Cats may be some of the fussiest eaters in the domestic animal kingdom, but even dogs will occasionally turn their noses up when presented with a bitter or otherwise unpleasant medication. Convincing an animal that is ill to consume anything is a difficult task. That is why flavoring medication is a common step in veterinary compounding. The process helps to reduce stress for the pet and the owner when administering medication.
Why it Matters
Owners do not want to fight with their pets to get medications into their systems. Forcing an animal to take a pill increases the risk of injury to the animal and the owner. Pills and capsules may remain lodged in a narrow esophagus, scratch the esophagus, or cause the animal to gag and potentially vomit up the medication. Missing a single dose does not usually cause harm, but a bad experience could make pets more aggressive or force them to hide and make the process more difficult the next time.
How Flavorings Help
Some animals cannot resist their favorite foods even when they are sick or injured. Other animals that have lost their appetites due to their illnesses are easily coaxed into sampling something with an alluring smell. The flavoring helps even if the animal still struggles when it is time to take their medication. The compounding process covers the bitter taste of the medication so pets are less likely to feel queasy after it is swallowed.
What is Available
Bacon, liver, peanut butter, and beef are common flavors used to appeal to dogs. Cats often enjoy fish or poultry flavorings. There are even some designed for large domestic animals like horses. These include treats they typically enjoy such as carrots or alfalfa. A variety of flavorings are used so there is something for every pet even if they have less-common favorites like bananas, green beans, or pumpkin and coconut.
Understanding Veterinary Compounding helps pet owners and vets to feel more confident about their ability to comfortably medicate any animal. Flavoring medication is not the only option. If changing the taste is not enough to convince the pet to cooperate, there are other options available. Talk to a vet or a compounding pharmacist to learn more.