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Would love to replicate "Pill Pockets" for dogs

chocolatejam Sep 15, 2011 11:59 AM

I was thinking about making up a recipe for my dog similar to Pill Pockets. I've made dried out dog cookies and softer ones, but never a "chewy, play dough" texture like the pill pockets whiich he loves. I have no idea where to begin.

Any ideas welcome!

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  1. g
    grangie angie Sep 15, 2011 12:02 PM

    I also would be interested as my dog has to take daily medication.

    1. n
      Nyleve Sep 15, 2011 12:05 PM

      I just shred up some cheddar cheese and mold it around whatever pill I need to give. He eats in in a second - and he doesn't eat just anything. For cats, it's more complicated. I cover the pill thickly with soft butter and then freeze it. Once the cat figures out she can't lick the coating off, she usually just eats the whole thing.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve
        chocolatejam Sep 15, 2011 01:46 PM

        My dog is currently on a huge antibiotic capsule, 2X daily, another capsule 2X daily for OCD/behavior modifaticate issues, and his occas. other meds. He can find and spit out the pills in most things I've tried other than the Pill Pockets. Which he loves. He never has spit out the pill, but greedily eats the pill pocket. I wish I had the patent on that product! $$$$

        I've done peanut butter, peanut butter on bread, peanut butter rolled up with cheese on bread, piecies of ground round from my dinner plate! I even 'invented' my own version of pill pocket making over done toast, poking a hole in the bready part, putting pills in there, stuffing with peanut butter, freezing it and frosting it with more peanut butter, but he caught on to that after the first few and I found the spit out pills in the carpet later.

        What he wants is the texture and chicken flavor of the pill pocket. I don't know how to get that gummy texture with something he (a dog) can eat.

        1. re: Nyleve
          hill food Sep 30, 2011 12:13 AM

          nyleve - same here, once I sat a highly medicated geriatric dog and tried the peanut butter on a spoon trick, but the gal was too smart for me and licked it clean except for the pill, so I took a chunk of mozzarella and smushed it around her meds and she gulped it right down. I think she liked it better too.

          1. re: hill food
            vorpal Dec 21, 2012 07:42 AM

            Hahaha! I mixed my cat's antibiotics once into a quarter pound of ground hamburger, and he spent almost two hours meticulously picking every last grain of hamburger from the largely crushed up pill. At the end I'm sure I could have reassembled the pill from what he left behind.

            1. re: vorpal
              hill food Dec 25, 2012 12:45 AM

              surprisingly meticulous little jokers aren't they?

          2. re: Nyleve
            westsidegal Sep 30, 2011 12:23 AM

            i could imagine that the freezing might compromise the active ingredients of the medication.

            1. re: westsidegal
              hill food Sep 30, 2011 01:19 AM

              a possibility and good point, ask the vet or an online index

              1. re: westsidegal
                chocolatejam Sep 30, 2011 09:47 AM

                I didn't freeze the medicine, just the toast with some of the peanut butter. Then I took individual ones out of the freezer at pill-taking-time, added a bit more peanut butter to help bury the pill.

                Sorry I didn't explain it more specificly. I wouldn't do that with the medicine. Thanks for the heads up though for anyone else who is following this topic.

                1. re: chocolatejam
                  Nyleve Sep 30, 2011 10:46 AM

                  I understand about the freezing but I actually don't think freezing would have any effect on a tablet. Certainly a liquid medicine or even a gel capsule could be a problem. I've only ever used the frozen butter with my cats' pills which have always been in tablet form.

            2. p
              pairswellwithwine Sep 15, 2011 12:09 PM

              My dog has lots of allergies so I make my own pill pockets out of rice. I cook rice, grind it up in food processor and then freeze small globules on a baking sheet. When they are hard I put them in containers in the freezer. Then when I need one. I take it out and let it thaw. Then I just wrap the pill in it. It is kind of messy but it gets the job done and is really cheap.

              If your dog doesn't have food allergies there are lots of options including cheese or bread that would accomplish the same thing.

              4 Replies
              1. re: pairswellwithwine
                monavano Sep 15, 2011 12:33 PM

                This is fricking brilliant!! One of my dogs has to take meds a couple times a week, and he is so on to the Pill Pocket and knows exactly what's in there. The little bugger can eat around the pill and spit it out! I wind up finding something yummy to wrap around his pill and hope he just gulps it down.
                i am definitely trying this. He loves rice....
                I think I'll throw some brown rice with chicken stock in to my pressure cooker for tonight's pill.

                1. re: pairswellwithwine
                  chocolatejam Sep 15, 2011 01:52 PM

                  Maybe cooked rice can get gummy if I beat it with really yummy tasting chicken stock/gelatine stuff .... I just want him to have his pills in a way he likes them.

                  so what is the gummiest rice? and a way to get that texture????

                  1. re: chocolatejam
                    monavano Sep 15, 2011 03:17 PM

                    OK, just made a batch of brown rice, chicken stock and chicken breasts in my pressure cooker. I put all into my food processor and it became sticky and somewhat paste-like, which is good. I sprayed a small ice cream scoop with Pam, and scooped out balls onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet.
                    They're in my freezer now. Preliminary testing reveals that my puppies LOVE them!!

                    1. re: chocolatejam
                      Dagney Dec 16, 2012 02:21 PM

                      Sushi rice would be perfect! You can find it at an Asian grocery store.

                  2. e
                    esquimeaux Sep 15, 2011 01:25 PM

                    If anyone has a dog who can find and discard pills in whatever food you hide it in, here's how to pill them by hand: open jaws, stick pill as far back as you can (dogs do not have a gag reflex), hold mouth closed, wait till they swallow. If you want to speed up the process, and you know the dog well, kiss them on the nose, that makes them lick their nose and automatically swallow. Takes like 5 seconds, and if you give them a treat immediately afterward, it becomes a positive ritual.

