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I have a disability and have difficulty bending over. So I struggle to pick things up off the ground. I'm also weak and do not have the strength to pick up a dog.

How can I give medication to a dog?

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I have a disability that makes it very difficult for me to kneel and I'm unable to get down on the floor. I've had to learn to manage everything with the least amount of bending over to reach things close to the ground.

There's two ways to administer the medicine. Either mixing with food or butter or forcibly administering it. The first preference is the easiest physically and less stressful

1. Mixing with food or butter.
If you're able to disguise the taste (and you will only know by trial and error), mix any tablets in butter and any liquids in some type of tinned food the dog loves.

  • Tablets Add the table to a heaped teaspoon of butter and give it to him. Wait until you are sure he has eaten it, and has not spat it out.
  • Liquid
    Use some type of tinned food, maybe sardines or some tinned cat food, as these have a stronger flavour than tinned dog food. Mix a small amount, half a cup of tinned food with the liquid and feed it to the dog.

2. Forcibly administering it.
If the dog won't take the medication.

  • Firstly, put a lead on the dog and tie him to something.

  • Get a chair and use that to lower yourself more to his level.

  • If you're able to get the dog to jump onto a footstool, even better.

  • Force the jaw open by pressing your fingers into the joint that opens and closes the mouth,

  • You will need to put the tablet into his mouth, toward the back and side of the tongue. Not so it slips between the tongue and the cheek.

  • Close the mouth and hold it closed with one hand.

  • Raise the dog's head a bit so the neck is stretched out and gently stroke the neck underneath the jaw to encourage swallowing.

  • When you see the dog swallow, or gulp, you can release the jaw, stay with the dog for a few minutes to check he doesn't spit it out.

  • The same principle applies for liquid medications, but use a syringe to squirt it, being careful to slowly squirt towards the side and back of the tongue, so the dog has time to swallow it and ensure that the fluid isn't aspirated, i.e. inhaled into the lungs. A sudden squirt to the back of the throat could go into the trachea.
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