Medicating Pets

What medicines are available?

Medicine may come in the following formulations:-

  • 1. Tablets.
  • 2. Capsules – powder contained within a dissolvable gelatin container.
  • 3. Powder.
  • 4. Syrups.
  • 5. Injections (insulin only).
  • 6. Enemas/suppositories.

What additional information do I need to know?

  • 1. Your Vet will advise you whether it is important that the medication is given with food or on an empty stomach.
  • 2. Always complete any course of treatment that is prescribed and follow the instructions that you are given with respect to the dose and timing of medication.
  • 3. If you are concerned about your pets response to treatment or if any new signs develop then consult your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. In particular if the pets appetite diminishes or vomiting occurs, consult the Vet.
  • 4. Do not alter or stop therapy without consulting your Veterinary surgeon since this may result in complications.

How can I medicate my pet?

It is important that your pet receives the prescribed medication and this may be achieved by one of the following:

  • 1. The medicine can be mixed with your pets food as long as it is not necessary to give the medicine on an empty stomach. This technique may be unsuccessful if it results in your pet being put off eating its food or if you have any other animals that may eat it. This method is most useful for dosing powders and syrups. Most tablets can be crushed and mixed with food, however some tablets are not designed to be crushed so check with your Vet before doing this. This is the least reliable way to medicate your pet.
  • 2. Small tablets may be hidden in a piece of your pets favourite food and offered as a treat. Cheese, butter and pieces of meat are common favourites.
  • 3. In diabetic pets insulin therapy may be needed. This usually involves daily subcutaneous injections of insulin and is a procedure that you will be trained to do if necessary.
  • 4. If enemas are prescribed, your Vet will teach you how to administer these.
  • 5. Oral dosing may be the only technique by which you are able to guarantee successful medication. This usually requires two people with one person holding the pet while the other person administers the treatment. This is the most reliable way to medicate your pet.

If you are having problems then get back to your Vet as a matter of urgency as it is very important that medication is continued and given regularly.

Oral dosing of tablets

  • 1. The holder should stand behind the pet and place the palms of their hands on either side of the cats chest, cupping their fingers around the front of this. Since pets will often reach up with their paws when dosed, it is usually necessary to hold the front legs as well. The holders arms and upper body can be used to enclose the pet so that it is securely immobilised!
  • 2. The doser stands to the side or in front of the pet and places their thumb and third finger of one hand over the angles of the jaw (just below the ears on both sides ). The palm of this hand is rested over the top of the pets head. The tablet is held between the thumb and second fingers of the other hand and the forefinger is placed on the lower jaw over the front incisors. The mouth can then be opened and the tablet dropped at the back of this. It is important that the tablet is placed at the back of the pets mouth since otherwise the cat will be able to spit this out.

Specially designed pill and capsule administration devices are available and your Vet may be able to supply you with one of these. These allow the pill to be put at the back of the pets mouth without the risk of being bitten!

Oral dosing of syrups/liquids

This procedure is also best done with two people and the pet may be gently restrained as described above. The doser administers the liquid by a syringe which is gently inserted in the side of the pets mouth with the nozzle placed between the upper and lower teeth. Any liquids should be given slowly to allow time for swallowing. If your pet becomes distressed while this is being done then it is probably not the best way to dose it since the liquid may be inhaled which can cause pneumonia.

Get in touch with us

Four great Veterinary locations in Sydney Australia
  • Alexandria
  • Dee Why
  • Kingsford
  • Marrickville

Shop 1/138 Botany Rd
Alexandria NSW 2017
Phone: (02) 9698 4120
Fax: (02) 9698 4125

815 Pittwater Rd
Dee Why NSW 2099
Phone: (02) 9972 2044
Fax: (02) 9982 2307

70 Gardeners Rd
Kingsford NSW 2032
Phone: (02) 9662 6703
Fax: Fax: (02) 9662 8829

402 Illawarra Road
Marrickville NSW 2204
Phone: (02) 9558 2500
Fax: (02) 9559 3410

  • Alexandria
  • Dee Why
  • Kingsford
  • Marrickville


  • Thank you for looking after our beautiful baby boy …” -Leo’s owner

  • Thank you so much for all your help to save our cats life…” -Oscar’s owner

  • Our heartfelt thanks to your devotion, caring & kindness to our dogs over many years….” -Misty’s and Lillie’s owner

  • Thanks for a great puppy school with all the other puppies …” -Buck’s owner

  • For many years the staff have shown kindness & concern too our dear little dogs and we have really appreciated it…” -Molly & Mitzi’s owner

  • Thank you for all your kindness & understanding …” -Xena’s owners

  • Whatever the reason our pet loves coming to see you, and thank you to the staff for showing genuine whatever the reason our pet loves coming to see you, and thank you to the staff for showing genuine consideration …” -Bronte’s owners

  • We would like to thank you very much for looking after us since we were little ones and we appreciate your help …” -Timmy & Zali’s owners

  • Thank you for saving our Prudence & our hearts…” -Kim & Mark, Matraville

  • From Roscoe the Silky Terrier with the lump between his toes. It is all healed thanks to the loving care……..” -Marquite, Pagewood

  • Thank you so very much for the love & kindness you gave our baby. You are the best. Remember no good ever goes to waste…”-Janette & Bruce, Maroubra

  • Thank you for the support & help in bringing Jemma back to health. Your service, advice & approachable..” -Maria, Rosebery

  • I would like to thank you for your wonderful service and because I’m happy I would recommend you to my friends…” -Patricia, Double Bay

  • Thank heavens for good vets…” -Ted, Vaucluse

  • Thanks for looking after Rickie in such an excellent manner. Always without fail, your treatment of him was kind, caring & considerate of both him & us…” -Evelyn, Randwick

  • Pro-active information – helps when you have just become an owner…” - Serina, Coogee

  • The staff are so competent & accommodating. I am grateful that my parents so highly recommended you…” - Nichola, Woollahra

  • Thank you for all your special care especially with Cosmos operation. He is feeling better each day…” - Recy, Eastlakes