                    Another trick - when using food-wrapped pills, don't just hand it to your dog, they might be more curious about it and apt to investigate it and be suspicious. Have a handful of untainted treats, with the pill mixed in, go through your dogs commands/tricks excitedly so they're happily and quickly gobbling each tiny treat, and they're more likely not to notice the pill one.

                    And just in case these are not food related enough, the best consistency I've found for hiding pills is American cheese, because it won't dissolve tablets through moistness, and it's moldable.

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: esquimeaux
                      Nyleve Sep 15, 2011 01:37 PM

                      Another trick to avoid suspiciousness: just place the hidden pill on the floor near your dog. Don't make eye contact. Makes them think you just dropped it by accident and so therefore extra special.

                      1. re: Nyleve
                        tcamp Sep 15, 2011 02:29 PM

                        That's the sort of trick that works with my dog. Let him think he's getting away with something and he'll gobble down anything.

                        1. re: tcamp
                          ForFoodsSake Oct 1, 2011 07:55 AM

                          I guess I am lucky -- as long as I say the word "cookie" my dog inhales it with no questions asked :)

                          1. re: ForFoodsSake
                            chocolatejam Oct 1, 2011 05:47 PM

                            I made sweet potato chips last night as a snack for the dog and he loves them. Last night he got his pill (yeah, he is down to one pill per day now instead of 4 each day), on a sweet potato chip slathered with peanut butter. Yeah.....: )

                            1. re: chocolatejam
                              hill food Oct 1, 2011 06:04 PM

                              that probably would work better as a peanut butter/pill delivery system than the spoon, just pop the whole thing in Bozo's mouth. done.

                              I am a HUGE fan of pragmatic methods. sometimes.

                      2. re: esquimeaux
                        chocolatejam Sep 15, 2011 01:55 PM

                        I usually end up putting the pills in his mouth, but lately that is getting tedious as he is a big dog. I haven't tried the speed up process, I'll try that one next dose.

                        And the trick command happy thing too. But really I would like to replicate what he already likes. Pill Pockets. He is getting to be an expensive dog!!!!

                        1. re: esquimeaux
                          monavano Sep 15, 2011 03:24 PM

                          I hate shoving the pill to the back of his mouth. Plus, he bites down. It is quick, though. I like your second idea.

                          1. re: esquimeaux
                            roxlet Sep 15, 2011 03:27 PM

                            I used to try to put the pills down my dog's throat, but she'd somehow get them up and she'd have pink saliva foam around her mouth as she'd bring the pills up. She adores Pill Pockets, and has not caught on. It's dessert for her, but I agree with the OP -- it would be nice to be able to replicate the taste and texture of the Pill Pockets.

                            1. re: esquimeaux
                              mucho gordo Sep 15, 2011 05:22 PM

                              Yeah, a slice of cheese works for a while. I call it a "pilled cheese sandwich". Other alternatives that work for a while are sausage links slit lengthwise and PB. Sometimes, when she has a special treat for dinner, I'm able to just drop the pills in her dish and cover them with the meat

                              1. re: mucho gordo
                                sr44 Dec 1, 2012 07:44 PM

                                And I have known several dogs for whom cream cheese or Cheese Whiz works.

                                1. re: sr44
                                  DeborahL Feb 12, 2013 12:35 PM

                                  Cheez Whiz is what my vet uses to reward pups for standing still while being examined. It's brilliant! He sprays a line of Cheez Whiz on the wall and as the pup licks it off, he checks her out.

                                  That idea inspired me to use peanut butter to similar effect at home. I have to give my dog an injection once a month for her joints. I spread some peanut butter on the wall for her to lick off, and while she's doing that I give her the shot. She never looks up, and is happy throughout the experience.

                                  1. re: DeborahL
                                    hill food Feb 12, 2013 08:37 PM


                              2. re: esquimeaux
                                wincountrygirl Sep 16, 2011 12:13 PM

                                That's what I do. I tilt his head back and shove the pills at the back of his throat, close his mouth and massage his throat till he swallows. And he's a Rhodeisan Ridgeback. My poor guy is on 7 different meds twice a day. I think if I tried these pill pockets I'd own their business!

                                1. re: esquimeaux
                                  imsohungry Oct 4, 2011 03:29 PM

                                  This is funny that this was posted today. Just this morning, I didn't feel like getting all peanut-buttery to give my Lab his big vitamin (one of the very few things he doesn't like). We toss him little snacks as treats all the time, which he catches with amazing reliability. So, I just tossed it to him and he snapped it up like a venus fly trap. I suppose he'll ultimately catch on but for now, no peanut butter trickery, which seems to work only 1/2 the time anyway.

                                  1. re: esquimeaux
                                    stecworld Dec 2, 2012 06:39 AM

                                    Great ideas and good reasons for teaching your dog some tricks.

                                  2. c
                                    chococat Sep 15, 2011 02:11 PM

                                    I shave off a piece of cheese with a vegetable peeler (roughly 1 x 3 inches), microwave for around 5 seconds to soften, and roll the pill in the cheese. Sometimes I pinch the ends closed. My dog, who is not terribly fond of cold cheese can not resist warm cheese- might be the texture or the smell.

                                    1. s
                                      smartie Sep 15, 2011 02:44 PM

                                      I usually use American cheese and roll the pill up. Sometimes I have to chop the pill up and put bits into slices of American cheese, but if the dogs don't like the smell of the pills they can get picky. I guess slices of turkey would work too but it would get expensive if your dogs need daily meds.
                                      how about cooking a meatball with a thumb pocket and boiling them? The meatballs needn't be too big. A lb of hamburger would probably make quite a few meatballs.

