Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just a spoonful of sugar, or peanut butter or cheese or . . . .

How do you give your basenji medication? We use an abundance of bribes, subterfuge, rewards, treats and happy talk.  

This used to be a piece of cake, the pill administering not the treat. Dasa, our sweet agreeable little girl, obligingly gobbles up pill balls without stopping to examine the contents. However, after Ivan’s surgery a few years ago, he got tired of all the pills we were constantly hiding, and getting medication into his little body became more challenging. After we discovered his kidney problems, we had to employ low protein concealers, further limiting the tools we could use to accomplish our pill-giving goals. 

Ivan is very good about taking some pills, not so enthused about others. We discovered that the little ball of whatever was hiding the pill should be immediately followed by a placebo ball of the same substance so he’d have no choice (in theory) but to swallow the first offering in order to accept the second. This usually works well.  However, my clever puppy boy still occasionally outsmarts us.  Now and then I find a pill on a rug, or even under the corner of the rug, perfectly clean of all food residue. I’m not sure how he does that. 

Ivan does not like to get up in the morning, a trait I’m sure he inherited from me.  Going down to the kitchen for his thyroid pill and then waiting around an hour for breakfast was just not working for him. The solution was simple.  Eric goes down for breakfast while the Munchkins and I are still asleep. When he finishes breakfast, he brings up a plate with Ivan’s thyroid pill and little balls of sweet potato, including two placebo dabs for Dasa.  We pull aside the blanket covering our sleepy boy, who obligingly wakes up enough to take his two balls of sweet potato and then we cover him again and he goes back to sleep for another hour of beauty rest.

We’re always looking for new suggestions, so how do you give your basenji medication?


  1. My B-boy had to take medication everyday and I hid his pills in Velveeta cheese balls, he knew the pills were in there but somewhere along the line he decided to gulp them back and be done with it rather then try and separate the cheese from the pill and spit it out only to have to repeat it all over again. You take such good care of Ivan and Dasa.

  2. Cheese in a can usually worked for me.

  3. Cream cheese works here.

  4. I used Pill Pockets, the smelliest kind available, which I believe is the duck flavor. Our Deedle hated antibiotics.I used to just hide them in her food, which was a concoction of about half a dozen various items with lots of colors and textures, but often I would find the lone, tiny pill remaining in the bowl. She found it difficult to resist the pill pocket, though!