You will administer ear medications at some point in your dog’s life. Making your dog comfortable while administering medications can be challenging. Some dogs resist such essential activities. What can you do if your dog hates ear drops?
Some people may suggest you use as many restraints as is necessary. Constraints provide a temporary solution. They will make your dog dread the process and put your dog through hardship. Would you want that for your dog?
Ear infections can affect your dog. Your vet can recommend you administer ear drops to reduce your dog’s inflammation or swelling on their ears.
Dogs often resist ear drops because of fear and discomfort. Here are tips that can ensure your dog cooperates and does not suffer when you administer ear drops.
Train your dog to have a positive association with the medication bottle
Seeing the medication bottle can make your dog uncomfortable. Bringing the bottle out when it is time to administer the treatment can make the dog disappear. Dogs can easily learn our behaviors. Seeing some items can quickly jog their memory. Remembering the unpleasant experience makes them react.
You can leave the medication bottle in an open space. Put treats near the container for your dog. Initially, the dog might be hesitant to eat the treats.
Do not worry if your dog does not immediately finish the delicacies. Once the dog completes the first treat, move the bottle and put another delicacy near the container. Repeat for several days or weeks.
If you need to keep the medication at a specific temperature range, put a reminder on your phone. You can leave the container in the open for a particular duration before returning it to the refrigerator.
Find a different place to administer the medication from the dog’s favorite place
If you are observant, you are likely to identify spots your dog likes spending its time. Mark these areas. When the time comes to administer the medication, avoid these places. Avoiding them ensures your dog does not associate them with adverse experiences.
You should also administer the medication in a relatively small area. A small space ensures the dog does not run away from you. Administer the medicine in a corner with the dog facing out to avoid the pet backing away from you. If the pet is small, you may place the dog on a table.
Have everything ready and nearby
Have all the items you may need nearby. Making them accessible ensures you can finish the process without leaving the area. You may need an adequate supply of treats, restraints, and medication.
Administering the medication can be a two-person task. The process will be smooth if you have help. Your helper may dispense the treats or hold the dog. You will be free to concentrate on the process of administering the medication.
Breakdown of the application process
You have to take several actions before the medication reaches your dog’s ears. Breaking down the administration process can help you identify where the resistance starts.
Treat your dog and note each step you complete without a fuss. Remove the treat when the dog reacts negatively to an action. Go back a few steps and do it again until your dog does not resist.
Investigate the ear
Seek clearance from a vet before touching your pet’s ears. Proceed if you get the nod from the vet. Reach out to your dog’s ears and touch them. Note your dog’s reaction as you make contact with them.
Caress and give the dog a treat if it does not react badly. Take away the delicacy if the dog reacts negatively. Repeat step four to six times.
If your dog resists your contact, break the touch to smaller steps. Administer the treat and pet the dog for each stage you complete. Take away the delicacy when you encounter any resistance.
When you overcome each hostility, continue to lift the flap and manipulate the ear. Reward the dog for every action you take without opposition.
Add the medication bottle
Repeat touching your dog’s ears while having the medicine nearby. Your dog should have very little opposition to the procedure.
Your earlier approach of normalizing the bottle should be yielding the results you want. Note if your dog has any resistance to any step and take away the treat.
Simulate the solution application
Administering the medication will involve additional steps. Some obstacles may hinder your process. Simulating it enables you to identify any challenges early. Take measures to manage them to avoid messing up the main activity.
Challenges you may identify may include difficulty in concentrating and shaking. Mitigate them before you administer the medicine. Reward the dog or take away the treat if the dog resists.
Administer the drops
Your dog should now appreciate that the process is relatively straightforward. The treats should prepare the dog for the final step. Administer the drops the same as the simulation approach.
The only difference is you remove the cap. Reward the dog after every droplet. Engage the dog in a positive activity when you finish.
You may think you are through once the drops reach their target. Unfortunately, you have some more work to do. The work is for your good. You need to teach your dog to cooperate when administering ear drops.
Practicing enables your dog to be comfortable with the process. Go through the steps as often as possible, except for the last one.
Make the medication container an everyday object. Ensure your dog sees the bottle near treats frequently.
Training your dog to accept medications without fuss helps you. Practicing may take some time. However, the potential benefits you will get are worth it.
Training involves desensitizing and counter-conditioning your dog. You offer rewards for each step you complete.
In case of resistance, you take away the treat. Practice with your dog to ensure you administer ear drops without significant opposition.