                                      1. Terrie H. Sep 15, 2011 03:29 PM

                                        When I had my beloved beagle Pickles, we went to the Coventry School for Dogs and Their People (yeah, I know) for a bit of training. That woman could get every dog to do anything she wanted because she had little bits of liverwurst in her pocket as a treat.

                                        My solution was to buy liverwurst/Braunschweiger when it was on sale, cut it into little cubes, freeze on a tray and pop in a zip top bag. I used it as a special treat (it took her longer to gulp it down when it was frozen) so it was also the perfect foil for pills when it was softened.

                                        She didn't have to take pills every day and it might not be healthy to make a liverwurst popsicle for daily use, but adding it to a rice mix might make it seem like a real treat.

                                        Miss that Pickle....

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Terrie H.
                                          greygarious Sep 16, 2011 11:59 AM

                                          Finally! I was aghast, reading through this list of "recipe" contortions, that no one mentioned liverwurst. I worked as a veterinary assistant years ago. My boss always recommended liverwurst over cheese and other tidbits - pill pockets had yet to be invented. Peanut butter works for one of my large dogs but not the other. I cut a cheap braunschweiger chub into half-inch cubes and stick one or more pills inside, depending on pill size. Dogs just gulp it down and NEVER catch on to the deception. When I buy a chunk of wurst, I cut thick slices and bag individually before freezing. Then I keep one baggie at a time in the fridge. Daily liverwurst is fine for a dog as long as it's other treats and food are lower in fat.

                                        2. monavano Sep 15, 2011 03:31 PM

                                          If all else fails, hot dogs!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: monavano
                                            smartie Sep 15, 2011 07:17 PM

                                            yes forgot about these, push pill into slices of raw hot dog

                                            1. re: smartie
                                              Sooeygun Sep 16, 2011 12:56 PM

                                              That's what we used with our dog for her daily epilepsy pills. She would be waiting eagerly for her hot dog piece every night.

                                            2. re: monavano
                                              gmm Sep 18, 2011 09:34 PM

                                              I use lite Vienna sausages cut into thirds or smaller, depending on the size of the pill. They're squishier than hotdogs. But they probably only work on dogs like mine, who gulps things like that down without chewing. Funny thing about her is, you give her something tiny, like a sunflower seed kernel, and she will actually chew that.

                                            3. f
                                              foiegras Sep 15, 2011 07:02 PM

                                              I use Velveeta. It has a similar texture to the Pill Pockets. Not quite as perfect, but close. Better than American cheese, which typically cracks when folded. Luckily my dogs' meds right now are all chewable & they're cooperative, so I don't have to stock it at the moment. But I used to never be without Velveeta in the house ;) I have one who doesn't like capsules, so I open them and pour the powder on her food (I cook for my dogs, so the powder sticks to the food).

                                              1. w
                                                Whinerdiner Sep 16, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                Our dog was very sick for a long time. Toward the end she was taking about 30 pills a day. This is what worked for us:
                                                1) Braunschweiger in the tube. You can cut slices to fit the thickness of the pill. We found that this works best for capsules. Non-coated pills will start to dissolve, and the dog may refuse the treat if it smells or tastes "off".
                                                2) Hot dogs. Hiding a pill in a piece of hot dog worked great in the beginning, but she caught on quickly.
                                                3) Ham and cheese "roll ups". Making her these daily almost bankrupted us, but she would gobble them without fail. No matter how poorly she was feeling, the smell of deli ham would perk her up. We'd press the pills into the cheese to keep them from falling out, and then wrap a piece of ham around the outside. She knew she was being duped, but couldn't resist.

                                                1. r
                                                  ricepad Sep 16, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                  Our dog gets five pills daily, and about half the time I'm able to use some of whatever we've had for dinner as the payload delivery system. Pizza crust, little pieces of fat or skin, and even leftover gravies and sauces work well (mix the sauce/gravy with a little food in his bowl, and mix the pills in with it). When dinner doesn't yield any useful scraps, I use two pieces of lunch meat. I cut the slices of lunch meat into strips about an inch wide, then roll up one pill in each strip. He knows these as his after dinner treats (after OUR dinner, that is), and I make sure to toss them to him as if they were really treats, lest he become suspicious and suss out the secret ingredient. I usually hold all of them in my hand so he can see there are more treats to come, which seems to make him gobble them up, the sooner to get the next one. The last roll is usually devoid of pill - all meat - and is sort of a 'sweeper' to make sure he hasn't managed to separate pill from meat in his mouth.

                                                  When we have neither dinner leftovers nor lunchmeat, I'll break out the cream cheese, but it's not my preferred method, because it's messier. It also seems to make the dog fart more.

                                                  1. c
                                                    chocolatejam Sep 16, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                    Thanks for all the replies folks. I just broke down and went to the pet store for Pill Pockets. This time I got the allergy type. I looked at the ingredients and it has DUCK first, glycerin, dried peas, natural flavors, vegetable oil, water, salt potassium sorbate, xanthan gum, citric acid, preserved with a mixed tocopherals (Vit E).

                                                    Hum, glycerin! Anyone ever use glycerin in cooking? Wonder if that is part of what gives the smooth texture and keeps it moist? I'll have to do some experimenting.

                                                    monavano, did you taste your "chicken balls"?

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: chocolatejam
                                                      monavano Sep 16, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                      I did! Although they were bland, they were good. I treated my 3 dogs to a taste and they loved it. I don't add salt when making food for my dogs, but I made 2 chicken breasts with brown rice and organic chicken stock in the pressure cooker, and used half of it to make chicken rice soup today and of course, added salt and pepper to my people dish.
                                                      btw...this chicken and rice dish is my "go to" when any of the dogs has a sour tummy etc.

                                                      1. re: chocolatejam
                                                        foiegras Sep 16, 2011 02:39 PM

                                                        I bet the xanthan gum is the secret to the texture ... I was wondering if gelatin might work.

