Pet Connection: Tricks can help medicine-taking time go more smoothly

Are there straitjackets for dogs? That’s what I’ve been wondering lately as we struggle to medicate the ears of Keeper, one of our cavalier King Charles spaniels.

One night, I waited until he was settled on my lap, which worked somewhat better, but I still think I got more medication on the sofa than in his ears.

The next morning, I used a little psychological tactic that has worked well in the past when there are multiple dogs in the home.


Gather some treats:

Call the dog you don’t want. Usually they will all come running anyway if they know you have treats. Pick up the dog who doesn’t need treatment and put her on the treatment area (on top of the dryer in our house).

Give her a treat, comb her or fondle her ears, give her lots of praise and then give more treats. Set her down. (Adjust this advice as needed for large dogs.) By this time, the dog who needs medication or grooming is eager to undergo treatment, too.

Repeat, giving lots of treats and praise before, during and after medicating the ears, brushing the teeth or whatever it is your dog doesn’t like you to do. Voila! Medicated ears with a minimum of fuss.


Holiday precautions:

Easter is coming up, bringing the reminder that Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats.

The leaves, flowers, pollen and even the water in the vase can all cause severe and possibly fatal kidney failure in your cat. Do not bring these flowers into your home.

If you receive them as a gift, pass them on to a cat-free neighbor or friend. Your wallet will thank you for saving it from a very expensive veterinary bill.


More cool pet products:

Dr. Becker attended Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., last month and chose 10 products as Becker’s Best. We featured five last week, and the other five are here. Check out all 10, with photos, at


Does your dog wolf his food and then throw up because he ate so fast? Slo-Bowl helps dogs slow down and relax while they eat. $14.99 to $24.99 at

I always break a nail every time I try to attach tags to dog collars, so I think this was a genius pick. The Links-It Pet ID Tag Connector is an award-winning solution to easily, quickly and securely attaching tags to collars. $7.99 at

Keep your dog busy with this tough 10-inch ball. You can increase the weight of the Tuggo Dog Toy by adding water, bringing it up to as much as 20 pounds. The attached rope allows your dog to play by himself, with another dog or with you. $29.99 at

We haven’t forgotten cats. The Kong Glide ’n Seek Cat Toy uses magnetic levitation technology to encourage cats to bat at the enclosed feathers. $24.99 at pet-supply stores.