When your dog or cat needs daily care, it is not always necessary to take them to the vet every time, but you can also start learning the correct techniques to be able to administer the tablets yourself.
If your friend needs urgent therapy, (if your vet agrees) you can do it yourself, without wasting any more time.
Tablets are often prescribed for prolonged therapy, to be followed several times a day. In order to do this, it can be very useful to learn how to administer them yourself.
It is generally easier to give the tablets to dogs rather than cats. In fact, felines can be very cunning and shy, and they have a very demanding and suspicious palate. Dogs, on the other hand, are often clumsy, so it's easier to deceive them.
The technique of deception
The first method is precisely to insert the tablets into food by deceit. Choose your pet's favourite food and make sure that the tablet is well hidden inside. Dog owners usually prefer to use frankfurters or meatballs, or anything that is large enough to fit the tablets.
This technique works with most dogs, but with cats it may be more difficult.
Cats are very fussy on food choices and will immediately notice if you changed something in the usual food we give them. It will therefore immediately notice a smell that is not food and refuse to eat.
For cats, therefore, it might be a good idea to finely chop the tablet, mixing it with a baby food or their favourite food.
The "stuffed" syringe technique
If the deception technique does not work, you can try out a syringe without a needle, "stuffed" with baby food.
Finely chop the tablet and mix it with water at room temperature and with a little dissolved wet food. Try to make the solution liquid enough to pass through the syringe hole, but we do not recommend using just water as your pet could easily choke on it.
Hold the animal's head still with one hand and with the other place the syringe inside their mouth, in the free space immediately behind the canines. Slowly and gradually, push the baby food, waiting for the animal to swallow. Continue until all the mixture is finished.
The hard way
If this doesn't seem to work either, you might want to use the hard way. It will be up to you to insert the tablet directly into the animal's mouth.
The procedure is slightly different for dogs and cats, due to the differences in anatomical conformation and personality. The cat scratches, but the dog bites, so you need to know how to defend yourself in both cases.
To give a cat a tablet, hold it with two fingers. With your left hand, hold their head on both sides. The index finger of the right hand must be inserted centrally on the incisors of the lower jaw, pushing it down (as shown in the picture of the cat). Once the cat has opened its mouth, insert the tablet on the tongue and push it deeply with the index finger.
To prevent the cat from spitting it out, try to force it by keeping mouth closed, using both hands and gently massaging the throat, to stimulate swallowing.
In dogs, however, the left hand holds the head still, with the middle and thumb on the sides of the jaw, being careful to cover the teeth with the skin, just behind the canines. This will prevent the dog from biting you. At the same time, the right hand grasps the lower part of the jaw, wrapping it with the palm of the hand and always with the same method; lower the jaw pushing the skin against the teeth.
We always proceed with a throat massage, to facilitate swallowing.
The Pill Shooter Technique
If you are not convinced or are afraid that your index finger will end up in the stomach of the pet, you can get yourself a pill shooter. This small plastic tool contains a special compartment for tablets and a kind of syringe, which allows you to reach the deepest part of the animal's mouth, inserting the tablet directly into the throat.
The moisturizer technique
For cats, you can also opt for another remedy, that is to spread the minced tablet on the hair, just as if you wanted to apply a moisturizer on him. Cats hate being dirty, so they will agree to lick the drug we applied on their skin in order to return clean and fragrant.
Finely chop the tablet and mix it with the usual hair remover paste or anchovy paste. Choose the one you prefer, as long as it is firm and sticky. Spread everything on the animal's paw or rub it around the muzzle.
The techniques to be able to administer the tablets to our animals are many. However, you will not always be able to put them into practice at the first try. After several attempts and rendered unusable tablets, wasted kilos of wurzel and various last scratch fights, you will probably have acquired the knowledge to make you real experts in administering tablets to dogs and cats.