How To Pill a Dog (in 10 Easy Steps)

I once had to give my dog antibiotics twice daily for 30 days. Here’s how I survived that ordeal with all my hair intact.
By Vince Wong
Published on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Pilling a dog is pretty easy actually. You simply follow these steps:

1.         Cut pill into size using pill cutter. Place cut pill into single slice of cheese.  Fold cheese over pill like a fortune cookie.

Send her your deepest thoughts and prayers


2.         Corner dog and get her to sit. Offer cheese fortune cookie. She loves cheese! She loves cookies! It'll work! Piece of cake!

3.         Down the hatch! Job done! Party time!

4.         Eh no wait. Pick out remnants of pill from bits of rejected cheese on floor and sides of dog’s mouth.

5.         Stick remainder of pill on finger and push finger into dog’s mouth, hoping she licks it clean.

6.         She doesn’t. Pill has disintegrated into gooey mess, which is now everywhere except in dog’s mouth.

7.         Get new pill. Repeat steps 1 and 2, this time using cooked chicken liver. She loves chimkin viver. She won’t notice a teeny weeny pill inside of it, right? Right?

8.         Scream loudly in exasperation after dog has none of it. Repeat steps 1 to 6 with new block of combination cheese/liver after cursing vet for not giving you liquid version of the medicine. So much easier to squirt liquid medicines into mouf!

9.         Wipe away tears of rage and frustration after having a mini-breakdown. Then, repeat steps 1 to 7 as needed, using various treats that she ordinarily loves, but which today suddenly dislikes for NO REASON AT ALL.

10.         Give up and go watch television for 15 minutes. Pointedly ignore dog the whole time. Bad dog.

11.       Have bright idea while watching Jamie Oliver and search for youtube video on how to pill your dog. Found one.


Follow steps 12 to 16 accordingly.

12.       Make dog sit, in a corner so she can't back away from you.

13.       Place pill at the tip of the apex formed by your middle finger and thumb, like an Italian hand gesture, or like if you're mimicking Kermit the Frog.

Kermit's X-rays surprise no one. We're on to you, Kermit


14.       Tilting dog’s head back and upwards, open dog's mouth with one hand. With the other, push pill (at the apex of your fingers) all the way IN, BACK and DOWN dog’s throat, as far as you can go. You might have to straighten your fingers to maximise reach. At the minimum, the pill should be past the base of the tongue so dog can't spit it out.

15.       Hold dog’s mouth closed with one hand, rub her throat with the other. Note the single satisfying swallow. Down the hatch, for real!

16.       Open dog mouth and check clear, because sometimes doggies, like rifles, can kanna jam.

17.       Job finally done! Go have like, eleventy thousand beers to unwind from the stress.

18.       Finally, repeat steps 12 to 16 according to frequency of dosing schedule.

Okay so it wasn’t actually 10 steps.  Still, that’s an A for effort, right?

Next up, How To Pill a Cat, in 25 Easy Steps