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In a previous post, I told that Chipper, my 10 year old beagle was having heart problems, and we were exploring making his food for him. We have done that, also got some heart healthy dry kibble from the vet (very spendy). But it appears that Chip has a very finicky pallette and refuses to eat any of these, but will beg at the table. Usually his food is just another form of our casserole or whatever without the spices.

He now has two pills to take and a vitamin for anemia....well, my husband is the ONLY one he will take these from, no matter how I mask it, he won't take the pills. AND I hesitate to put it down his throat as this will be a forever pill thing, and I won't have a hand left. Boy those canines are sharp!

So I am looking for ideas on disguising the pills, getting him to eat. OUr vet says "no dog will starve itself if food is available" But with two dogs, I can't keep the "baby" in the kennel 24/7 until Chip decides to eat, nor can I just leave it out. So......aside from sitting on the floor and begging or crying, how do I get Chip to take pills and what about his finicky eating habits? Any ideas?

OH, hubbie could give the pills, but he goes to work at 4:30 AM; he does the nighttime ones now.

Thanks again for all the help.

Cathy J, chip and cobi's mother.
 

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Have you tried the "Pill Pockets"? They're a little spendy, but my dogs all love them. However when I have to give pills, I usually just wrap it in a little bite of soft bread and they gulp it right down. It's less messy than cheese, peanut butter, hot dogs, lunch meat or any of the other things I've tried - and being beagles they really DON'T CARE as long as it's food! Might be worth a try!
 

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What about putting Chipper in the kennel with his food. Don't let him out UNTIL he eats if at all possible. He will soon associate getting out of the kennel with eating his food. Shasta associates eating with with her crate and when she sees me with food in the bowls - she will run to her crate. She has also learned that when she is finished, she can come out.

As for the medicine problem - can't help much with that because both of the Beaglebratz snarf down anything disguised with almost any kind of food.
 

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Originally Posted By: cobismomI hesitate to put it down his throat as this will be a forever pill thing, and I won't have a hand left. Boy those canines are sharp!
I would suggest that you really, really try to master the "pill down the throat" technique. Maggie gets 8 pills a day and I can never count on her eating anything so I have to put them in her mouth. There is a little pocket inside both sides of her mouth -- I tuck the pill in on one side or the other and keep her mouth shut until her tongue comes out all the way -- if just a tip comes out and I let her open her mouth, she will spit the pill out. If I am giving her 4 pills, I have them all in my hand and keep the method going until all are swallowed. I have never had my hand bit -- you never really get near the teeth. I am certain that the vet techs at your vet's office would give you demos/lessons.
As far as the finicky eating, if Chipper is not feeling great, his appetite could just be "off". Have you tried hand-feeding/spoon feeding him? I've read that that human connection helps dogs increase their food intake. Maggie ate 1/2 cup of dry food tonight, one piece at a time and I was thrilled! I am also finding that rotating foods is sometimes necessary. What she'll eat one day, she'll have no part of the next but will eat it a couple of days later. If you are worried that Chipper is not getting necessary nutrients, you might want to ask your vet about supplementing with Nutrical. Maggie gets two "servings" twice a day and she loves it, even when she won't eat anything! She will just lick it off my finger. I try not to stress out when Maggie doesn't eat -- her activity level is so low that the vet said she really doesn't need a lot of food. I hope some of my experiences with Maggie help you.
 

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The only thing that ever worked for Spencer was cheese. I mush shredded cheese in my hands until it somewhat melts and stick together and then put the pill in it. It helps when you have a 2nd dog right there becasue you give that one the cheese with nothing then the one with the pill to this dog and he gulps it down waiting for more.

I actually do the pill down the throat thing more often than not thoguh, it is just so much faster. Spencer is great at it now, Sydney still fights me on it. Sometimes with Sydney, I will hike her mouth open as though I am going to do it and just pretend, just to get her more used to it. Just put the pill as far back as you can in the centre and hold their mouth shut until they swallow a couple times.
 

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I use bread with my dogs' pills, too. The labs get daily pills and when they hear me go get my morning coffee, they are right there, knowing the bread is coming. Duke and Phoebe also get in the act and they have to have a nibble of the bread, as well.

Duke is a finicky eater when it comes to his dog food (though he'll eat anything else, lord knows), so sometimes if he hasn't eaten well in a few days, I pour some chicken broth on it and it's gone in 60 seconds!
 

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Sherry is on heart pills and they must taste awful because I have a bit of a job sometimes to get her to take them. I would be lost without my cocktail sausages. I cut them in half and squidge the pill in the middle...Voila, fooled her. If I'm lucky I can get the "Pill Pockets" which beaglesmom suggested but the petstore doesn't always have them. They are soft treats that have a hole in the middle that you pop the pill in then squeeze the sides together to close the hole.

