Tips for Giving Dogs Vitamins

Giving dogs vitamins can be tricky. Most often they will fight you while you try to pry their mouths open and throw the vitamin down their throats. Even then, they will often spit out the vitamins. Some dogs refuse to take vitamins because of the taste or texture of the vitamin pill. 

Sprinkle the Vitamins onto Food

Sometimes the vitamin pill can be opened up so that the contents can be sprinkled onto the dog’s regular dog food. If the vitamin pill is solid, then cutting it up into smaller pieces and/or crushing it into a powder will permit the vitamin to be sprinkle over the dog’s food.

However, this may not work for the real finicky dog. If this is the case, slowly mix the vitamins into the dog’s regular food over time. Be sure the vitamins are mixed evenly into the food. Perhaps using a moist, chunky gravy food mixture will do the trick. If the dog’s regular food is in dry chunks, it may be necessary to moisten the dry food first so that the vitamin powder will mix evenly throughout the food ration and will not be visible to the dog. Remember dogs see black, white and shades of gray. If the food looks odd by having light colored powder against a dark dry food kibble, he will not eat it.

Conceal the Vitamin

Sometimes a dog will not eat the dog food no matter how well vitamins are mixed in. Concealing the vitamin into food or a treat he especially likes may do the trick. Take a small piece of cheese (or his favorite treat) and mold it around the vitamin. Introduce this “cheese” to the dog with some enthusiasm or excitement such as if you are playing fetch with him. Then feed him the “cheese”. He should swallow it whole if he is “excited” enough. If he bites into it, he may spit out the concoction completely. In this case, he probably will not accept it again.

Feed the Vitamin

Sometimes a dog will not eat a vitamin no matter how fine of powder it is in or how “concealed” or mixed into his food it is. If this is the case, then there is no other way but to hand feed the vitamin or pill to him. This involves patience, timing and a non-aggressive natured dog.

Sit down with your dog and hold him firmly around the muzzle with both hands. Slowly open his mouth without hurting him. If he resists, massage his muzzle so that he loosens up enough for you to open him mouth and “pop” the vitamin pill into the back of his throat. Close his mouth shut and massage his muzzle or throat region until he swallows the vitamin or pill. Do this in a loving manner with reassuring words and voice tone. Do not manhandle him. This will disrupt the relationship with your dog and he will become distrusting and wary of you.

Wolf-Pack” Mentality

Remember that dogs are pack animals with you as their pack leader. They will imitate you to a point and also follow your directions or orders to please you. You can pretend to take the vitamins yourself and see if he will follow your lead. Believe it or not, this has worked! If you have 2 or more dogs, you can make it a game or a competition and they will gobble up the vitamins before they realize they did not want to.

Feeding vitamins to your dog should always be done in a caring and trusting manner.