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Happy dog taking a supplement given by owner

How to get a fussy dog to take their supplements

Some pets will wolf down anything you put in front of them, but there are others who can only be described as fussy eaters. If you have a dog who is refusing to take their medication, here are our top three tips…

Make a supplement sandwich

Mix or wrap their tablet with a food, preferably one with a strong odour. Try sliced deli meat, pieces of hot dog or a ball of chunky peanut butter (just ensure it doesn't contain xylitol).

Try the 1, 2, 3 game

Have three treats on hand – one of which should contain the supplement you want your pet to take. Feed your pet a normal snack, then the same snack with the supplement inside, followed by another normal snack. When they don't find a pill in the first piece, they should eat the next two without hesitation.

For particularly suspicious pets, you could prepare five treats (with the pill inside one of them) and throw them one at a time for your pet to catch. Start with two normal treats, then the pill, followed by the final two treats. Throw them at a steady, relatively fast speed, so your dog has to eat each one quickly in order to keep up. He or she will swallow the pill before they realise, in order to not miss the next one.

French Bulldog jumping for snack

Take it to the next level…

  • Try giving them their 'treat' on a walk. With all the sights, sounds and smells, your dog is likely to be distracted – and therefore much less suspicious!
  • Get your dog to perform a trick before giving them the 'treat'. They will feel as though they have earned the treat and are therefore more likely to accept it.

Some healthy competition…

This one may be a little mean – but it works! If you have more than one pet, feed all the others a normal snack (or two), leaving out the dog who needs the medication. As that pet gets agitated, give them their supplement – they will be so keen to gobble it up before the other dogs get it, that they will have eaten it without thinking.

Joanna Dyer is a content writer and editor at Healthspan.

Healthspan pet supplements are not intended to replace a well-balanced diet for your pet.