DISCLAIMER: I made a unilateral decision to administer tablets to my dog by this method and he did not come to any harm. Before attempting what I have done here you should consult your veterinary for advice. I take no responsibility for any harm caused to other animals by using this method. If you don’t like it don’t do it.
If you have ever tried to give medicine to an animal you’ll appreciate how hard it can be giving a dog a pill or tablet. Our dog Leo (a Border Collie) is required to take two worming tablets every three months. These are large as tablets go. Large enough to be shaped like a bone. My wife offered one to him. He sniffed it and walked away.
Why aren’t they supplied inside some meaty treat to encourage a dog to just woof them down?
My Method Of Giving A Dog A Tablet
I had thought of putting it inside a nice piece of cheese because he likes cheese a lot. But I couldn’t face giving away a really nice piece of Colston Bassett Stilton cheese. Knowing him he would probably manage to suck all the cheese off and spit the tablet out. Anyway cheese is not ideal for dogs being a milk product.
I regularly have a pastrami and seeded bread sandwich at lunchtime and I know my dog loves a little bit of it especially the pastrami. So while I was preparing it I had the idea of wrapping his tablet in a slice of pastrami as shown below:
Having wrapped up the tablet into a meat parcel I wondered how I might hold it all together just while he swallowed it. Well this might be controversial I know but I decided to tie it up with string on the first occasion. I thought about this carefully and decided the string must not be made of, or contain, man-made synthetic/plastic fibres, e.g. nylon, polythene or polypropylene, because they are very unlikely to digest in stomach acid. I didn’t want to give him an intestinal blockage. Subsequently I have tied the meat parcels up with sausage skin because I presume it is a more edible product.
The First Occasion
On the first occasion I chose to use ordinary string made of natural fibres with an off white colour (hopefully linen or cotton) as is commonly used for parcels (maybe sisal is O.K.). I considered this type of string would get digested or in some way break down in the dog’s stomach so that it would pass through him easily. I also took care how I tied it. I did not use a Reef Knot because I was concerned that it might not pass through my dog easily since it would stay in a knotted loop if it was not digested. I chose to use a Clove Hitch.
Why a Clove Hitch? Once the item it is wrapped around is removed or, in this case disintegrates by digestion, the string will not be knotted and the string will just become a straight length of string again with no permanent loop in it. Ideally I would prefer to have held it together with a more easily digestible material. Rest assured I will try to find one for next time. This is the parcel I made:
I actually made, and gave him, two meat parcels because my dog weighs 21kg so he has to be given two worming tablets. I calculated, from the parcel diameter, that the string length was 75mm (3 inches).
Administering The Meat Parcels
I had no trouble getting my dog to eat the meat parcels. It went like this:
- I asked him to sit and he did.
- I let him smell the meat.
- He knew I was going to give him a parcel to eat so he opened his mouth to take it from me.
- As he opened his mouth with his head tilted up I let a parcel drop into it.
- He just swallowed it whole. Dogs do that.
Three Months Later
The time came to give Leo two more worming tablets so I went through the whole process again. I wrapped his tablets up in pastrami as before but this time I tied them up with sausage skin. Again I used a Clove Hitch to hold the parcels.
Obtaining The Sausage Skin
I called at a local butcher’s shop and purchased one metre of sausage skin for fifty pence. I wanted to use it immediately but presumed there would be some left over so I asked how long it would keep. The butcher told me I could freeze it to keep it a long time. I just want it to last for three months until next time. After that what I have left over can be thrown away. Then I will buy some more in the future.
Photos Taken While Making A Pastrami Parcel
Below you can see the five stages used to make the pastrami parcel and tie it up with sausage skin. Move the mouse pointer over each image in the collage to see its title. Select an image to see it enlarged.
It’s the thin nature of pastrami which makes it ideal for this purpose but any other sliced meat could be considered.
I am writing this well after the event and I can only report success to date since my dog had no ill effects. He performed his toilet habits as usual in the following days on both occasions. I saw no sign of the string or sausage skin so I presume it passed through him or was digested O.K. Below is a picture of Leo, to whom the treatment was administered: