How to Give Your Dog a Pill Step by Step Wisteria Goldens English Cream Golden Retriever Getting Lifestyle Right seriesNow and then you will find yourself wondering how to give your dog a pill. Today many of the supplements and medications we give our dogs are chewable, but, you may wonder what to do when they are not. This is a simple way to have your dog’s tail wagging while you are preparing a pill disguised as a treat.

The basic idea is to create a treat that is small so it will be swallowed instead of chewed. For best results give this treat to your dog while she is hungry. For example prepare and give the treat a few seconds before you provide a regular meal. Each dog and medication are different so be informed and discuss options with your veterinarian.

How to Give Your Dog a Pill Step by Step

  1. Cut a stick of string cheese into quarters.
  2. Warm one section (without the wrapper) in the microwave for 3-7 seconds. Microwaves vary so start with 3 seconds to determine when the cheese is soft and slightly pliable but not melted.
  3. Push the pill into the center of the cheese. String cheese has a natural grain (so it pulls apart). Follow the grain and the pill should be centered and easy to push in.
  4. Roll gently in the palm of your hands until it is a soft ball.
  5. Let the treat cool completely before you give it to your dog.

How to Give Your Dog a Pill Step by Step

Alternative Options

There may be times when string cheese isn’t the best choice for your dog’s treat. These are a few alternative treat options you can discuss with your veterinarian.

  1. Another cheese (Colby jack, Monterey jack, or Cheddar for example).
  2. Small piece of butter. Take out of refrigerator and let soften between your palms.
  3. A small teaspoon of peanut butter. (Read This Caution about sweeteners and ingredients)
  4. Cream cheese.
  5. If the pill can be crushed it may be added to food.


  1. Never heat the pill with the treat unless (in rare cases) it is part of the directions for preparation.
  2. Keep a record of doses and/or fill a daily pill box so you know if today’s dose has already been given.
  3. Most medications and supplements can be given at mealtime. Ask your veterinarian if this is true for the medication being prescribed for your dog.
  4. Be informed about side effects and be observant so you can catch any signs of allergies or contraindications early.

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Some of our Wisteria Golden families have been interested in training their puppy to eventually become a therapy dog. This page discusses Qualifying for Therapy Dog Certification and where to find out more. The dog must pass a certification program in order to be allowed to visit hospitals, nursing homes, or other places where therapy dogs are needed. Read more here.

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