                                                        Couple thoughts related to other suggestions ... I would be really careful with the fat or skin. I have Shelties, and was warned when I adopted my first one that they are extra sensitive to fat. My understanding is that this varies by breed, but a trip to the emergency room is expensive. Thinking about a wolf's diet, kinda makes sense--wild meat is very lean.

                                                        I learned for myself that you must include some salt in homecooked dog food. Actually what I do is add salt from a shaker to the finished bowls at each meal. My dogs all weigh about the same but their metabolisms are different. This way they get different amounts of food but the same amount of salt. Seems to be working ...

                                                        1. re: foiegras
                                                          Billy33 Sep 17, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                          Gelatin will dissolve if not kept cold, so agar-agar would probably work better if you don't have xanthan gum or glycerin.

                                                          1. re: foiegras
                                                            chocolatejam Sep 18, 2011 10:26 AM

                                                            The secret ingred. in the pill pockets (for allery pron dogs) is duck and glycerin. I tried finding vegetalbe glycerin yesterday, but had no luck. I will have to make a few phone calls tomorrow to my favorite local foodie places. I have never used xanthan gum in cooking or agar-agar, so have no earthly way of knowing how to use them.

                                                            Any suggestions would be grateful. As for fats and skins, IF I can find a fresh duck somewhere, I'll cook it with very little other than water and use most of if for the hubby and self. From what the package of Pill Pockets says, about dogs with allergies, it is to some forms of proteins. The non-allergy Pill Pockets have chicken. My vet put my dog on lamb and rice food from the beginning, so that must be food easily tolerated.

                                                            I don't know if my dog has allergies or what is going on, he seems to have switched eatting the front door, dry wall and wood to licking himself (Has OCD when left alone)....so I'm starting to treat him as if he has allergies....so that is why I'm trying to do a copy cat at least as far as the ingredients listed on the package are concerned.....

                                                            1. re: chocolatejam
                                                              ninrn Sep 18, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                              You might have more luck if you call medicinal herb stores or a natural soap-maker's. They usually have food-grade vegetable glycerine for about $12/quart. They sell vegetable glycerine on Amazon, too. Just make sure it's food grade and doesn't have any additives to keep it from solidifying.

                                                              1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                foiegras Sep 18, 2011 04:42 PM

                                                                Have you thought about doggy daycare?

                                                                Someone made one of my dogs a customized Bach's flower remedy (for dogs they make them with water since they can't have alcohol). I would tell her what it was for (had about a dozen different things in it--I would read from the sheet I was given with it), put a few drops in my palms and smooth over her coat, and then let her lap a few drops from my palm. She made amazing strides in the years she was with me--who knows what was due (if anything) to the Bach's. But she clearly absolutely basked in the attention and seemed to feel it was a very special time when I did this.

                                                                1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                  ninrn Sep 18, 2011 09:20 PM

                                                                  Foiegras, this is a great, if weird, suggestion. I used to do herbal remedies on my sister's very temperamental Great Dane and it worked amazingly well. She lived to nearly 15, which is very rare among Danes. Never thought of pulling out the Bach remedies, though. Now she's in the big Doggy Daycare in the sky (the dog, not my sister).

                                                                  Chocolatejam, this might not be your dog's problem, but I found that my sister's dog ate things with latex and/or plastic in them when she was low on essential fatty acids. I think some of those products read as fat to some animals, and they start gnawing on them when they need good fats. I would try giving him some fish oils or, if he can handle them, fatty fish like sardines or mackerel. (You have to make sure there's not too much salt added if you use canned fish, though. That gives them liver problems.) Another thing that worked really well for the Dane was to give her a bowl of brown rice mixed with live culture yogurt ( it has to have live cultures) and turmeric powder every day. Both of these things kept her digestion in good order and her overall mood became much, much calmer as a consequence.

                                                                  1. re: ninrn
                                                                    chocolatejam Sep 19, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                                    The dog is on a vet supplement of fish oil and vit E now to help with his dry skin etc. He seems to do doing so much better already. He has a vet appt tonight, so I'm hoping to get him on just the dry lamb and rice again wih the added fish oil suppliement.

                                                                    The Vet put him on the canned dog food when he stopped eatting (due to the OCD medicine). I"ll ask the vet about the latex/plastic but really doubt that is the problem. His OCD was all about separation anxiety. He was fixated on being with me. He wants to be with his people or any people. Austrailian Shepherds are known as people dogs.

                                                                    He doesn't really like toys other than plush stuffed ones and the only rubbery toy he does have, he ignores. Don't know what other sources he would find around the house. He isn't a chewer, except when trying to escape through the door by chewing and clawing his way out. Which he has stopped doing. Yeah!!! Also his blood tests are fine. His skin scrapes have been fine. I'm rambling, thinking out loud here, trying to go over all the points you mentioned.

                                                                    I don't really believe in the Bach remedies, but thanks for the suggestion foiegras.

                                                                    "I" really think all the licking his skin raw is a food allergy as it started after the canned

                                                                    foods were started. Sorry about going on and on. But it's my dog! I want him healthy again.

                                                                    1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                      foiegras Sep 19, 2011 04:48 PM

                                                                      I'm not sure I believe in the Bach remedies either, but I definitely believe in intentions--which is what it really comes down to, with a little essence o' flower thrown in.

                                                                    2. re: ninrn
                                                                      sandylc Oct 6, 2011 08:42 PM

                                                                      The supplement called The Missing Link is excellent. It cured my dog's skin allergies. Plenty of EFAs. Could potentially mix it with something to hide medications as well.

                                                                2. re: chocolatejam
                                                                  ChillyDog Feb 9, 2014 01:15 AM

                                                                  Yes, I always use glycerin in royal icing. It softens the icing.

