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Vitality Vetcare

Phone: 02 6687 0675
4a Ballina Rd Bangalow
NSW 2479 Australia

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine

There is no separation between conventional and natural therapies.

Our priority is what is going to be of the most benefit to your animal.

Voluntary Wildlife Care

Voluntary Wildlife Care

Pro-bono treatment of Australian wildlife

We collaborate with local wildlife groups to provide excellent care of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine

We use Western and Chinese herbal medicines for a wide range of acute and chronic problems including skin, digestive, nervous and painful conditions.

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Homeopathy can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of acute and long-term problems for a particular animal or group of animals.


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The Dreaded Pill

on Monday, 23 May 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Medicating your pet can be a better experience for all.

Giving your pets tablets can seem like a daunting task but once you know how it can be quite a simple process. Below is a step by step guide to give you a helping hand.

pill cartoon 1Step 1 - Standing next to your pet restrain their head by gripping the cheek-bones to hold the head firmly using the lips to cover the top teeth. Make sure you use your left hand if you are right-handed. It is best to approach your pet from the side rather than from above as dogs and cats often feel threatened when approached from above.

Step 2 - Gently tilt the head upwards, and use the middle finger of the hand holding the tablet to pull the lower jaw down and open the mouth.

Step 3 - Hold the tablet in your right hand between your thumb and index finger.  Place or drop the tablet as far back over the tongue as possible, then immediately close the mouth and gently rub the cats throat which will encourage them to swallow.

Step 4 - Monitor for the next 30 seconds or so to make sure the tablet has been swallowed.

Step 5 - This may take a few attempts before you have success but will get easier with practice.

The staff at Vitality Vetcare are more that happy to walk you through this procedure the next time you dog or cat needs medicating.

Practising this technique with treats is a great way to teach your pet that tableting doesn't always mean a bitter tasting pill is coming and will generally make the real thing a much more pleasent and safe experience for you and your pet.

Tips on Tablet Training-

Have you dog or cats favourite treat at hand. Liver treats or small kibbles are good as they are similar size to tables.

Restrain your pet as in step 1. Let go and give treat. Repeat this 2-3 times. If you dog or cat is calm and responding well move onto the next step. If they are still anxious wait until they are calm and repeat this process (you may need to try again the next day).

Once responding well move onto step 2. Gently tilt the head upwards and open the mouth as in Step 2, let go and give the treat. Repeat as needed.

When ready, move onto Step 3 but use a treat rather than a tablet.

Incorporating these training sessions into your pets training routine not only makes tableting easier but often helps to build trust between you and you pet.


Some pets will take tablets hidden in food and we've offered some advise on making it a successful procedure.

First ensure that the tablet can be given with food - some tablets should always be given with food, and most can be given with food. However, some tablets must not be given with food - always check first.

If it is safe to give with food:

Make sure your pet is hungry! Take all food away for 12 hours to make sure your dog or cat will want to eat.

Some tablets are made specifically to be palatable to animals and you can try just feeding these tablets like giving a treat.  However, often small dogs and cats can be very fussy and will not eat tablets voluntarily on their own because (even if designed to be palatable) the flavour and/or texture may be unfamiliar to them.

If the tablet is small, your pet may take it hidden in a small amount of a favourite food, such as soft food that your pet really likes, soft cheese, a small piece of soft meat or fish, or butter

Make sure the tablet is completely hidden in just a small amount of food that you will offer.

You can offer the food in the their normal bowl or from your hand. For dogs making it seem exciting like getting a treat sometimes helps.

If your pet eats the food, check to make sure it has also eaten the tablet and not left it behind or spat it out.

You can then give him/her the rest of their normal meal.

Some animals, especially cats, are clever at finding the tablet buried in food may eat around the pill or spit it out. If safe to do so (always check with you vet first) you may be able to crush the tablet and mix it thoroughly in a small amount of very tasty food. This works best with palatable tablets, and with a strong- flavoured foods that your cat really loves (such as some tinned fish in oil). Crushing the pill between two spoons works well or pill crushers are commercially available.

Again the team at Vitality Vetcare are available to offer help and advice, so please don't hesitate to call!


Opening Hours

10am - 6pm Tue - Thur

Consultations by appointment only. A late appointment may be available on Thursday evenings

Late cancellation fees may apply


Emergencies: please call your referring general practice vet or

North Coast Emergency Vets, Ballina 0424 054 056 weekends & PH

Animal Emergency Service, Carrara, Gold Coast 07 5559 1599


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