Liquids can be given in a spoon or, if the amount is large, in a small bottle. Always read the instructions on the label and check the dose before giving the medicine. If the dog is a small one, either put him on a table or, if amenable, seat him beside you. Do not attempt to open his jaws but draw the loose skin of the cheek farthest from you outwards to form a pouch, insert the spoon, and slowly pour in the medicine. Withdraw the spoon and your fingers and hold the dog’s head up, when he will promptly swallow. With practice, this becomes so easy that a dog can be dosed standing on the ground.
A big dog may have to be held between your knees, but he is dosed in the same way. All this may sound difficult but actually it is exceedingly simple, and there should be no ignominious struggle to force medicine down a dog’s throat. If you forced his jaws apart and poured the liquid down by thrusting the spoon between his teeth, he would choke and cough and splutter, and what should have been a simple operation would have become an uncomfortable one for both of you.
When the medicine is in the form of a pill or tablet it can either be given hidden between two pieces of meat or bread and butter (an “un-doped” portion should be given before and after the one concealing the pill) or placed right at the back of the tongue. To do this, open the dog’s mouth by pressing firmly with finger and thumb on the cheeks between the molar teeth, put the pill in, pushing it with the forefinger well to the back of the tongue. Close the dog’s mouth and gently stroke the throat downwards until he swallows. When you are sure the pill has gone, release the dog. Powders can be given in the same way, or they can be mixed with a little milk and given as a liquid. Oily liquids can be given floating on milk; if given by a spoon it should be warmed first. Tasteless medicines may be taken voluntarily when mixed with milk.