Does your dog suffer from allergies? If so, oral medication is an excellent way to relieve their itch. However, what happens when dogs don’t like taking pills? Many pet parents dread giving their pet allergy medicine, especially if their dog doesn’t fall for any sneaky tricks. But giving them medicine is possible and necessary. Below, we’ll share our top tips for giving pets medication.  

Does your dog need pet allergy medicine? It’s worth the struggle

Giving your dog oral medication can feel like you’re preparing for battle. You’re equipped with your weapon (the pet allergy medicine) and have your game face on. You stare your opponent down and look for signs they’re ready to bolt. Adrenaline is high—as are the stakes. If your dog despises taking medicine, you may wonder whether it’s worth giving them something to ease their allergies. The answer is yes.

Whether the dog allergies are seasonal, external, or food-related, your dog can have any of the following symptoms:

  • itchy skin;
  • coughing;
  • wheezing;
  • sneezing;
  • runny discharge;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea.

These symptoms can be uncomfortable and distressing for your dog if left untreated. While giving them pet allergy medicine may feel like a chore, it’s better for their quality of life in the long run.

Benefits of allergy medicine for seasonal itches

Allergy medication offers the same benefits to dogs as it does to us. Pet allergy treatment depends on factors such as allergy type and your pet’s health. But, if your dog is suffering seasonal itches due to fleas or ticks, oral medication is one of the best prevention methods. Here’s why.

Many pet parents notice their dogs struggling with allergy-like symptoms during the summer. Two of the main culprits of seasonal allergies are environmental factors and insects. For example, fleas and ticks can cause dermatitis in dogs resulting in skin irritation. Flea and tick medication can relieve itchiness and protect against Lyme disease. Pollen and plants can play a factor in seasonal allergies for dogs too. Your vet may recommend various types of pet allergy medicine, from antihistamines and steroids to anti-inflammatories.

Many pet owners notice an improvement in their dog’s symptoms within a few hours or days of giving them medication. Ultimately, pet allergy medicine allows your dog to begin feeling like themselves again.

Best tricks to give your dog oral medication

Now the tricky part: giving your dog medication orally. There are various ways you can do this—the upfront “give it to them directly” method or perhaps the “hide it in their food” method. Choose whichever you think is best for you and your pet. Let’s look at some of the best tricks to use.

The direct method

The direct method might work if your dog doesn’t mind you opening its mouth. However, you’ll need to do it correctly. With your left hand, stand behind your dog and hold its head from the top. Keeping the upper jaw between your thumb and index finger, tilt their head back. Gently open your dog’s mouth and fold the upper lip over its teeth. Use your middle finger to keep your dog’s lower jaw open while you drop the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.

Close your dog’s mouth and stroke its neck or blow sharply on the nose. This will encourage your dog to swallow. Sometimes, if the pill isn’t back far enough on the tongue, your dog will spit it out. You may need to try multiple times before they take the medication.

The pet food method

Some pet parents may prefer to trick their dog into eating pet allergy medicine. This method can be effective but doesn’t work for every dog. The trick is to hide the pill in a highly desirable treat. Your pooch will be so focused on the tasty treat you have for them that they’ll gobble it the minute they can.

Perhaps your dog’s favorite treat is peanut butter. Put the pill on a spoon and cover it with peanut butter. Allow your four-legged friend to lick the spoon clean. Keep an eye on the floor after your dog’s finished eating to ensure the pill made it past their spoon inspection. Other foods include cheese, fruit, or a soft meat product like liverwurst.

The taste deception method

If the food method fails, it could be because the taste of the pill is too bitter. Some medications can be compounded to make their taste more interesting. For example, if your dog can’t resist beef, your vet may be able to work some magic to make the pet allergy medicine taste like beef jerky. While not all vets can do this, there are ways you can trick your dog into thinking their medicine is anything but that.

Pet wellness plans: Keeping them itch-free

With wellness protection, keeping your pet allergy-free is easy. At Wagmo, our pet wellness plans help pet parents give their pets high-quality care all year round. By signing up for Wagmo Wellness, we’ll reimburse for routine vet visits and procedures, including vaccinations, grooming, and flea and tick prevention.

Learn more about how Wagmo Pet Wellness plans can help keep your pooch living an itch-free life. Ready to sign up? Take our quiz today to find the right plan for you and your pet.