It’s common knowledge that dogs and pills don’t get along. However, dogs need monthly medicine to prevent heartworm infections. Pet owners everywhere struggle to get their dogs to take the monthly pill.
The good news is there are plenty of effective methods to get your dog to take their pill!
Dog Hates Interceptor Plus
Heartworm preventatives are the most important pet medication, and they are given monthly. Interceptor Plus is a chewable tablet that most dogs love. If your dog hates the tablet, though, you need to rethink your strategy and ensure the safety of your dog.
Why Do Dogs Hate Interceptor Plus?
Every pet owner knows the dread of giving their dog their monthly dose of heartworm meds, like Interceptor Plus.
You give your dog the pill, and they immediately spit it out. Even worse, the smart ones will wait until you’re gone before spitting it out! (I’ve found my fair share of rejected pill piles before).
Why do dogs seem to hate pills? No one quite knows the answer to that. Some dogs actually like pills (or they don’t spit it out, at least), so there doesn’t seem to be one cause.
Veternarians hypothesize that pill aversion occurs for a multitude of reasons. If you remember back to being a kid, medicine tasted like medicine – it wasn’t good! Your pet probably feels this way about the taste of their medicine.
The texture of pills may also contribute to pill aversion. Dogs are used to the texture of their dog food. Pill textures can be much different!
The good news is that your dog doesn’t hate Interceptor Plus, they likely just need a little help to make the pill more appealing. After all, they don’t understand the benefits of the medicine.
Read on to see how vets beat pill aversion.
Why Do Dogs ‘Freak Out’ When They See/Smell Interceptor Plus?
If pill time is stressful to you, it’s more stressful for your dog.
Their owner is trying to feed them something they don’t like. Your dog keeps trying to spit it out, but you keep trying to sneak it into their food. As you get more frustrated, your dog picks up on this and feels bad.
Dogs are highly experiential, meaning that their experiences shape their feelings and behaviors. Over time, your dog learns to associate the Interceptor Plus pill with stress.
This association causes dogs to freak out if they see the pill. The pill signals to them that they’re about to have a bad, stressful time – and nobody wants that!
Associations can be changed, however. If your dog loses it when seeing pills, you can help them overcome this fear and make pill time less stressful for both of you!
Read on to figure out how to ease the frustration of monthly pill time.
How Do I Train (Counter Condition / Desensitize) My Dog To Not Hate Interceptor Plus?
There is no way to train a dog to like pills, unfortunately. However, you can figure out which method makes giving and taking the monthly pill easier and less stressful.
Pet owners aren’t well-informed about how their feelings and behaviors affect their dog’s feelings and behaviors. When we get frustrated, they get frustrated. When we’re happy, they’re happy!
As such, positive reinforcement works well with dogs! Keeping a happy demeanor and being forthcoming with treats is an excellent strategy to help ease pill aversion.
Reward every successfully swallowed pill with treats, affection, and playtime. Your dog will associate this monthly pill with having fun. You’ll notice more cooperation from your dog. Plus, dogs always love the extra attention and treats!
While positive reinforcement is a vital part of keeping this monthly routine stress-free, the reinforcement only works if your dog is actually taking the pill. If they are pill averse, you will need a technique to get them to take the pill.
Keep reading to see how dog behaviorists recommend getting your pill-averse dog to take their pills.
How Do I Get My Dog To Eat The Interceptor Plus?
Taking oral medicine like Interceptor Plus is essential to keeping your dog healthy! Your dog doesn’t know that, though, and they do not want to take that pill.
Pill aversion is a problem as old as the relationship between humans and dogs. Behaviorists currently suggest a variety of ways to administer oral pills to your pill-averse pup!
Coaxing your pet into taking a pill requires you to have a certain amount of control over the situation. When it’s time to give your dog the pill, do it in an area where your dog is comfortable and where you can handle your pup if they try to get away.
Depending on you and your dog’s respective personalities, certain techniques may be more appealing than others.
Be aware that your dog may recognize the pill bottle or the pills, so always make sure to prepare the pill away from your dog. Keep them in their crate or another room while you get the pill ready!
