Flavored Medications for Dogs – Dangerous or Good?

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It can be extremely challenging to give dogs their medications. Some dogs will hide, whine, or fight you when it comes time to give them their medicine, and even when you think you are successful they'll spit it back at you. How frustrating!

To help make giving medications easier, many companies have created flavored and chewable medications that are highly palatable. Many medications can be flavored with beef, chicken or other flavors to make them more appealing. Some pharmacies will also compound medications and add flavors to make the dosing process easier.

However, flavored medications can be dangerous at times when pets ingest excessive quantities of the tasty “snack.” Frequently, the owner forgets to put the medicine away after giving it to the pet, who then seeks out the delicious-tasting substance and eats as much as they want. This can create an overdose and life-threatening toxicities.

The most common flavored medication that causes toxicities are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These are commonly given for arthritis and pain management. Common brand names of this medications include Rimadyl® and Deramaxx®.

To keep your dog safe, make sure all medications are out of reach and in sealed bottles. Make it a habit to put the containers away immediately in a secure area that your pet has no way of accessing.

If your dog accidentally ingests an excessive amount of any medications, please call your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Damage can occur in just a few minutes after ingestion, so don't wait to see if there's a problem before contacting help.


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