Administering Medication 


Tablets or capsules:

1. Place the pill between the thumb and index finger of one hand. Firmly grasp the upper jaw with the thumb and index finger of the other hand behind the canine teeth.

2. Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you open the mouth. This will reduce the chance of being bitten.

3. Rotate your wrist to tilt the head upwards. Use your middle finger to slowly open the lower jaw.

4. Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. Immediately close the mouth. Keeping your hand over the mouth, put the head down to facilitate swallowing.

5. Stroke the throat, or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing.

Liquids and syrups:

1. Fill a syringe or dropper with medication before starting. Liquid medication is poured into the pouch between the teeth and cheek. Hold your dog's jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly.

2. Gently squirt the medication into the pouch with the dropper or syringe.

3. Hold the mouth closed. Stroke the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing.

4. Should your dog gag or cough out the medication, lower his head and calm him down. Wait a few minutes and then try again.

Helpful hints:

Always read the label instructions carefully.

Ask your veterinarian if the medication be given with food or must be given on an empty stomach. If it can be given with food, just put the pill into a small treat such as cheese or peanut butter or a small amount of food recommended by your veterinarian.

Get a friend or family member to help.

Avoid medicating your dog on the floor or in your arms. Place the dog on a table with a non-slip surface.

When administering medication, stay calm, your pet can sense if you are nervous making it more difficult to apply the treatment. Always praise and reward your pet with a treat.

How to Pill a Cat

Emergency Planning For Your Pets

Make plans to ensure your pet's safety before, during, and after an emergency. 

Have a plan and know where to go: Not all emergency shelters accept pets - and animal shelters and boarding kennels often  have limited space. Contact local humane societies or local chapters of the American Red Cross in advance.

 If at home, bring pets indoors: All pets should be brought indoors. And if the pet seems afraid or anxious while indoors, consider  housing them in an appropriate-sized pet kennel to help them feel more secure. This will also protect them from smoky conditions.

Create a "Pet Preparedness Kit": The kit should contain bottles of water, extra food, extra blankets, a soft muzzle, collars, leashes, a first-aid kit and a week's supply of any special medication and dosage instructions.

Keep medical records on hand: Many kennels and shelters will not take pets without proof of vaccinations, and if a pet is injured or becomes ill, access to medical records will help vets provide better care. Always make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations to avoid them from expiring during an emergency.

Make sure pets wear ID tags or have Microchips: During the chaos of an evacuation, pets are at great risk of running away or being left behind. If a pet does become lost, proper identification can increase the chances of a safe return home.

If traveling, get a pet carrier: An individual carrier for each pet in the family can make transporting pets safe and gives them a feeling of security. Make sure the pets ID tag or carrier are labeled with information where you can be reached during an emergency.

Make sure fresh water and food are on hand: Stock up on drinking water for the whole family- try storing fresh tap water in jugs or buy bottled water. Make sure you have enough food to last during an emergency evacuation.

Have an escape route and plan: Know who is responsible for making sure everyone is safe ands where everyone needs to go. Have a meeting place in case you are separated.

The following are organizations and resources that you can contact or access to help you plan how to protect your pets. If you don't have a plan and need information quickly in an emergency, contact:

Local Animal Shelters

Because most emergency shelters do not admit pets, local animal shelters may be able to offer advice, such as what to do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate your home. You can search for local shelters on the Pets 911 Web site.

Local government animal control or service agencies can provide guidance on how to protect your pets in an emergency. Find out what your community's plans and resources are for protecting pets in an emergency.

Check the internet for key resources in planning how to ensure your pets' safety before an emergency:

  • American Red Cross. Visit the Red Cross' Web site on Animal Safety, which is a joint effort of the Red Cross and the Humane Society.

  • ASPCA website has many tips on preparing you and your pets for a disaster at

  • The California Emergency Management Agency website offers information to, animal owners, and others interested in the well-being of animals to prepare for animal safety in the event of a disaster. At

  • Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS)EARS responds to disasters by sending trained volunteers to rescue, shelter, feed, groom, exercise, and provide tender loving care for any displaced companion animals (dogs, cats, etc.), wildlife, and livestock during the duration of a disaster with no charge to the community. Visit the EARS Website for information on protecting cats, dogs, horses, and other companion animals from disaster.

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)FEMA is the federal agency that leads the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. For Animals and Emergencies: Preparedness Information:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine offers the fact sheet"Taking Care of Pets in a Disaster." This fact sheet provides tips on preparing for a disaster and handling animals during and after a disaster.

  • National Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA)  In emergency situations, pets could be poisoned by exposure to harmful chemicals, products, or foods. For information on protecting your pets, visit the Animal Poison Control Center's Web site. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, call toll-free 1-888-426-4435 (calls are answered 24 hours a day, every day).

  • Pet Travel and Lodging Resources Most emergency shelters do not take pets. Before an emergency, plan where you will take your family and pets if you are ever asked to evacuate your home. There are a number of organizations that offer advice and resources for traveling with pets, including searchable lists of lodging establishments that accept pets. For example, visit on the, or

  • The Humane Society Visit the Humane Society's Web site on pets and disaster planning at