The most commonly used tactic is to hide the pill in food.
Placing the pill into your pet’s normal food is a great starting place. Pets will often eat the pill along with the food, none the wiser. Some pets, however, will eat everything but the pill!
When this happens, behaviorists suggest standing nearby with your pet’s favorite treat. Your puppy should become focused on the treat, meaning they’ll eat everything in their bowl in order to get the treat.
Pet owners also hide pills within foods their pets love – like peanut butter. Thicker substances like peanut butter and yogurt help conceal the pill. Peanut butter, in particular, makes it more difficult for your dog to separate the pill from the treat.
If this fails, try pill pockets.
Pill pockets are edible, flavored treats that have an indentation for you to put the pill. These pockets work well for many pill-averse pups who don’t like the texture or taste. You can buy pre-made pill pockets or make them yourself using your dog’s favorite treats!
Sometimes, the texture and taste of the pill are too much for your dog to handle. There are neutral-flavored edible pill containers that you can place the real pill in. This technique may soun silly, but if your dog is turned off by the taste or smell of the pill, this will help!
Another method is to give your dog a series of their favorite treats – with the pill hidden in one of them. You can do this by just giving your dog the treats, or you can have them perform tricks for the treats.
Either way, this method is sneaky, fun for your pet, and effective!
If your dog is resisting any food methods, one last food-based technique is to make a few human-based snacks. Hide the pill in one of the snacks and eat the non-medicinal snacks yourself.
When your dog gives you their best puppy eyes, be charitable and give them the snack with the hidden pill! Your dog should be so grateful, they gobble up the treat, pill and all.
There are some dogs who resist every food-based technique. While this can be discouraging, don’t worry! We will discuss other techniques for you to try.
When the sneaky “hide it in their food” methods fail, vets recommend a more direct approach – manually push the pill into your dog’s mouth.
Some pet owners are apprehensive to try this approach because they think it will hurt their pet. It’s important to note that this method can be done gently and effectively!
Depending on the size of your pet, you may need some help with this method. Smaller to medium-sized breeds can be held on your lap where you have a firm grasp on and control over your dog.
Two or more people may be necessary to firmly hold onto a larger breed.
Once you have control over your dog, gently open their mouth and push the pill towards the back of their throat. Hold your dog’s mouth closed and blow in their face. This distracts your pet and forces them to swallow the pill.
If your dog bites when you try to give them their pill, you can still safely give them their medication. Buy a cloth muzzle and put it on your dog before administering the dose. A pill gun also helps with this process.
Load the pill into the pill gun and push it into your muzzled dog’s mouth. Blow on their face, allow them to swallow, and then remove the muzzle.
If all else fails, go to your veterinarian. Your vet is trained in administering medicine to uncooperative pets, so they will be able to get this important medicine to your pup.
Depending on how severe your dog’s pill aversion is, your vet may be able to prescribe a liquid medication for your pet.
What Not To Do With A Dog Who Hates Interceptor Plus?
Pet owners should always attempt to stay calm and positive around their dogs.
Dogs are highly sensitive animals that pick up on your emotions and behaviors. If you’re stressed, they’re stressed!
Staying positive during your pet’s monthly dosage is a great way to mitigate any fear they may have of the tablet.
On the other hand, getting frustrated that your dog won’t take the pill is a surefire way to make sure they don’t take it.
Yelling at your dog will make them fearful and reserved. Your pup will begin to associate their monthly pill with fear and stress. The anxiety may even cause them to develop aggressive reactions to this routine.
Likewise, physical punishment is unproductive and unacceptable. Punishment of this nature makes your dog fearful and aggressive.
Should You Comfort A Dog That Hates Interceptor Plus?
Dogs who seem to hate their medication are actually fearful of it. Your pet associates the pill with stress and fear.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to make administering your dog’s monthly pill calm and easy. If your dog requires the more direct method of forcing your dog to take the pill, then you should try to make your dog as comfortable as possible.
You can comfort your pet by having their favorite treats or toys nearby. Once you finish with the routine, your pet has activities to distract them and comfort them.
