Precautions Pet Parents Must Take When Administering Medications Pet Medication Safety Guideโ€”Precautions to Take When Giving Medicines to Your Furry Friend

Precautions Pet Parents Must Take When Administering Medications

Convincing your furry friend to take the medicine is no easy task. Most pet parents make mistakes in the process. Here, weโ€™ll share some precautions you must take when administering medicines to your fur baby.

Ask any pet parents about the hardest part of caring for a pet and hear them say administering medications. Pets—be it cats or dogs—throw a fit when you give them medicines or supplements. The task is all the more tricky if you’re a parent to a stubborn pet.

Whether it’s a routine dewormer or heartworm preventative like Heartgard or a life-saving antibiotic like amoxicillin, knowing how to give these medications safely is crucial. 

Here, we’ll share a few precautions you must take when administering pet medications.

#1 Adhere to the Prescribed Dosage and Schedule

Veterinarians prescribe dosage as well as the timing to administer prescription medications. Your vet must have also advised you on the amount of medicine you should give to your pet at each time during the day. Adhere to the instructions in the prescription.

Neither should you administer too little or too much medicine to your furry friend. Give your pet too little medicine and it won’t show any result; administer too much and it will lead to adverse reactions.

Most liquid medications come with measuring tools like a dosing spoon or syringe. Use them. They allow for accurate dosing. However, if the medicine doesn’t include that, ask the vet or the pharmacist of the pet pharmacy how to dose it correctly. 

Take, for example, Metacam Oral Suspension. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) helps relieve osteoarthritis pain in canines. The initial dosage for this medicine is  0.1 mg per pound (or 0.09 mg/lb), with 0.05 mg per pound (or 0.045 mg/lb) on subsequent days. Exceeding the recommended dosage might lead to potential side effects such as nausea and stomach upset or even prove fatal. 

Pills are often easier to dose than liquid medications. However, if your vet asks to administer half a pill, make sure you give your furry friend that much only. Avoid using a knife or a razor to cut pills. Instead, get a pill splitter. It will simplify the task of cutting the pill. 

Besides the dosage, maintain a consistent schedule to maintain efficacy. Setting reminders or alarms and keeping a medication log will be helpful in maintaining consistency. 

#2 Monitor for Side Effects

Just like humans, pets can also experience adverse reactions due to pet medications. Whenever you give your pet a new medication, closely observe its behavior. 

Gastrointestinal upset is the most common side effect pets experience. Antibiotics, Levothyroxine (used for hyperthyroidism in dogs), Methimazole (used for hyperthyroidism in cats), blood pressure medications, and steroids such as prednisone and prednisolone cause stomach upset. 

Hypersalivation or excessive saliva production is another common side effect associated with pet meds such as Tramadol, antihistamines, and flea and tick medications. Other side effects of pet medicine include stomach ulcers, lumps and bumps, and liver or kidney damage. 

Document any unusual signs you notice, along with the time and nature of the symptoms. Your vet will find this information valuable. They can help determine whether you should adjust the dosage or discontinue the medicine altogether. 

The veterinarian-prescribed Gabapentin Capsules, for instance, help treat seizures or pain associated with arthritis or cancer both in cats and dogs. However, adverse reactions are reported after administering this medicine to pets. Some of those include decreased appetite and activity and allergies such as hives or swelling of facial areas. 

Judy Wyndham, a former vet tech at Countryside Animal Hospital, had a terrible experience with Gabapentin. Wyndham recounted that her dog experienced dizziness, vomiting, and sleepiness after she gave it this veterinary-prescribed medicine. She also noticed that his dog couldn’t comprehend commands. On ceasing the medication, most of the side effects vanished away. 

You can only recognize these side effects if you observe your pet closely. Failing to identify them can lead to serious health issues. 

#3 Don’t Crush the Pills

One grave mistake you can make when administering medication to your pet is to crush them. Neither should you crush, break, or dissolve the pills unless the vet or the instructions on the medication say so. 

Pills and capsules with an enteric coating are meant to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Crushing a pill will affect its potency, and your pet will also not be able to eat it. Even if it does, it won’t work as it should. 

When it comes to canines, Leslie Perry Runnels Isbell, a dog mom, advises pet parents to try feeding the pill in small food balls. Take American cheese slices and turn them into balls—don’t forget to add the pill to one of them. Give your Fido the two plain balls first and then the pill-filled ball. Hold the next empty one and give it to your furry friend immediately.  

Consider purchasing a ready-made pill pocket. The Greenies Pill Pockets Canine Cheese Flavor Dog Treats help pet parents administer tablets with ease. This real cheese flavor pill pocket masks the smell and taste of medicine.  

The Greenies Pill Pockets Hickory Smoke offers a viable solution to the pill-giving problems of pet parents. These #1 veterinarian-recommended choices for giving pills contain peanut butter, cheese, and tuna, which means they contain less fat and sodium. They also promote a healthy immune system, all thanks to Vitamin A and Vitamin C. 

In regard to cats, place the pill in the middle (as far as you can) of your feline friend’s tongue. Close its mouth and rub its throat gently for a few seconds. Return its head to the normal position for some time so that it can gulp it down the throat. 

In conclusion, administering pet medication with caution is important. Or, it might do more harm than good. Whenever you buy your pet’s medicines, make sure you ask the pharmacist the right way to administer them. 

If you buy medicines from an online pet pharmacy, make sure to check the side effects, warnings, directions, as well as FAQs. These sections will help you understand the right way to administer the medicine mentioned on the pets’ prescription as well as the precautions you must take.

Also, always buy from a trusted pharmacy, even if you shop for pet meds online. When administering medicines, make sure the dosage matches your pet’s prescription. In case of any queries, contact your vet; they’ll help you the best in this regard. 

Was this article helpful?