I tried peanut butter but that didn't work and was way too messy. The Pill Pockets are the best for me with the cocktail sausages running a close second.
 

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Rusty is on meds 2x's a day. I always used cheese for his pills but this pill I can not use cheese. I asked my vet if there was anything elece I could use. Liverwurst was one option and the pill pockets were the other. I use the pill pockets. It's a nice treat for them and they don't know the pill is inside them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You guys are great!!!! I will try each and every alternative. I love the mini sausages, he'll never know...well, not for a few days anyway. And you are all right, they snarf just about anything down. He has taken to sniffing everything, so those pills must have some kind of scent....and if it doesn't smell like beef...then it's not going in his mouth. I think the "biting" is coming from my trying to get around his mouth to get to that pocket. So maybe if he and I just sit on the floor and talk for awhile, that will help too. The "baby" is jealous, so he gets the kennel, so Chip and I can have mommy/boy time.....could put him in the little bathroom ,though, we've done that before. Now we have diahrea (sp) and it's just the changing of food everyday. I think we've worn out his tummy. We need to find something and stick to it. Also, I've noticed that his stomach isn't so bloated before he eats, and I can't feel anything hard like the vet felt before he eats....so maybe we need an enema --- and that they will do at the vet, I am NOT goin g there.

thanks again,
Cathy J
 

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We have never had to give pills on a regular basis, but my 9 year old male Yukon is pretty slick about spitting them out. This time of year he gets allergies pretty bad (drippy eyes, sneezing) and the vet recommended Benadryl. I take a slice of bread, spread a little peanut butter on it and fold it in half. I hide Yukon's pills on one end and slice into three pieces (three beagles - everyone's gotta have a bite!). It makes for a quick treat and everyone's happy. Good luck!

Tammy
BeagleMama to Yukon, Sadie & Petey
 

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Abby is pretty slick about spitting pills out too, and she doesn't eat bread so I've used thick chunks of ham. At times, depending on if the pharmacist said I could, I would use a mortal and pestle to grind it, then put it in wet food.
 

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Have you tried crunchy peaunut butter? Depending on the pill, they often can't tell the pill from the peanuts before it's too late and they've already taken it.
 

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I agree with trying peanut butter. The Bagel knew the pill was in there, didn't approve of the operation but didn't spit it out either. When he had run the course of the pills (two weeks) I still had a little peanut butter left over. I gave the rest to him over the next few weeks and he just knew there was a pill in there somewhere and looked annoyed he couldn't detect it. I think he thought I was still trying to put one over on him.
 

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Another thing I do sometimes when they manage to spit the pill out of the bread/cheese/whatever, is to crush the pill and mix it with just a little bit of a "treat" - like some "human food", cottage cheese, yogurt, little BITE of canned food, peanut butter, something the kids like (of course, being beagles, mine like almost anything). Romeo was on Clavamox for a while - and it was a larger pill than the previous ones we've had - he did manage to "eat around" one I'd put in bread - so I just started crushing them and mixing them in with something else. That worked pretty well for him.
 

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I don't mean to state the obvious here, but have you guys tried just handing the pills to them to just take on their own? It works wonders with Chloe.... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hysterical.gif

I mean, they are beagles, they eat dead things, why not a pill.
 

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Originally Posted By: Chloe's MommyI don't mean to state the obvious here, but have you guys tried just handing the pills to them to just take on their own? It works wonders with Chloe.... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hysterical.gif

I mean, they are beagles, they eat dead things, why not a pill.
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/greendevil.gif

That's a good point, but my two (my girl especially) will have noting to do with a little pill that has no scent (at least to me). However, she is more than eager to go eat some old cotton balls from the garbage can in the bathroom. Go figure.

Anyway, the trick I use is a combination of down-the-throat and treat-bait. What I do is get whatever treat they really love, make them sit and hold it nice and close to their nose with one hand. They should be intently focused on the treat at this point, if they aren't then a better treat is in order. With the other hand, I take the pill and work it into their mouth and down the hatch. It's ok if it doesn't go all the way down since the treat will keep their attention long enough for their swallow reflex to kick in. Keep the treat nice and close until you can see they swallowed, then give them the treat and tons of praise. This little exercise eventually became a favorite of theirs, now whenever they hear a pill bottle rattle they come running, and sit waiting for their treat!
 

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I think they just "know" that pills are medicine so refuse to take them.

If I throw a pill on the floor they will excitedly run after it to see what it is and then skid to an abrupt halt when they realise it's a dreaded PILL /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 

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Yep!! Abby does the same thing as Rosa & Sherry. I don't think it's a matter of the pill not having a scent, I think it's more of a matter of the pill having a scent that they know to stay away from.
 

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There are some pills that Duke will just eat (doing this with Cassie's pill is what sent us to the ER once). But the labs are much pickier about theirs, especially Roscoe. And when it comes to Phoebe, that is a battle all in itself to get a pill down her throat!
 
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