty.
Feed a parcel without a pill first. That gives the dog confidence that the food is good. Then have the pill parcel ready and the non pill parcel in your other hand. Make sure the dog can see them both.
Feed the pill parcel next. The dog will be so focused on getting the third and final (pill free) parcel from your other hand that they will swallow the pill parcel straight down.
The Best Food To Hide Dog Pills In Crumbled Up
Crushing up the pill is a great way to get most dogs to happily eat them. If you know your dog always wolfs down his dinner, then just crumble the pill and mix it in. Don’t put it straight on top, either layer the food and leave it in the middle or use a spoon and go to town.
The best food to hide crumbled up dog pills in is wet, textured, smelly and tasty. I also usually use something that’s really familiar to them. Wet canned dog food usually works a treat.
Peanut butter is another popular choice, just be careful to check that yours does not contain xylitol as this is toxic to dogs. Soft cream cheese, or thick cream can also work well for dogs that can tolerate dairy.
Is there a food that your dog always gazes at longingly? Something that causes the dreaded line of drool to seep out the corner of their mouth? If all else fails, give this a go. As long as it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, this could be your magic key to hiding your dog’s pills and getting them to munch them down with gusto!
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website