                                                                3. gmm Sep 19, 2011 09:08 AM

                                                                  I wonder if you could use mochi. You can get boxes of glutinous rice flour, which is basically instant mochi. Instead of water you could use chicken stock to give it some flavor. If you have an Asian market near you, a box of it is pretty cheap, and wouldn't be a big investment if you wanted to play around with it. BUT, I would absolutely check with your vet before feeding something like that to your dog.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: gmm
                                                                    chocolatejam Sep 19, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                                    I'll play with this idea gmm, thanks. Is there a brand name to look for - I'm guessing the box won't say 'glutinous rice flour. LOL. I'm a stranger in Asian markets. ANd I've never heard of mochi. I'll look that up as well.

                                                                    1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                      gmm Sep 19, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                                      It will probably be labeled as "sweet rice flour", though it's not actually sweet. The brand I see most often is called Mochiko and comes in a white box with red and blue lettering. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, kind of a chewy dumpling, that can be sweet or savory.

                                                                      It can be very sticky and chewy, so just so no one jumps on my case, I'll say again - check with your vet before you try giving to your dog. :) Best of luck!

                                                                      1. re: gmm
                                                                        greygarious Sep 19, 2011 07:55 PM

                                                                        I've bought it at Trader Joe's but not recently so can't swear they still have it though am pretty sure I saw it last week.

                                                                        1. re: gmm
                                                                          chocolatejam Sep 20, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                                          I went to the health food store after the vet visit and found "Mochi"! And I've since educated myself about what sweet rice/ glutinous rice is. Thanks guys/gals.

                                                                          The vet thinks the dog could have developed allergies since everything else checks out. She said to put him back on his ususal dry lamb and rice to see if that keeps his licking at bay. SOOOOOOO I'll experiment with making something using sweet sticky rice and his dry dog food.

                                                                    2. Karl S Sep 19, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                                      I always used pennette rigate (little ridged penne - small, to hold the pill tight, and ridged for his tongue to latch onto), sometimes treated like a teeny manicotti...

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                        chocolatejam Sep 20, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                        very clever idea Karl S.

                                                                        1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                          Karl S Sep 20, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                          Frugal is more like it!! I got tired of wasting medicine and ideas. I realized I could stuff the ends of the pennette with peanut butter or cheese or jam, et cet (hence the reference to manicotti). And pasta is very good blancmange for dogs (my vet recommended it over rice, in fact).

                                                                          1. re: Karl S
                                                                            foiegras Sep 20, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                            I know a lot of people feed brown rice (I imagine you're talking white), but my dogs can't digest it at all. I do oatmeal right now, and have done a 4-grain blend or rye (rolled) in the past.

                                                                        2. re: Karl S
                                                                          chococat Sep 20, 2011 02:58 PM

                                                                          You're a genius, Karl! I'm going to try it this week since I have plans to make pasta anyways and my dogs are total carb freaks.

                                                                          1. re: chococat
                                                                            Karl S Sep 20, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                                            Hint: Don't overcook them, or they will fall apart when you try to stuff them. I undercook them, and then chill them before stuffing as needed. What we do for our loving parasites...

                                                                        3. c
                                                                          cutipie721 Sep 19, 2011 08:30 PM

                                                                          Beat an egg, fry it, cut into pieces.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: cutipie721
                                                                            chocolatejam Sep 20, 2011 09:34 AM

                                                                            He loves eggs, but finds the pills in them. We've tried rolled egg rolls! Thanks.

                                                                          2. monavano Sep 20, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                                            These are great ideas. I think it's important to change it up so the dog doesn't expect a yucky pill inside something delicious. I know one of mine is very wary now and can eat around the pill and spit it out!
                                                                            That happened with the Pill Pockets. Using the chicken rice ball has worked out so far.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: monavano
                                                                              sandylc Oct 6, 2011 08:45 PM

                                                                              No one could get a pill down my chihuahua, including the vet. It took three of us to trim his nails!

                                                                            2. GraydonCarter Sep 22, 2011 08:27 AM

                                                                              My current dog just inhales everything, so I forget what is "normal" - should your dog chew the pill+pill pocket or swallow it whole?

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                foiegras Sep 22, 2011 10:43 AM

                                                                                I believe you ideally don't want them to chew through ... that way capsules get delivered as intended.

                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                  greygarious Sep 22, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                                                  Gulp down whole. My older dog and I are playing mind games over his twice-daily pain pill, which tastes bitter. He always cooperated with being pilled - peanut butter used to do the trick -but now he won't willingly swallow the tasteless supplement capsules either. If I run out of liverwurst it's a struggle to get his meds down. He knows the nasty Tramadol is in there somewhere. Since one of his problems is laryngeal paralysis, it is safer to get him to swallow on his own than to stick a pill down his throat. One of his meds must be given with food, another on an empty stomach. What fun......

                                                                                2. GraydonCarter Sep 22, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                                                  > I have no idea where to begin.

                                                                                  I was thinking about how they manufacture those hollow packing peanuts (expanded polystyrene foam) and you can create the tubes from the same type of extrusion process, using a Play-Doh fun factory type of machine, or a pasta machine with extruder plates for making macaroni.

                                                                                  The cookie can't be too brittle, as it needs to be able to hold the pill; it can't be too soft (like a softbatch cookie) because it will crumble too easily; it needs to be closer to a bagel than a cookie. How about thinking about boiling dough rather than baking cookies?

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                    chocolatejam Mar 1, 2012 10:38 AM

                                                                                    I'd love to have a little extrusion toy like the fuzzy pumper Play-Doh toy! But I don't. Even though I do cook for my dog, I won't go out and buy a toy or pasta machine. Ha ha ha ha.

