How to give your dog medication

If you need to give your dog medication, learning how to do it right will make the process easier both for you and your pup. Remember to always follow the instructions given by your veterinarian and be sure to administer the full amount of medication over the number of days instructed by your vet.


Tablets and Capsules


Step 1

  • Place the pill between the thumb and index finger of one hand
  • Firmly grasp the upper jaw with the thumb and index finger of the other hand

Step 2

  • Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you open the mouth. This will reduce the chance of being bitten

Step 3

  • Rotate your wrist to tilt the head upwards
  • Use your middle finger to slowly open the lower jaw

Step 4

  • Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible
  • Immediately close the mouth. Keeping your hand over the mouth, put the head down to help with swallowing

Step 5

  • Gently rub the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing


Liquids and Syrups


Step 1

  • If instructed shake the contents of the bottle

Step 2

  • Fill the syringe, dropper or dispenser before starting

Step 3

  • Administer the medication into the cheek pouch between the teeth and the cheek

Step 4

  • Gently hold your dog’s jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly
  • Gently rub the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing

Step 5

  • Should you dog gag or cough out the medication, lower their head and calm them down
  • Wait a few minutes and then try again


Helpful Hints

  • Always read the label instructions carefully
  • Ask you Veterinarian if the medication can be given with food or must be given on an empty stomach. If the medication can be given with food, try using a Pill Pocket
  • Get a friend or family member to help
  • Place your dog on a non-slip surface, avoid medicating your dog in your arms
  • When administering medication be sure to remain calm, your pet can sense if you are nervous making it more difficult to give the treatment.
  • Always praise and reward your dog with a treat.

Thanks to our friends at Merck for sharing this information with us


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Last updated: April 22, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we have made some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, Lyme testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


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Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Fairview Animal Hospital