How to Train My Dog to Remind Me to Take My Medicine?

Dogs are recognized as some of the smartest animals in the entire world. Because of that, they have been helpful to us for thousands of years already due to the fact that they can learn all kinds of tricks so long as they are trained properly.

With that in mind, you can actually teach a dog something that is useful to you. Especially if it concerns your health and overall well-being. This includes teaching your dog how to remind you to take your medicine during a certain time of the day.

A trick such as this one can help you’re your life especially if you are under strict long-term medication for a serious condition you are suffering from.

Teaching a dog how to remind you to take your medication goes into this animal’s basic instinct as a creature of habit. Dogs learn how to do new things based on a system of encouragement and rewards.

With enough encouragement, any simple act or trick can eventually become a habit for a dog as long as it is done repeatedly and in a manner that does not threaten your furry pet canine’s overall well-being.

Here is how you can encourage the habit of reminding you to take your medicine.

Set a time

First of all, set a time when you want to be reminded to take your medicine. Check your prescription carefully. See to it that you are following the right instructions and when to take your medicine and how often you need to take it.

Depending on your condition and on the type of medication your taking, you may need to set a time of reminder twice or even thrice in a single day.

The more frequently you take your medicine, the more challenging it will be to train your dog to remind you to take it. In that case, it might be a good idea to not rely on your dog too much. You can actually set an alarm for the other time/s you have to take your medicine.

Think of it as dividing the burden between your dog and your alarm.

Choose a prompt or a cue that will remind you to take your medicine

When we say prompt or cue, it pertains to a certain and specific action coming from the dog that would remind you that you need to take your medicine.

This action can be anything that you can teach your dog. It can be licking on your leg or pawing on you or something more specific such as taking your pillbox.

As long as you are reminded by that action that you need to take your medicine, it will already be a good enough cue for you to teach your dog. However, actions that are more specific tend to be more difficult to teach your dog.

You may need to choose a simple cue if you want to save time and effort.

Teach your dog the cue

After selecting a cue that would remind you that you need to take your medicine, teach it to your dog.

Always remember the fact that dogs are animals of habits. They will eventually learn something so long as you allow them to do certain actions habitually. In this case, teaching your dog the cue will probably take up some of your time since you need to do it regularly.

But if it helps you in the long run, then it might be worth the effort.

Try going as simple as possible such as licking. If your dog is not an avid licker, this will be a good cue to use because it is not something that it normally does. It will immediately remind you that you already need to take your medicine.

A good way of teaching your dog a cue that is similar to licking is to place a treat on the part of your body that will allow you to remember to take your medicine. Try putting the treat on your backhand or somewhere on your leg.

A treat such as natural peanut butter that is low in sodium can be the ideal treat to use because the dog will spend quite a good amount of time licking it entirely off your hand. Solid treats might not work well because of how they won’t prompt your dog to lick.

The cue should be taught during the time of the day that you need to take your medicine

It is important that your dog should learn how to do the cue during the time of the day that you would need to take your medicine.

Dogs have an internal sense of time. They will use their instincts to tell whether it is already the time of the day to do certain actions that have become a habit to them. Choose the time carefully and specifically especially if you are following a regular daily routine.

This can be a bit more difficult if you are someone who works on staggered shifts because of how your daily routine and sleeping pattern differ from one day to another.

But if you can find a common time where you are awake regardless of your shift, that might be the best time to teach your dog the cue or prompt.

Teach your dog the release command

A release command is similar to the original prompt in the sense that it will tell your dog to stop doing what it is doing. Release commands can be hand signals, sounds, or actions. In this case, the release signal should be your act of taking the pill.

To teach your dog the release command, you should also teach it in conjunction with teaching it the cue.

For example, if you taught it to lick you as its cue, taking your medicine after the licking is done and then telling your dog to stop licking and then giving your dog a treat for its good behavior can help it remember this pattern as a habit.

Rinse and repeat

Once you have already started teaching your dog the cue and the release command. Do this regularly at the exact same time of the day to make it a habit.

Gradually teaching your dog this trick will require to take away some of the rewards or treats that actually encouraged its actions.

So, if you used peanut butter to make it lick you, try reducing the amount of peanut butter you use. Until it comes to the point when your dog will still lick your hand even though you did not even put any peanut butter on it.

Depending on the dog, this may take some time. It will be worth it so long as you are doing it regularly and consistently.

1 thought on “How to Train My Dog to Remind Me to Take My Medicine?

  1. Kristina Greenwell

    I am so happy to say that my dog is FINALLY fully trained! I found out about this online dog training tool at TrainDogsOnline.org – it has been such a wonderful help in learning how to train my dog without ever leaving home. I learned so many great ways to teach my dog nearly every trick imaginable. Also, I can finally correct common behavioral issues, anywhere from potty-training to barking too much. It’s an actual man who’s a real dog trainer training his dog. He’s an expert so you can see his mannerisms and changes in his tone of voice… especially his body language. My dog behaves PERFECTLY now and picked up on these methods so fast. From what I understand, this will work on all dogs regardless of breed or age. Best of luck to you and your dog! Check out TrainDogsOnline.org – highly recommended!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.