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How to Administer Liquid Medication to Your Dog

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Once your dog is released from the veterinary hospital, administering home medications can be scary, confusing and, sometimes, difficult to do. Several medications are available in both liquid and pill forms. If you feel that the liquid form would be easier to give to your dog, make sure you ask your veterinarian if this option is available.

Try the following method for administering liquid medication to your dog:

  • Draw up the prescribed amount of medication in the eyedropper or oral syringe.

  • Gently grasp your dog's head; if you are right-handed, use your left hand. Place your hand on top of the muzzle with your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other. Avoid holding the lower jaw, and do not hold it so tight that it is uncomfortable or the dog cannot swallow. You may need someone to help hold the front legs and chest of the dog to hold him/her still. Wrapping their dog in a towel or blanket is a good restraint technique.

  • Once his head is held in place, raise the nose to point toward the ceiling and firmly squeeze your fingers and thumb in just behind the upper canine teeth. The mouth should open.

  • Place the tip of the eyedropper or syringe in the mouth just behind the long canine teeth in the area where there are either no teeth or small, flat teeth. Advance the eyedropper until it is just past the tooth line (jaw bone).

  • Slowly administer the medication and be careful not to give it faster than your dog can swallow.

  • Be prepared for some spitting of the medications. If this occurs, do not re-administer another dose unless you feel the entire dose of the medication has not been given.

  • The quicker you perform this procedure, the more cooperative your dog will be.

  • Always remember to praise your dog and maybe offer a treat after receiving the medication. This will help make future medicine times easier.

    Most liquid medications come with an eyedropper attached to the lid. If the medication does not come with an eyedropper, using an individually purchased eyedropper or oral syringe will also work.

    As a reminder:

    1 ml = 1 cc
    5 cc = 1 teaspoon
    15 cc = 1 tablespoon

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