Tips for Giving Pills to Dogs

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Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Illinois offers comprehensive veterinary care to dogs, cats, and other pets. The veterinarians at Elmhurst Animal Care Center develop for each pet a comprehensive treatment plan, which can include medication instructions.

Just like people, dogs can be reluctant to take their medication. They may shy away from pills that look too large to swallow or smell unusual, while others will simply avoid anything that does not look or smell like what they normally eat. Some owners are able to bypass their dogs’ reluctance by hiding the pill in regular food, or by folding it into a soft treat or piece of cheese. This may be most effective if the owner feeds the dog a few regular treats before the medicated one or tosses the treat for the dog to catch.

Some dogs still will not accept a hidden treat, while yet others cannot have treats due to dietary issues. Owners of such dogs should place the treat in the dog’s mouth and encourage him to swallow. This involves gently grasping the top of the muzzle and lifting it to expose the tongue, then placing the pill toward the back of the mouth and closing the teeth while lowering the muzzle to neutral. In some cases, the owner then needs to encourage swallowing with a gentle stroking of the throat, though all owners should check to make sure the dog has swallowed the medication.


Preventing Digging in Dogs

Elmhurst Animal Care Center provides veterinary care and other services for pets of various types. Additionally, Elmhurst Animal Care Center advises pet owners on pets’ common unwanted behaviors and possible strategies for dealing with those behaviors.

Among dogs, one particularly common behavior is digging. This behavior, while normal, can be frustrating to pet owners, since it can be destructive. Certain types of dogs are more likely than others to dig holes outside. For example, terriers are particularly likely to dig, as are dachshunds. For owners of these types of dogs and other dogs that dig frequently, there are a number of possible approaches designed to discourage this behavior.

In particular, dog owners should give dogs another outlet for their energy. This includes ensuring the dog has plenty of physical exercise. In addition, the dog needs to have mental stimulation, as some dogs start digging because they are bored. Finally, plenty of quality time with people is important as well. Some dogs might start digging due to feelings of anxiety, and regular interaction with people can control this anxiety. Simply spending time with the dog and teaching the dog tricks can go a long way in keeping digging from becoming a regular habit.

New Research Sheds Light on Origin of the Dog

The veterinarians of Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois, understand the important role that companion animals play in a family. As a result, at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, every patient receives high-quality medical care from a team of skilled doctors. New research suggests that our pets, and especially our dogs, may be more deeply linked to our lives than previously thought.

Scientists were studying canine DNA to determine what separates wolves from dogs. They found the differences mainly occur in genes related to the nervous system and those related to the ability to digest starch. The nervous system changes would have helped the first dogs, who lived sometime between 6,000 and 30,000 years ago, to feel comfortable living and scavenging in close proximity to humans. The genes which control the ability to digest starch mean that the first dogs shifted from the meat-based diet of a wolf to a diet very close to the one that early humans ate. In fact, humans gained the ability to digest starchy foods around the same time. This suggests that dogs and humans have been together since the dawn of agriculture and the very beginning of civilization. No wonder people call the dog “man’s best friend.”