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How to Administer Liquid Oral Medications
From your Veterinary Medicine Guide

How to give your cat or dog liquid medication using a dropper.

Difficulty Level: Easy    Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:
  1. Read administration instructions, if shaking the medication is required before administering, shake thoroughly.
  2. Aspirate the proper dosage amount up into the dropper.
  3. Have a small treat or some canned food nearby. Make sure that the medication can be given with food.
  4. Call your pet, encouraging and praising him/her as you get into position.
  5. Wrap your non-dominant arm around the back of the pet's neck, grasping the underside of the jaw with thumb and fingers for stabilization.
  6. Tilt the nose up, at about a 45 degree angle.
  7. Gently slide the nose of the dropper between the lips at the corner of the mouth. You don't need to open the mouth.
  8. Administer the medication slowly -- too quick, and the animal may gag and cough the medicine out.
  9. As the medication hits the back of the throat, the animal will swallow.
  10. Continue the liquid adminstration slowly and at a constant rate. The pet should 'drink' it down without too much fuss.
  11. Uncooperative pets may need to be wrapped in a towel or blanket prior to medication administration.


  1. Some vets and pharmacies specialize in making medications tasty to pets. If you are having difficulty with medication adminstration, ask if this would be a possibility for your pet.
  2. Praise and reward the pet after the medication is administered, so the experience will be as positive as possible. Give the treat without the medication now and then, too.
  3. Stand behind your pet, using your body to prevent the pet from wriggling free backwards through your arms.

Related Information:

More How To's from your Guide to Veterinary Medicine

Related Video
Give a Cat Liquid Medication

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