Dogs of all ages and lifestyles sometimes require pills to give them the care they need to get through the day. However, not all dogs are eager to take them. Some dogs are wary of the texture and smell, while others are simply picky eaters. While there are a few different tricks to entice dogs to take pills, a pill pocket is one of the best solutions in both the short and long term.
Pill pockets, like this top option by Greenies, mask the sight and smell of a pill by encasing it in a treat. Pill pockets are made in a variety of styles and flavors, so it’s important to find the right option so your dog can continue with a happy and healthy life.
A pill pocket, sometimes referred to as a pill pouch or pill wrap, is essentially a dog treat that’s designed to hold medication or supplements. The treat is designed in such a way as to hide the look, texture and smell of the pill so picky dogs don’t avoid taking it. Some may be designed to cater specifically to capsules or tablets, while others are more generic and accommodating.
Only dogs who refuse to take pills as they are require pill pockets. If your dog takes a pill when given directly or added to their own kibble, then a pill pocket isn’t necessary. However, some dogs avoid pills or spit them out due to smell, look or general unfamiliarity.
The way in which a pill pocket or pouch is constructed is useful in determining its effectiveness. Consider the size of the pill; it should fit in with the pocket completely in order to disguise it. Most pill pockets are relatively soft and call for the user to close off the end of it in order to fully contain the pill. These options are also useful for other forms of medication, including powders that may need to be sprinkled within the pocket and then closed off.
It’s important to note the ingredients of a particular pill pocket, especially if your dog is dealing with certain sensitivities, weight issues or other reactions. Generally, limited ingredients are ideal. There should be no artificial preservatives or fillers, nor should ingredients influence the effectiveness of the pill.
Dogs with sensitivities may want to avoid those pill pockets with gluten, soy or chicken.
Pill pockets are designed with specific flavors so that dogs are eager to enjoy them. Bacon, chicken and peanut butter are among the more popular choices, as these aromatic flavors are big hits with most dogs. It’s important that the flavor not only be appetizing to your specific dog, but the aroma should be somewhat potent, especially if you have a wily dog who may be able to sniff out a pill.
Pill pockets should be relatively low in calories. This is important for dogs who are taking pills daily, especially those older dogs who may need to watch their weight and caloric intake. Pill pockets don’t need added calories to be effective.
Only buy pill pockets and related treats from trusted brands and companies. This ensures quality ingredients and safe production.
Anywhere from 20 to 40 pill pockets may cost from $10-$25 depending on the size and flavor.
A. There are a few different ways to give a dog a pill pocket depending on your dog’s preferences and tendencies, as well as when and how frequently they need to take a pill. A pill pocket can be given before or after breakfast or during the day after a walk. You may want to build some excitement and applaud your dog so they see the pill pocket as a reward. Consistency is important. Dogs enjoy routine, so it's advised to administer pills at the same time each day.
A. You can use certain foods to make your own pill pocket at home as needed. Certain cheeses may suffice, as well as some fruits or vegetables. Bananas and peanut butter in particular allow for tablets or capsules to be mashed in. Similarly, if your dog enjoys wet food, pills can be inserted within, though it can get a bit messy.
What you need to know: From a trusted name, this beloved brand of dog treats features soft, delectable pockets that cater to most pills.
What you’ll love: These popular, vet-recommended pill pockets are flavored with enticing peanut butter. The ingredients feature real chicken. The pocket is easily pinched closed.
What you should consider: They contain gluten. The calories may be high for some smaller dogs.
What you need to know: This is an inexpensive pack of pill pouches that are easy to use and administer.
What you’ll love: These provide a good value for 25 pill pockets. They’re flavored with desirable hickory smoked bacon. Their soft construction is easy to fit around a pill. They have a decent calorie count.
What you should consider: They aren’t suitable to hide larger pills.
What you need to know: These are versatile and malleable pill pockets by a trusted source that cater to dogs of all ages and needs.
What you’ll love: This thick paste makes it easy to wrap up any tablet, capsule or other medication. The aromatic cheese and bacon flavor mask pill scent and texture. They’re low in calories.
What you should consider: The paste may get messy.
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.