When Your Dog or Cat Rejects Their Medication

Do you find it difficult to give your dog or cat medicine? If you find your pet’s medication on the floor instead of in their mouths, it may be time for other options. Your pet may need medications at one time or another during their lifetime. Whether it be medicines to treat an illness or injury, relieve pain, prevent infection, or manage a disease, knowing how to administer medication to your dog or cat is important. We have put together a few tips for giving your pets a pill that will make the process more pleasant for everyone involved.

Cutting, Splitting, and Crushing

Depending on the type of medication, splitting, cutting, or crushing can make pills easier to give or hide in food. Some tablets or caplets are scored with a visual marking which makes them easier to split. Using a Pill Cutter or Pill Splitter to slice medications is not only easier but also keeps the task clean and contained. It’s important to ask your pharmacist or veterinarian if your pet’s medication can be crushed, split, or mixed with food. Some medications may become less effective if they are altered or not given whole. Also, some medications require an empty stomach or are given before meals.

Hide The Pills

One of the most popular methods for giving pills is to hide them in human food or treats. This especially works well for pets who readily accept treats or have favorite foods. This hands-off approach creates less stressful for everyone involved. A variety of pill treats designed to hold medications.

Advita Critter Cups at VetRXDirectAdvita Critter Cups

Advita CritterCups are a tasty probiotic supplement and pill masking treat all in one!  Give CritterCups as a daily treat or to hide medications. They contain live probiotic cultures and prebiotics to support proper digestion and overall health in dogs and puppies.

Frenzies Pill Treats at VetRxDirectFrenzies Pill Treats

Turn your dog’s medication into a tasty snack with Frenzies Pill Treats. Frenzies Pill Treats hide most tablets and capsules in a chicken-flavored soft chew, making oral medications easier to give to your dog. These pill treats are wheat-free, BHA free, and made in the USA. 

Wonderbars Shapeable Treats at VetRxDirectWonderbars

Wonderbars are tasty, shapeable treats that can be molded around any pill medication. The Wonderbars have a low allergen formula and are made without corn gluten, wheat or soy. They contain no sodium and have low-calorie content to help meet dietary and weight concerns.

EZ-Med Pill Holes at VetRxDirectEZ-Med Pill Holes

EZ-Med Pill Holes are soft chew, pill pods that hide the odor and taste of capsules, tablets, or other pills. Dogs enjoy the hickory smoked flavor, and forget about the medication!


Camo Pill Masking Paste at VetRXDirectCamoPill

Camo Pill is a soft, easily-shaped paste that wraps
around any size pill or capsule. The bacon-flavored paste masks the smell and taste of medications and contains no wheat flour or corn syrup. Use Camo Pill for dogs or cats.


Some dogs and cats refuse to be tricked by medicated food or have finicky tastes. It is common for pets to spit out pills after eating medicated food or treats or just reject it completely. Dietary restrictions may also limit the use of treats or foods. If your pet falls in this category, there are still a few more options.

Pet Piller at VetRXDirectPet Piller, Pill Gun, or Pill Popper

These pill devices are designed to deliver capsules and tablets directly into your pet’s throat. The top holds the medication, and the other end has a plunger to push the pill into your pet’s mouth. Pet Pillers also help keep your hands farther away from the mouth to prevent possible bite injury.


Compounded Transdermal and Liquid Medications

Compounded medications offer an easier alternative for pets that hate taking pills, and for owners who hate giving them. To completely avoid the mouth, a compounded transdermal gel is applied to the skin and the medication absorbs into the bloodstream. A compounded oral suspension can be made in a variety of flavors including unflavored to help make them more appealing to your pet. Talk with your veterinarian and pharmacist to determine if your pet’s medication can be compounded. Learn more about compounded medications on our blog.

Change Your Technique

Dogs and cats constantly observe our actions and behavior and are quick to associate them with certain situations, especially negative ones. Additionally, our pets adapt quickly to daily routines. Stay positive and reward your pet after pill time with a favorite treat, toy, petting, or playtime. Ask your veterinarian or your clinic’s veterinary technician to show you methods to administer medications and how to handle your pet if they are difficult to handle. Proper restraint can make medications easier to give and reduce the risk of injury for both animal and owner.

Does your pet reject medication? Share your tips, tricks, and comments below!