January 02, 2014

Homemade Pill Pockets for Dogs (a peanut butter version)

Pill pockets - homemade

We adopted two abandoned puppies only to find out a few months later both suffer from birth defects that affect both their knees and their hips.  The muscles in their legs are on the side of their leg instead of down the front where they are supposed to be.  From February through June 2013 we were in dog recovery mode for 5 surgeries between the two of them.  And that was just 1 leg each.  They both will need surgeries on the second legs in time but I'm getting off subject.  The topic today is about giving your pets pills and that is the background story as to how I became interested in ways to give our dogs pills.

During this time one of our dogs came to hate taking her pills.  I don't blame her!  They were taking up to 4-5 at a time, 3 times a day when they first got home from surgery.  We generally gave them their pills in a bite of "peanut butter sandwich" as we kept the end slices of whole wheat bread on the counter along with a jar of peanut butter and would rip a little piece off, hide the pills and give them their snack.  This worked great at first but soon one of the dogs started to figure it out and would eat the peanut butter and spit out the pill.  Our second dog gobbles food so fast she has no clue we hide pills in the bites and eats them without a care in the world.  The other dog though?  She's a smart one.  And headstrong and rebellious. 

Stores sell little "pill pockets" in various flavors from peanut butter to duck to chicken and more... but they are $10 for a bag of 30 and when you have dogs taking multiple pills or daily pills for long term illness or pain, that can add up.  Using a recipe for "edible play dough" you can form your own little pockets.  As a matter of fact, I did a quick 10 second search this morning for homemade recipes for pill pockets and saw that there are a LOT of them;  ranging from peanut butter to steak sauce, hickory flavor, chicken to cheese.  All are similar but different.  The general idea however, is to form a dough around the pill.

Make these for the size pills your dogs need.  We have some that are huge and some pills that are tiny.  You can simply keep the dough in a baggy in the refrigerator and wrap a bit of dough around the pill just before giving, or you can form them into little pockets like I did.  I let mine set on aluminum foil to dry for 24 hours and then put them into a baggy in the refrigerator to store.  Depending on the size of your dog and the pill this makes anywhere from 30-75.  I made 50 of them.

Homemade Peanut Butter Pill Pockets

1/2 c milk
1/2 c peanut butter
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c all purpose flour

Mix in a bowl with a spoon until it forms a ball.  Then knead it with your hands to finish blending smooth.  Form into little balls or ovals the size you need for the pills your dog takes.  You can use the end of a wooden spoon to form the pocket.  You can also leave it in dough form and keep it sealed in a container or baggy in the refrigerator to grab a bit of dough and form around your pill.  Makes between 30-75 pockets depending on the size. 

When it comes together to form a ball you can remove it and knead it smooth in your hands - like Play Dough!

My dogs could smell it and BEGGED for a taste. They LOVED it. Good!  Now I know they'll eat them!

I formed little pockets with the end of a wooden spoon.  You can simply form the dough around the pill too.

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