                                                                                  2. greygarious Sep 28, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                                                    I happened to notice a package of chicken hearts at an Asian market yesterday, and bought it when I realized that they are natural "pill pockets". Chicken hearts are cheap. They are open at the top, and gulp-size unless your dog is small. One of my dogs took one chew, then swallowed one raw. The other wasn't interested until I nuked a heart for him. Of course it turned into a Mexican jumping bean in the microwave, popping off the cover of the dish. Most of the opening still remained but you would need to enlarge it with a knife for a capsule or larger pill. I plan on poaching/simmering the rest of the package, which will give me broth to wet the kibble for the one who can no longer manage dry food. I'll keep them in the freezer and thaw as needed.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                      chocolatejam Mar 1, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                                      Who would'a thunk? I love the idea of chicken hearts. If nothing else, it will be fun watching them act like Mexican jumping beans. I'll have to try some.

                                                                                      thanks greygarious!

                                                                                    2. c
                                                                                      chocolatejam Sep 28, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                                                      I may have found a "recipe" for PILL PUTTY! from forums.about.com. I'll have to try it, tweak it and report back. It used canned chicken, which you dry out (dehydrate) and grind into a powder.

                                                                                      I'll have to use something other than chicken due to dog's possible allergies. The pill pockets we use are for alleric dogs and has duck as the first ingredient, but he eats lamb and rice dog food with no problems.

                                                                                      1/4 cup of dehydrated chicken (canned meat) (cut very thin and small, bake 4-7 hrs 140-170 degrees

                                                                                      3/4 cups flour

                                                                                      1 c water and/or the juices from the canned chicken or stock

                                                                                      1 TBL oil.

                                                                                      The recipe that was posted in the about.com forum called for 2 TBL cream of tartar (not recommended for dogs) 1 TBL salt and 1/4 cup of chicken bouillon, but I'm leaving them out, will use drippings/stock from duck or lamb.

                                                                                      I'll use the 1 TBL vit E supplement I got from my vet as part of the oil, and olive oil for part

                                                                                      In the list of ingredients on the Pill Pockets is dried green peas and glycerine. I"ll use some green pea flour I found when in "Amish" country (Shipshewana, IN last week) and sweet rice flour or whole wheat flour. Maybe peanut butter for the glycerine, since that isn't recommended as a healthy produce. Maybe Honey to add to the taste. I don't know if honey is okay for dogs, but I think it is.

                                                                                      I"ll let you know how it turns out, as I used the last of the Pill Pockets today.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                                        foiegras Sep 28, 2011 08:08 PM

                                                                                        I think honey should be fine, but I cook for my dogs and good Lord does this sound like way too much trouble ;)

                                                                                        1. re: foiegras
                                                                                          chocolatejam Sep 29, 2011 01:26 PM

                                                                                          Yeah, I'm getting that idea too. All I wanted to do was find something non alergic so he would eagerly swallow his pills. What a pill this has turned into.

                                                                                          But I do like to cook and experiment. I also cook for my dog! For sure, he is worthy as he makes me take him for long walks.

                                                                                      2. Azizeh Sep 29, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                                        My dog takes fish oil pills for his allergies (helps with shedding, too) and they're rather big. I keep a little softened butter on the counter and dip it in there. He likes the taste and it helps it go down smoothly. Olive oil has been working, too. Not as foolproof, though. He's an English Bulldog, they aren't known to have big throats.

                                                                                        Another thing i learned is to let them see a chaser. Have a treat you know they like in your other hand, maybe give them a small taste before the process. My dogs have always been so eager to get to that next treat that they quickly swallow the pill to get to that other treat.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Azizeh
                                                                                          chocolatejam Sep 29, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                                                          A chaser! of course. Last night we ran out of the pill pockets and I had to come up with something. I had Lay's brand " cheezey" the crunchy kind. I put a big smear of peanut butter on it and buried the crunchy blue capsule in it. I let him lick my finger first, and he was so ready for the rest of it, and he didn't sense the capsule because of the crunchy texture of the cheezy treat.

                                                                                          All I wanted was a delivery system and make him a treat at the same time without paying so much for the PIll Pockets and now I've invested at least $7.00 in the green pea flour and the sweet rice flour I finally found at a specialty grocery store. I'm going to cook tomorrow and see what I come up with. Though I do have more of those cheezy things on hand for tonight's pills!!!!. He really loves those things. I haven't bought them in years....who knew he would love them so.

                                                                                          1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                                            Azizeh Oct 1, 2011 01:56 AM

                                                                                            The chaser method always works on my dogs. Sometimes there will be an occasional spit out, which just means the dog has won the smaller battle and gets a little extra treat snuck in with the pill.

                                                                                            I'd still bake up the treats, pills or not. Anything you make at home is going to be better than most commercial dog food, anyway. Always a bright side, right?

                                                                                          2. re: Azizeh
                                                                                            DeborahL Feb 12, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                            Butter is the trick for me too. I mold pills for my dog into a decent-sized pat of room-temp butter, and the whole thing just slides right down. And she thinks she just got a treat! Granted, my pup is pretty agreeable about whatever it is I need to medicate her with (she's got allergies, joint issues, and pain meds), but the butter really does work. Too slippery to do anything but swallow, and it seems to appeal to the canine taste buds.

                                                                                          3. monavano Sep 30, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                            This thread has been great inspiration to make my own vehicle for doggie pills. I wanted to report back on my rice and chicken balls. They work great! and here's why: My bichon can manipulate his pill from food and spit it out like nobody's business. The rice and chicken that has been whirred in the food processor and made into sticky balls has a texture like peanut butter and it makes him smack and smack and smack his mouth so the pill works its way down with the rest. It's amazing.
                                                                                            I formed them with a little ice cream scoop, froze and now store them in a plastic bag in the freezer. I defrost in the micro for 20 sec or so and it's ready!

