The Best Tips For Administering Medication To Your Pet


Giving your pet medications probably isn’t the best part of your relationship. In the best-case scenario, you hide the pill in a treat and your loving pet never even notices it. However, for many owners, the process of giving their pets medications is rather an unpleasant alternative. To make the process easier for both you and your pet, follow “20 tips on giving your pet medication” infographics, designed by the Compounding Pharmacy of America. However, before you start applying the medication there you, as a responsible owner, need to know about what is giving to your pet.

So, let’s first talk about the types of medications you may see and how they are administered.

Giving Pills Or Capsules

Pills and capsules are the most commonly prescribed types of medications and can range from pain medications to antibiotics. There are a few important things to remember about pills or capsules. First, unless directed, they should never be crushed, cut or dissolved. The coating on the pills is designed to wear off in your pet’s digestive system and let the medication out in the area that it will be absorbed best. Cutting or removing the coating will cause the medicated to be released to be released too early, and it will not work as effectively as it is intended to.


Second, giving medicine “twice a day” doesn’t mean “twice a day whenever you remember.” Timing on medication is vital; doses are spaced to keep the medication level in your pet’s blood high enough to ease the pain or kill the infection but low enough to not have a toxic effect. Giving medicine twice a day means giving it every 12 hours, three times a day means every eight hours, and so on. Controlling pain or properly curing an infection depends on timing, while timing depends on you.

Third, every animal reacts differently to taking medications. Talk to your veterinarian and ask him to demonstrate giving the first dose and walk you through the steps until you are comfortable handling and giving medication. Most of the time, hiding it in peanut butter or a piece of meat or cheese will do the trick. Other times you will have to directly put the medication in your pet’s mouth.

Finally, read the prescription directions really carefully. Note whether you need to give the medication with or without food or if you need to separate if you need to separate it from other medications. While these directions seem to exist only to make your life more complicated, they actually have a tremendous impact on whether the medication works as it should.

Giving Oral Liquids

In most cases, oral liquids are prescribed to smaller pets such as kittens and puppies. Just as with the pills and capsules, ask a staff member at your vet clinic to demonstrate the best way to medicate your pet.


There are two important questions to consider when applying the liquid medications. First, does it need to be refrigerated? Many liquid medications do since on the counter their effectiveness lowers. Second, is it a solution or suspension? Solutions need very little mixing before administering because the parts of medication stay together well.  Once mixed, it doesn’t separate back into water, sugar, and powder. Suspensions, on the other hand, are different. They do separate after sitting for a while.  Suspension medications have to be mixed thoroughly before administering. To do so, roll the bottle vigorously between your palms for at least 30 seconds. Try to avoid shaking it as you might fill the liquid with air bubbles. Finally, liquid medications are usually administered using a dropper or a syringe. Make sure your staff from your veterinary clinic helps shows you exactly how to use these tools and how to measure the correct dosage.

Applying Topical Medications

Topical medications are among the simplest medications for pet owners to use. The hardest part is to keep pets from licking it off! There are only a couple of options to prevent it. One is to apply the medication right before feeding your pet. The food should distract your pet long enough for the medication to lose its scent. The second option is the ever-popular Elizabeth Collar, aka the “cone of shame”, which is a plastic lampshade-like collar that goes around your pet’s neck and extends past their muzzle to prevent them from licking off the medication. While it is hard to ignore the puppy eyes that beg for it to be removed, in many cases, such a collar is a necessity. The cones go on and off easily, and allow pet to eat and drink with them on. However, keep in mind that the bowl must be smaller than the cone.

Giving Parental Medications

These medications are injections, also called “shots”. The most common medications in this category are insulin (for diabetes) and allergy medications. Administering injections to your pet will require some training with your veterinary clinic staff and at first can be intimidating. However, most likely, you will quickly master giving injection properly.

Few Other Tips Apply To All Medications:

•    Always give the whole prescription. It might be tempting to save a few of those expensive antibiotics or pain pills once a pet is feeling better, but not fining a course can hurt your pet. In those cases, another round of medications often will be needed because the incomplete first round failed to cure the problem.

•    Always mention to your veterinarian what other medications you are giving your pet. This includes any vitamin, herbal or alternative supplements. They can all interact with the prescribed medications and potentially harm the animal.

•    Always schedule a follow-up exam before your pet’s prescription runs out. If the problems haven’t cleared up, you may need another round of medication or a different kind of medication.

•    Medication administration can be a real challenge for both pets and owners. Love, patience, proper education, and determination will help you succeed!

… Or Just Go To The Compounding Veterinary Pharmacy

Not many people know the benefits of compounding veterinary pharmacies. Pharmacists can compound a bitter pill into a tasty treat such as beef, chicken, or fruit for your pet. They can also turn the pill into a topical gel or lotion that can be administered topically, which is a lot easier to apply. There are many compounding pharmacies across the United States but there are only few that can be trusted to give the quality result. Compounding Pharmacy of America has the most experienced pharmacists, all of whom are licensed Pharm. D’s. Consult your veterinarian for a recommendation on using a compound pharmacy for your pet’s medication.


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