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Would love to replicate "Pill Pockets" for dogs

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

    1. 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.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        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

          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

            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

              surprisingly meticulous little jokers aren't they?

              1. re: vorpal

                Stopped by to report that I have a successful recipe for pill pockets for cats! I use the real thing for my dogs, but the cat we are helping had no interest in them.

                Ingredients:
                canned mackerel
                ground flaxseed
                flour

                With a fork I mashed the mackerel, and added some of the liquid from the can. Then I added ground flaxseed and flour to make a slightly loose paste, and refrigerated overnight. By morning, the paste was a bit firmer.

                My neighbor is dosing the cat, and I learned tonight that it was successful! (She quartered the pill and wrapped each quarter in a thin coating of the mixture.)

            2. re: Nyleve

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

              1. re: westsidegal

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

                1. re: westsidegal

                  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

                    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. 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

                  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.
                  Thanks!!

                  1. re: pairswellwithwine

                    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

                      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

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

                    2. 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.

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: esquimeaux

                        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

                          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

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

                            1. re: ForFoodsSake

                              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

                                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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

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

                                  1. re: sr44

                                    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

                                        Spreading any favorite food or treat over a large plate/tray will accomplish the same thing without having to wash the wall afterward. It is also good for pets who wolf their food so fast that they regurgitate their meal. In the latter case it's even better if you prop the plate/tray into a vertical position so the head remains higher than the throat as the pet eats.

                                  2. re: esquimeaux

                                    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

                                      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

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

                                      2. 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.