The Best Way to Give Your Pet Their Supplements: Pills and Chewables vs. Liquids
It’s one thing to have a cat or dog who’s a picky eater.
It’s another when your little four-legged friend turns their nose up at the supplement you’re trying to give them to improve their health or even help them overcome a debilitating problem.
But heaven forbid your pet actually consumes the supplements they need for their sore joints, compromised immune system, or other critical health issue. *throws hands up in the air*
They will literally fight you tooth and nail, even though you’re just trying to help.
So, if you’ve found yourself on this page because you’re at your wits' end trying to get your beloved pet to take their dang supplement, I have good news. Out of your three options — pills, chewables, and liquids — one is by far the easiest to administer.
Does Your Pet Already Have a Preference?
To be fair, you could have arrived on this page for a number of different reasons. Maybe your pet has zero problems taking their supplements.
Maybe your little friend is perfect in all ways.
Maybe you’re the pet-parent equivalent of those folks who drive around with bumper stickers that say, “My Child Is an Honor Student at Such-and-Such Junior High.”
Well, good for you.
Still, even though your little angel loves taking their supplements (and has probably never ruined any of your furniture), I’d still recommend you keep reading.
That’s because one supplement delivery option is far more potent than the other two, yet still very easy to administer. So it might be worth tempting fate and switching your method of delivery to ensure your buddy benefits as much as possible from the supplements you give them.
How to Get Your Pet to Take Their Pill or Chewable Supplements
If you're frustrated beyond belief trying to get your furry friend to take their supplements, chances are we're dealing with pills or chewables.
These are the two most popular options at the moment — though anyone who’s tried giving either a pill or a chewable "treat" to their pet probably can’t imagine why. Even if the chewable offers all the benefits of coconut oil for dogs, your pup is still be turning away from it.
Unless you’re in the extremely lucky-but-also-very-annoying group we just covered, your pet probably doesn’t take too kindly to your very affectionate attempts at trying to improve their health.
But you might be able to change that.
If you’ve been struggling to get your cat or dog to take their pills or chewable supplements, there are a few options that have worked for other owners...
1. Hide the Pill or Chewable in Their Food
I know. I know. What a novel idea.
You would have never thought to just hide your pet’s pill or chewable supplement in the food they already like.
Still, it's worth noting here because some foods actually work much better than others for hiding your pet’s dreaded supplements.
But first, let’s cover the options to avoid:
- Bananas – The consistency of a banana makes it easy to cover a pill or chewable. Many owners assume it’s a healthy option for their four-legged friend, too. However, bananas are high in sugar, which rules them out for pets who are diabetic or suffering from other illnesses that can be worsened by high blood pressure. Also, a lot of pets would rather down an entire box of supplements than eat a banana. Ever seen a cat peel a banana? I rest my case.
- Cheese – Ah, the old standby. Generations of pets have gone from euphoria to disappointment in just a couple of bites thanks to the old “hide the medication in a piece of cheese” trick. If you’re going to take this route, make sure you use a soft cheese that makes the deception easier. Use as little as possible, too, because cheese is high in fat. If you need to use cheese to hide your pet’s supplements every single day, you’ll soon have another problem on your hands: an obese dog or cat. Your friend could also be lactose intolerant, which won’t be fun for either of you if you keep giving them cheese.
- Peanut Butter – Another very popular approach. Creamy peanut butter can be a good way to hide supplements. Most cats and dogs like peanut butter — and as long as you use the creamy variety, they’ll have a tough time ditching the supplement without giving up the actual peanut butter, too. However, you need to be careful. A lot of peanut butter contains xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Check the label to ensure your brand of choice is free of xylitol or any of the other many sugar substitutes that start with “xy-.” Like cheese, peanut butter is also high in fat, so it’s not a good option if your dog or cat is trying to lose a few pounds.
- Meat – Strictly speaking, most meats are great for hiding chewables or pills. No dog or cat is going to say no to meat. The problem is that one of the “best” meats for this subterfuge is ground beef. You can easily disguise a supplement in it, but avoid giving it raw, since raw meat can also make your furry friend sick due to bacteria. Stay away from sausages, hotdogs, and lunch meats, too. They’re high in salts and preservatives, so it’s unhealthy for your little friend to eat them every single day.
Of course, you can also try just stuffing supplements into your pet's normal wet food. Don’t grind the pill or chewable up into dust before you mix it in, though. It might seem like this would be the perfect way to mix it into wet food, but most pet supplements don’t taste great. Manufacturers give them a special coating to help hide the fact, but this coating doesn’t survive the pulverizing process. (If you thought your pal didn’t like supplements before, wait until you remove the “tasty” part.)
2. “Pill” Your Pet (Good Luck)
If you’re a cat owner, you probably rolled your eyes throughout that entire last section. While dogs will generally scarf down just about anything you put in front of them — until they find the supplement, anyway — cats tend to be a bit more discerning. They’re also hard to fool twice. Dogs may swear they’ll never fall for your Trojan horse tricks again, but once their sniffers pick up the scent of cheese or peanut butter, their willpower goes out the door.