What Exactly About Interceptor Plus Does My Dog Hate (The Smell? Look? Noise? Sounds? Vibrations?)
If your dog doesn’t like their monthly pill, this likely has to do with the taste or texture of the pill (or both).
The capsule of the pill may be too bitter for your dog. Plus, the hard feeling of the capsule allows your dog to easily tell it apart from food.
Aversions to taste and texture can be overcome by putting your pill into an edible, neutral tasting pill capsule. Yes, a pill within a pill.
The neutral pill casing allows the pill to take on the flavor of whatever food you hide the pill in.
If you open your pill bottle around your dog or allow your dog to see the pill, they may “hate” the medicine because they associate it with fear and stress.
My Dog Is Increasingly Disliking Interceptor Plus?
If you notice your dog seems to get more stressed and anxious during their monthly dosage, you should look at how you’re acting during that time.
You may feel frustrated when your dog refuses to take their pill. This feeling is natural. However, if you let the frustration show, your dog will feel it, too.
These feelings stress your dog out, and they associate those feelings with Inceptor Plus. As a consequence, your pet begins to dislike the pill even more.
To stop this cycle, try the methods in the article. Keep a calm and happy demeanor while administering the dose. Your pet will begin to relax and enjoy their pill!
Is Interceptor Plus Dangerous To Dogs?
Interceptor Plus is safe for use in all dogs larger than two pounds and older than six weeks of age.
The drug has been subjected to multiple safety tests, and the current recommended dose has proven to be safe. Inceptor Plus is a prescribed drug, so your vet will take into account your dog, their breed, and their medical history before prescribing.
Can & Do Dogs Destroy Interceptor Plus?
If a dog is very pill averse, they may attack the Inceptor Plus tablet.
This type of aggressive behavior is concerning. Behaviorists recommend consulting with your vet for any type of aggression. Your veterinarian can refer you to a behavioral specialist and administer the dose of heartworm medicine for you.
What Best Alternatives To Interceptor Plus That Dogs Do Not Hate?
If your dog doesn’t seem to like Inceptor Plus, there are alternative preventatives you can give your dog.
ProHeart 6 is an effective heartworm preventative that is administered through an injection. If your dog is pill averse, the injection avoids the hassle of begging your dog to take a pill! The shot is effective for six months and is administered by your vet.
Tri-Heart Plus is a chewable tablet that is known for being cost-effective and loved by pets! This chewable does contain ivermectin, so consult with your doctor if your dog may be sensitive to the compound.
Advantage Multi is applied topically to your dogs every month. The topical application spares you and your dog the trouble of tablets!
How To Get Your Dog To Eat Heartworm Medicine?
Most heartworm medicine will be similar to Inceptor Plus. Manufacturers try to flavor their pills to be appetizing to dogs, but sometimes dogs are still averse to their medicine.
The methods above are recommended by vets and dog behaviorists. Pet owners should try these first unless their pet is displaying aggressive behavior.
If you are unable to get your dog to take their heartworm medicine, it’s important that you consult with your vet. Your veterinarian will administer the dose for you, and they may prescribe a topical, liquid, or injectable medicine for future administrations.
How To Get Dog To Eat Chewable Pill?
Interceptor Plus is a chewable pill, so any of the methods described in this article will help you get your dog to eat a tablet!
Food is a great way to hide the tablet. Since the texture is chewy like their food, food-based methods should be very effective.
Dog Won’t Eat Bravecto Chew?
If you can’t get your dog to eat Bravecto Chew, the techniques in this article will help you.
Chewable tablets mesh well with your dog’s regular food. You can hide this tablet in with their food to get them to take the tablet.
How Do I Get My Dog To Eat Nexgard?
Nexgard tablets are chewable! Since they are similar to Interceptor Plus, the methods listed in this article should help you get your dog to eat them.
Food-based techniques are effective with chew tablets because their consistencies are similar.
Best Foods To Hide Dog Pills In?
The best foods to hide your dog’s pill(s) in are the foods that your dog will eat. You should start with your pet’s favorite treats and work from there.
Some pet owners believe that peanut butter or greek yogurt are great for hiding pills in. The thickness of the substance masks the bitterness of the pill and makes it harder for your dog to spit the pill out.