                                                                                            1. mschow Oct 3, 2011 10:35 AM

                                                                                              Having had a great deal of experience with giving both cats and dogs medication, I wanted to offer my best suggestions for this sometimes less than pleasing task. Best thing I have found is Velveeta cheese. Bury the pill inside a cube of Velveeta (helps to do this when the pet is not around watching what you do). Eat a cube of Velveeta in front of the pet, then offer the cube with the pill inside to the dog. I haven't met a dog that doesn't love Velveeta cheese.
                                                                                              Liverwurst from the deli counter also works well and both cats and dogs seem to love it.
                                                                                              Cool Whip is another option, cats seem to really like it.
                                                                                              Finally there is that spray cheese in the can that dogs and cats both really love (from Kraft I think),

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mschow
                                                                                                ricepad Oct 3, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                                                                I just got a hilarious visual image of my dog shotgunning a can of spray cheese...!

                                                                                                1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                  hill food Oct 3, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                                                                  or swapping the cheese cubes while your back is turned (a la the poisoned drink in old spy movies)

                                                                                                  1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                    mschow Oct 3, 2011 06:38 PM

                                                                                                    We had Irish Setters growing up and they all loved 'Redi-Whip" straight out of the can. At night when they would sometimes take off out into the woods, it was impossible to find them in the dark because of the dark red color of their coats. All we had to do was yell "Redi-Whip in a can" repeatedly and then you would hear a huge crashing in the woods as they ran back to the house to get some of that Redi Whip. And yes, they did love the spray cheese!


                                                                                                  2. re: mschow
                                                                                                    foiegras Dec 1, 2012 10:04 PM

                                                                                                    Yup, Velveeta is the bomb ... used it tonight for the Trifexis all three dogs rejected with breakfast (chewable my a$$). Yes, it is total junk, but all their other food is ultra healthy, soooo ...

                                                                                                    1. re: foiegras
                                                                                                      pamf Dec 1, 2012 10:55 PM

                                                                                                      I gave up on the Trifexis after trying everything to get those into my little guy. He could find even a quarter of a pill in the cheese or liverwurst, and spit it out. Very unpleasant since those are about $20/monthly dose.

                                                                                                      1. re: pamf
                                                                                                        foiegras Dec 2, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                                                                        Curious what you're using instead? Recently switched from Sentinel--I bought all my vet had when she stopped carrying it. That was no problem--they'd almost always chew that. I don't use Heartgard because I have sheepdogs.

                                                                                                        1. re: foiegras
                                                                                                          pamf Dec 3, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                                                                          We went back to the Frontline topical application for fleas and ticks. Also, Heartgard is a chewable, which he seems OK with

                                                                                                  3. b
                                                                                                    Breezychow Oct 4, 2011 03:08 PM

                                                                                                    Over decades of having to pill dogs, nothing but NOTHING has worked better for me than buying logs/chubs of "Braunschweiger" style liverwurst. They keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge, & for months in the freezer, pieces are infinitely moldable around any type or size of pill, & I've never found a dog yet that didn't wolf it down in one bite, regardless of what was inside.

                                                                                                    Can't remotely imagine going to all the trouble of baking something when I can buy logs of liverwurst for just a few bucks.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Breezychow
                                                                                                      greygarious Oct 4, 2011 03:20 PM

                                                                                                      I wonder if Kahn's, Jones Farm, etc., know how much of their braunschweiger is not for buyers' sandwiches but for their pets' pills. One of my hounds is boycotting it at present, having bitten through it into the dreaded tramadol tablet, but chicken hearts are working and I hope his memory it short enough to go back to the wurst in a few weeks.

                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                        Breezychow Oct 4, 2011 04:24 PM

                                                                                                        LOL!!!! I agree - lol!! Since I have a dog who is prone to unannounced allergic reactions, I ALWAYS have a log of Kahn's or Jones (Kahn is preferred by the dogs - lol) in the freezer so I can administer Prednisone at a moment's notice. Once in a blue moon I get to use some of it for myself (I love liverwurst), but rarely. And it's funny that I never think of buying it just for myself.

                                                                                                        1. re: Breezychow
                                                                                                          hill food Oct 4, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                                                                          y'all are really smart or really evil going to such lengths to hoodwink those loveable goofballs. (I know it's for their own good)

                                                                                                          I never would have thought of liverwurst, bet that would work well on cats too, it makes a lot of sense unless the dog is also on cholesterol meds.

                                                                                                    2. q
                                                                                                      Querencia Oct 6, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                                                      After reading this thread I emailed son to ask if he had ever heard of Pill Pockets. He says their Bernese performs fine dissection on Pill Pockets, removing the pill and then wolfing down the Pill Pocket. Has anyone found a way to make that not happen?

                                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                                        lilinjun Oct 10, 2011 02:03 PM

                                                                                                        Not a recipe for Pill Pockets, but I've found that bananas work great.

                                                                                                        1. greygarious Oct 11, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                                                                          FWIW, www.doggyloot.com, a groupon-type site, has something called Flavor-Doh as its special deal at $8 with free shipping, for a 200gm container (about 6.3 oz). You use it to form a ball around the pill. The picture shows a label reading "liver flavor". I haven't heard of it before but it seems like a good idea in that you can tailor the amount to the size of both the pill and the pet. I have bought from this site before, with no problem.

                                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                                            chocolatejam Oct 11, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                                                                            Finially, I made some of my own!

                                                                                                            Sweet rice flour, green pea flour, chicken gel (from homemade stock), and just cooked it in a sauce pan. It is gummy for sure, I also added some of the oil supplement, fish oil and vit 3 to it as in the "puppy pill" or "doggie dough" recipes called for oil.

                                                                                                            He likes it okay, it molds around the pill.

