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How to Hide Pet Medication (and Get Your Tripawd Eating)

Good nutrition helps bodies heal. But when your Tripawd won’t eat, there’s nothing that’s more heartbreaking. Whether your cat or dog is going through amputation surgery, chemotherapy or just feeling lousy, our tips to hide pet medication and pills can help boost their appetite.

First, Don’t Hide Pet Medication in Meals

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2 “You really expect me to eat that?”

Lack of appetite is common in any animal who’s going through recovery, on pain medication or when fighting illness like cancer. Daily doses of pet medication can make inappetence worse. That’s because medication often tastes terrible. Whatever you do, don’t hide medication in your pet’s normal meals if you want your dog or cat to eat.

“Keep them eating!” says veterinary nutritionist Donna M. Raditic, DVM, DACVN, CVA. During her #WVC2017 seminar “Nutrition in Practice: Canine Cancer Conundrum” she discussed the importance of preventing food aversion in pets with cancer.

“Dogs can smell molecules. If they’ve eaten something that makes them nauseous and they won’t eat it, and then you put something new in their bowl, they may smell those molecules on that food, even if you run the bowl through a dishwasher! After all these are dogs that smell cancer in people!” says Dr. Raditic.

Keep your Tripawd eating. Don’t mix meals with pills.

Dr. Raditic’s pointers can help boost appetite. She suggests:

Feed on paper plates. “The paper plates won’t have the molecule smell on it,” she explains. If your Tripawd isn’t eating, set a few different foods out on each plate. Then allow your cat or dog to choose the meal of the day.

Try novel protein diets. “Sometimes stronger smells are better,” says Dr. Raditic. Think: bison, kangaroo, venison . . . anything with an unusual aroma.

Sprinkle ground up treats on food. Buy some therapy diet treats. They’re typically low fat and have a nutritional profile perfect for recovering pets. Grind the treats up and sprinkle the flakes onto your pet’s food.

Try baby food. See if your Tripawd will try baby food mixed into their normal meals. On a short-term basis it’s also OK to use a bit of cat food for dogs.

Be Creative About Giving Pills and Other Medications

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You’re probably wondering “If I can’t hide pills in food, how am I supposed to give medication to my Tripawd?” Don’t worry: these Tripawds Nutrition blog tips have tons of great ideas!

Hide Your Pet’s Pills with Food, Pastes, Pockets, Masks and Treats

Creative ways to disguise pet pills using different “wraps.”

How to Pill a Dog or Cat (includes pill gun info)

These videos give more tips for giving dog and cat medications.

Pill Taking Treats, Strategies and Secret Recipes

Member tricks for disguising the bitter taste of pills with tasty kitchen surprises.

Finally, please be careful if you try to hide pet medications in peanut butter. Always check for xylitol!

Do you have special tricks for boosting appetite and hiding pet medications? We want to hear them below. Or just hop over to the Tripawds Eating Healthy Forum Discussion and share!

6 Responses to “How to Hide Pet Medication (and Get Your Tripawd Eating)”

  1. Peanut butter! Otis took his pills with these small dog liver training treats by Biljac. They smelled vile, but must have masked the taste and smell of the pills. Mr. Gator now takes a daily allergy pill which must be given in a spoonful of peanut butter. Not just dipped in the PB, but a whole spoonful, which he eats in one bite. There is a separate jar of PB with “Gator’s” written across the lid. Sweet Tess would, of course, eat anything you handed her, even if it was a pill.

  2. Since Nitro takes 10 pills 2x a day even now, I just put the pills in yogurt and spoon it down his throat. Sounds barbaric, I know, but it’s easy, and he doesn’t seem to mind.

  3. I use cream cheese for pills. I make it into a small ball about the size of a nickel (does anyone still use those?!) and stuff the pill inside the ball of cheese. Have always done this for all my dogs, for several decades. Works like a charm. Keep a package of cream cheese in the fridge and feed them a little even when it’s not for pill-giving. 🙂

  4. what’s barbaric about giving pills in spoonfuls of yogurt? 🙂 I like to freeze low fat yogurt w fresh fruit slices added in containers slightly larger than an ice cube. My dog is a large malamute and the treats are gone in one gulp!

  5. Thanks for the tips and comments!

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  1. Tripawds » Tripawds Recovery Shopping List for Post-Op Care - June 15, 2017

    […] which is a common side effect of pain medication. Stock up on tasty food and follow these tips to get dogs and cats eating […]

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