Unfortunately, that means your best bet may be to “pill” your cat (pill…not kill. No matter how frustrated you get). In short, this involves prying your cat’s mouth open and dropping the pill near the back of their tongue, so they basically have no other option but to swallow it.
Does this encounter hurt your cat?
Will they hurt you during the process?
You can pill your dog, too, but you’ll face the same dilemma. No one likes having their mouth pried open. If you need to give your buddy a supplement every single day... good luck.
3. Just Flat-Out Trick Them
Finally, if you’re sick of smothering supplements in human food or your pet simply will not let you touch their mouth anymore, the third option is simple trickery. Just to try to get one over on them.
Your three best options for deceit are:
“Snack Time” – If you have another pet, call both of them over for a “snack” Give your first pet an actual snack and there’s a chance your second pet will take their supplement without even thinking about it.
“Snacks Time” – If you don’t have another pet, or if multiple pets need to take supplements, try using multiple snacks. After two snacks in a row, give them another one (which, of course, is actually the supplement they don’t want). This is another option that isn’t great if your pet is already sporting a spare tire.
- “Whoops!” – Do your pets get in your personal space whenever you’re cooking? Do they act like they’ve never seen food before? Do they refuse to blink lest they miss their opportunity when you drop something? Then, go ahead and drop their supplement on the floor by "accident". Make sure to really ham up the “Whoops! No! Don’t eat that!” They’ll think they got one over on you. You’ll know you got one over on them.
Well, there you go. If you want to give your pet chewables or pills, but they want nothing to do with either, you now have three options to overcome their resistance.
Alternatively... you could just use liquid supplements.
The Advantages of Using Liquid Supplements for Your Pets
Far be it from me to stop you from sticking your hands in your poor pet’s mouth every day or buying extra food just to hid supplements. If you’re excited about the prospect of trying out new cheeses to see which one your pet’s palate likes best, then don't let me stop you. We all need a hobby, and there’s no law that says it has to be even remotely normal.
However, if you just want to give your pet the supplements they need to enjoy a healthy life, and would prefer to avoid shredded hands in the process, I highly recommend you go with the liquid option.
Liquid Pet Supplements Taste Better
First and foremost, liquid pet supplements simply taste better to your pet.
For example, here’s a review from our liquid vitamins for dogs. Note that the dog in question has poor typing skills, so the review is from her owner:
“…I just pour it in her bowl. I don't need to mix it or anything, so it must taste good.”
“Really loving this product… and so do the dogs! I was a little worried they might not like the taste (we have picky dogs), but they gobble it up every time.”
Unlike chewables and pills, no special coating is necessary in liquid supplements to mask any offensive tastes. And no nasty-tasting additives are needed to bind the individual ingredients into a solid supplement.
Instead, liquid supplements just feature the ingredients your pets need to live their best lives — with a little extra pet-friendly flavoring, so your pup or cat actually looks forward to taking them.
Liquid Pet Supplements Mix Well with Food or Water
What about pets who don’t like any change to their routines?
I’ve seen cats and dogs actually turn away from meat being added to their normal food simply because it was something different. Trying to get a pill or chewable past them is nearly impossible, but you may worry that these literal creatures of habit won’t have anything to do with liquid supplements, either.
It couldn’t be easier to mix liquid pet supplements into their food or water. Just stir it in and let your pet enjoy their meal.
Let’s check out another review for a testimonial that speaks to this point. Here’s what Gwen — a verified buyer on Amazon — had to say about using our Liquid Glucosamine for Cats with her “old fellow”:
“He appears to be doing well from taking it. Loves the taste. I just put it on top of his canned food and he dives right in.”
I love this review because cats are notoriously picky. Especially older felines who have become set in their ways (and sharp in their claws).
Again, if you enjoy spending your free time trying out new foods to see which ones can best hide the taste of your pet's supplement, I won’t stand in your way.
On the other hand, if you’d rather save your time and sanity, just add liquid supplements to your pet’s food or water.
You Get More Bang for Your Buck
Finally, aside from the sanity-saving benefits we just covered, another great reason to use liquid supplements for your pets is that they’re much more potent. You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing your little friend is getting the dose of vitamins, minerals, and other supportive nutrients they need.
Liquid supplements aren’t just slightly stronger, either. There’s actually a huge difference between the potency of liquid supplements and that of pills and chewables.
In fact, our liquid pet supplements are nearly three times more potent than the best-known brand on the market. Our customer enjoy peace of mind knowing that the liquid supplements they give their little buddies really are delivering the health benefits we promise.
Give Your Pets High-Quality Supplements Without the Theatrics
Don’t throw in the towel when it comes to giving your pet the supplements they need for a long, happy, and healthy life.
Even if you've tried making that towel into a "purrito" to immobilize your supplement-loathing cat, and now it's just a pile of rags.
Dogs and cats just don't like being told what to do. But they usually make up for it in affection and entertainment.
At Paramount Pet Health, we’re passionate pet owners ourselves. We started this company because we wanted to make products that really work. And our products' effectiveness depends on your pets actually taking them.
That’s why all of our pet supplements come in liquid form and taste great to pets. Check out our inventory to see all of our options for yourself, or feel free to contact us if you have any questions.