How To Get My Dog To Take Trifexis?
If your dog has an aversion to Trifexis (or just a pill aversion in general), any of the techniques listed above will be helpful in getting them to take the pill.
As a recap, there are various methods to trick your dog into taking their medicine.
The most common methods involve hiding the pill in food. You can hide them in their regular bowl of food, their treats, pill pockets, or thick substances like peanut butter.
If your dog won’t be tricked by food, a more direct method is required. Holding your pet firmly (but not harmfully), push the pill into your pet’s mouth. Hold your pup’s mouth closed, then blow in their face to get them to swallow.
Muzzles and pill guns are effective for more aggressive dogs.
What Do You Do If Your Dog Won’t Eat Heartworm Medicine?
If you’ve tried everything and your dog still won’t take their heartworm medicine, your best option is to go to your vet.
While this may not be ideal, heartworm preventatives are vital for your dog’s wellbeing. Without them, your dog can be infected by heartworms and become seriously ill or pass away.
Your vet is trained to professionally administer medicine to pets, so they will ensure your dog gets their dosage. They m.ay also be able to prescribe you a liquid version of the drug.
What Are The Side Effects Of Interceptor Plus For Dogs?
Interceptor Plus is usually very safe at its normal dose. The medicine is prescribed by your vet, so they can give your dog the appropriate dosage.
However, Interceptor Plus does have a few side effects noted. Vets recommend watching your pet for the development of lethargy, weakness, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions.
If your pet develops any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately.
Why Was Interceptor For Dogs Discontinued?
Interceptor was originally manufactured by a company called Novartis Animal Health. The company originally took Interceptor off the market in late 2011 due to manufacturing problems.
When the manufacturing issues were resolved in spring of 2013, Novartis did not bring back Interceptor. Many veterinarians were upset with this decision.
Elanco’s parent company bought Novartis in January of 2015. Shortly after, they announced that Interceptor would be brought back by popular demand.
Can You Crush Pills For Dogs?
If your dog is pill averse, your dog may benefit from being given their pills in an alternative form. When all else fails, crushing the dose up can be effective.
Interceptor Plus can be crushed up for your dog. Elanco, the manufacturer of Interceptor, recommends crushing the tablet if it helps your dog to chew the piece rather than to swallow the tablet whole.
The tablet can be taken whole, though it is designed to be chewed.
How Long Does Interceptor Plus Stay In Dogs System?
Most pet owners know that heartworm medicine, like Interceptor Plus, should be given monthly. But most don’t know how Interceptor Plus works.
Heartworm medicine is also known as preventatives, so most people assume that they prevent worms from infecting your dog. However, Interceptor Plus does not actually stop worms from infecting your pup.
Preventatives work by putting a kink in the life cycle of heartworms! See, Interceptor Plus can’t kill adult heartworms, the worms that harm your dog the most.
However, heartworms do not infiltrate your dog’s bloodstream as adults. They’re usually transferred as larvae by mosquitos.
This is why heartworm medication like Interceptor Plus is essential for your dog’s health! Giving your dog this pill every month wipes out all immature heartworms, preventing them from harming your dog and reproducing.
The active ingredients of heartworm preventatives stay in your dog’s bloodstream for approximately 24 hours. This cleans out all the nasty worms!
During the next month, your dog may still get infected with larvae. But the next dose of Interceptor Plus will kill those larvae before they can grow, effectively stopping the life cycle of heartworms.
Does Interceptor Have Ivermectin?
Interceptor and Interceptor Plus do not have ivermectin.
Ivermectin is in some heartworm prevention medications, like Heartgard Plus. The compound is effective in preventing worms.
However, ivermectin can actually be dangerous to dogs. Some dogs have a gene mutation that makes them sensitive to the dewormer such that any dose of ivermectin can cause serious problems and death.
Certain breeds are predisposed to this gene mutation, such as long-haired Italian Greyhounds, Border Collies, and Australian Shepherds. If your dog is a breed with a predisposition, discuss with your vet which medicines are appropriate for your dog.