Head Games

Once in a while you have to give a dog medication. Sam hates it but so do most dogs. No one likes the procedure: hold head, avoid scratching or biting, pop a pill in the back of the throat, try not to let the dog wriggle free & run away before spitting it out (and most likely not to be found for hours), stroke said wriggling creature’s throat long enough to swallow. It rarely works. If someone doesn’t get hurt, the dog distrusts you. So we silly humanoids try to disguise it. Dogs will generally eat anything so you’d think they’d gladly take a little pill wrapped in cheese any day. I thought I was being so clever taking a little shredded Cheddar and forming it into a nice little ball wrapped innocently around a little tiny pill, administering it as prescribed and viola! wellness. But Sam has figured that out. I’m not saying he’s stubborn, well, yes, I guess I am saying he can be stubborn but invariably he’d eat the Cheddar (I mean, what dog doesn’t like Cheddar?) and then spit out the pill but he’s kind of sneaky about it. He’ll act very contrite as if saying “see, I’m such a good boy, aren’t I? See I took all my medicine.” while actually crossing his paws behind his back, lying through his teeth! Then ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ later mysteriously appears under the dining table or behind the water bowl. That’s when I know I’ve been had. Outsmarted by a dog with the intellect of a radish. The shame of it all.

Then it came to me–a solution that was much cheaper than $10 a pound Cheddar that needed to be grated (and frankly, I may not always have Cheddar on hand if and when meds need to be doled out) or an expensive Madison Avenue version of the same thing.

So brilliant, so simple, inexpensive and it totally works. A homemade peanut butter pill pocket.


  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  • In a small bowl, combine the milk, peanut butter and flour.
  • Mix until completely combined.
  • After it comes together well, I found it best to knead it with my hands to complete the process.
  • Divide the dough into 12 small balls.
  • I found it easiest to use the tip of a meat thermometer to make the hole and wriggle that around to enlarge the opening.
  • Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • They will keep until the expiration date of your milk.
Outsmarting the smart-alec dog

I almost feel bad tricking him. Β But I just want to be a good dog mommy and get him back to doing what he does best, making patients smile and outsmarting me. Β  Like I said, almost.

15 thoughts on “Head Games

  1. We tried pill pockets with our girl, but she wouldn’t take the pill that way. We are fortunate we can shove it down her throat with no issues. As she needs her prozac daily half the year, we are thankful for this! Glad you found something that works for you!

  2. I put meds in a gob of natural peanut butter and that usually tricks my boxers. But it’s a big sticky mess for me! This is a great solution but their over-sensitive digestive tracts can’t handle dairy or wheat. Suggestions? Maybe somehow freeze the peanut butter in a little pocket form? Oh the things I do for these two freaks of nature! 😐

    1. I’m going to try this with a non-wheat flour, say rice flour or some other gluten free flour to see if it can work. I’ll post my findings here as soon as I make up a batch. Yeah, plain old peanut butter works but is a mess. I think it’s brilliant that us dog mommies are creative with our fur kids. Plus, who likes to lose to a radish brain? πŸ™‚

  3. Tim used to cut up wieners and insert the pill. I know you won’t have wieners around, but some of them are really cheap and it involves less work. Worth considering?

  4. I can relate. We tried ham, cheese, bread, etc. Even tried crunching it up adding to ice cream! Hey when desperate you’ll try anything. You have a great idea, will keep that recipe!πŸ˜‰

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.