Idea Exchange: How to pill pooches


This reader tip gets even the most suspicious dogs to take pills happily.

In the August issue, Dr. Robert M. Miller describes a couple of techniques for giving a dog a pill (see One of them involves cutting up a hot dog into three pieces and hiding the pill in the second piece. I have personally found that this trick can sometimes get even the most suspicious dog to take its pills happily. It's all about dog psychology.

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First, you need to pull out your inner actor. High energy is called for, plus a high-pitched voice and lots of excitement. "Oh, something special is about to happen! I'm going to get a treat!" If the dog investigates the first (unloaded) piece, it is all clear—and tasty! Then you give it the second (loaded) piece and hold the third (unloaded) piece right in front of its face and pique the dog's gluttonous interest—ta-da!

I am fond of using cut pieces of Velveeta cheese to mold completely around the pill, rather than hot dogs, and I imagine this trick would work well with Pill Pockets (The Nutro Company), as well, but as they say, "Whatever works." Happy doggie deception!

Corry Key, DVM

Author, Horses Who Eat Potatoes

Dardanelle, Ark.

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