                                                                                                            I made a second batch while I was at it using the "dehydrated" chicken meat. These are a grainy texture, and I used olive oil rather than the oil supplement. (I tasted the first batch, forgetting it had the fish oil. YUCK) I made balls, stuck a large piece of tube type pasta in them and froze them individually, then in a container. I thought the pasta would be large enough to just drop the capsule in. Of course not! but as I need them, I'll defroze about 7 or a weeks worth at a time.

                                                                                                            Too much trouble, I'll just buy Pill Pockets for allergic dogs!

                                                                                                            1. c
                                                                                                              chocolatejam Feb 24, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                                                                              I think I've found a great substitute for "Pill Pockets"
                                                                                                              It is very similar to pate a choux (cream puff dough) without the eggs.

                                                                                                              1 small jar of strained baby food, 'chicken' meat, then add enough water to make 8 oz
                                                                                                              1 stick of butter
                                                                                                              a few pinches of sugar or dribble of honey

                                                                                                              bring to a boil in sauce pan

                                                                                                              1 cup of PEA flour http://www.bobsredmill.com/green_pea-...
                                                                                                              Dump all the flour in all at one time and stir. cook and stir for about 3 minutes until mixture forms a ball and looks somewhat smooth.

                                                                                                              Remove from heat, when cool enough to handle, I sued a small mellon baller to scoop up bits of the dough and made small balls by rolling between my palms. Quick Freeze Individually and then store them in zip lock freezer bags. I put up to a weeks worth in the fridge and when I need to give my dog his pills, remove a cold one, let it warm up for just a few minutes and push the pill into the play dough like pill pocket. I just smash it around in my hand to inclose the pill.
                                                                                                              The dog loves them.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: chocolatejam
                                                                                                                darther Feb 24, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                Canned dog food works really well, I put 2 oil capsules and two little pills in about 1 tablespoon. Dog devours it! He pushes me to the fridge in the morning to give it to him. The canned dog food is a limited ingredient dog food with duck and potato. It matches his limited ingredient kibble.

                                                                                                                1. re: darther
                                                                                                                  ladooShoppe Mar 2, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                  We use canned dog food as well. Make it into a little meatball and stuff the pill inside. Another poster mentioned that you could accidentially "drop" the pill on the floor which works for my dog too. 12 more days to go on these pills!

                                                                                                                  1. re: ladooShoppe
                                                                                                                    chocolatejam Mar 2, 2012 08:21 AM

                                                                                                                    accidentially "drop" the pill on the floor - my dog is funny that way, but he doesn't usually eat dropped food. Unless it is a high value to him, say a piece of meat!

                                                                                                                    He left crackers and Cheerieos on the floor for several days, he woudn't touch them. Yet he loves them if hand feed. I'll give it a try though, wouldn't that be a hoot if droping it on the floor worked after all I've already tried.


                                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                                lovemybabies Dec 1, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                FYI: Do not handle the medicine (or even the container that it comes out of) when you are transferring it to the pill pocket or other method of getting it into your dog. Use gloves to handle the meds and then close up the pill pocket carefully with your bare hands. You don't want to touch the outside of the Pill Pocket with any of that smell! Dogs have very sensitive noses! The smell from the pill bottle or the pill will transfer to your gloves & then to the Pill Pocket.

                                                                                                                1. r
                                                                                                                  rasputina Dec 2, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                  Chunk of raw meat with a slit in it for the pill, Voila.

                                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                                    cavemanu Dec 2, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                    I've found that a large shrimp is the perfect foil for hiding pet meds. Also a tinned sardine works pretty well.

                                                                                                                    1. n
                                                                                                                      noodlepoodle Dec 14, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                      My daughter uses cherry tomatoes. Hides the pill in the tomato and her dog gobbles it up. She tried a lot of tricks and ended up with that solution.

                                                                                                                      1. k
                                                                                                                        kattails Feb 8, 2014 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                        I make them with

                                                                                                                        1 part milk
                                                                                                                        1 part peanut butter
                                                                                                                        2 parts flour (any type)

                                                                                                                        mix together by hand until it becomes like play dough
                                                                                                                        refrig until needed and use as much as you need to surround pills

                                                                                                                        1. q
                                                                                                                          Querencia Feb 8, 2014 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                          Liverwurst works well. Just make a little ball of it and stick the pill inside.

                                                                                                                          1. k
                                                                                                                            kseiverd Feb 9, 2014 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                            Last dog (great, goofy red Dobie) had what I "diagnosed" as summer allergies... probably more specifically GRASS. Once weather got nice, she LOVED to just lay out in the back yard and roll around on the grass. Vet said since problem was happening EVERY spring/summer (she'd checked dog out all her life), I was probably right in my diagnosis. Could do some expensive skin tests, maybe put dog on steriods, but vet's suggestion was Benadryl... same dose as for an adult because of her size... about 90 lbs.

                                                                                                                            I scoop out about a T of peanut butter ith a small, SOFT spatula, stick the 2 pills in, and kinda STICK it to the roof of her mouth! She never spit out a pill, loved PB, and was entertaining for me!?!

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: kseiverd
                                                                                                                              hill food Feb 10, 2014 01:42 AM

                                                                                                                              and stuck it to the roof of her mouth??? my goober is a gentle sweetheart yet would probably have chomped down before I had the chance for THAT trick.

                                                                                                                            2. j
                                                                                                                              jjgg1895 Feb 10, 2014 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                              I accidentally spilled some water into a bag of Liver Bil Jac's treats at work one day and found out that is makes them moldable similar to the pill pockets! This isn't a recipe, but it was a nice find due to the fact BJ Liver Treats are $6 for 100-200 treats. You usually only need 1-2 depending on pill size and amount. There are also different flavored Bil Jac treats as well as grain free ones. Ingredients aren't amazing, but for people who use Pill Pockets I suggest trying this. You get more treats for less money.

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