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Changing medication Flavoring for improved compliance

Flavors for your pets medications

One of the biggest challenges with prescription drugs is a simple fact: some patients simply do not like taking medications. From a child who can not stand the taste of a cough syrup, to a cat that refuses to take an antibiotic, taking medication is rarely a pleasant experience. It does not have to be that way. Each patient is unique, with certain likes and dislikes. Others have difficulty swallowing a pill and may be better off responding if the pill were instead compounded into a liquid suspension. A striking solution to these problems is a flavored medicine. Medicine does not have to taste bad.

Cats, dogs, exotic pets and even zoo animals are also candidates for flavored medicines. Cats do not like pills, but they like fish. Dogs may not like a splash of traditional medicine in their mouths, but they like it when they eat chicken.

In close collaboration with a pet owner and a veterinarian, a pharmacist can refine a drug individually to taste and preferences for all types of animals. There are flavors of meat, cheese, chicken and liver for dogs; Fish for cats Horses prefer alfalfa, cherry, apple, carrot and molasses. Even birds, rodents and reptiles have preferences that can be met by a compound pharmacist.

As with humans, some animals may require alternative dosage forms such as pastes, puddings or traditional pet biscuits and treats. Cats are notorious for eating right around a pill that is camouflaged in food, but the right combination of taste and appearance can be difficult to treat your pets.

The benefits of pet flavors

To be fair, you can not blame a pet for not wanting to swallow a pill dry. Have you ever tried to force down an aspirin or a vitamin without a water or juice chaser? Not only that, but as humans, we have a vertical esophagus, whereas an animal's esophagus is almost horizontal, so patients do not even have the benefit of gravity coming to their aid. Adding flavor to a pet's medication eliminates the need for the pet to swallow a pill dry. When flavoring is added, the capsule, tablet or liquid formulation is camouflaged in a tasty liquid preparation that will easily slip down the pet's esophagus.

A recent study suggested that forcing pills or capsules down a pets throat may not be a good idea because the delicate lining of the esophagus may become irritated or ulcerated. The study also found that capsules were trapped in more than 50% of cats esophagus.

Flavoring the medication of a pet is also a way to ensure compliance. Many pets do not receive the prescribed amount of medication for the necessary duration; Owners often give up because the ordeal is too dehydrating or because the pet "refuses" to take the medicine or spit it out.

How the Process Works

Crushing up pills and mixing or hiding them in food is not advised because some foods may alter how the medication works chemically and can interfere with the drug's intended purpose. The easiest and safest way to medicate a patient is by turning the bitter or bad-tasting medication into a liquid form and flavoring it so the patient willingly accepts it.

A growing number of veterinary hospitals and pharmacies have the ability and are willing to take the time to compound veterinary prescriptions. Compounding involves mixing or changing the drug's form.

What Flavors are Preferred and Why

Cats do not have the sensory receptors needed to taste sweet stimuli,so they do not respond very well to sweet tastes like dogs do. Cats also do not like bitter-tasting drugs. Flavors that cats respond well to include fish (e.g., tuna, salmon, shrimp, whitefish, sardine), bacon, beef, and chicken.

Dogs like meat, cheese, and sweet flavors. They especially enjoy flavors such as bubblegum and peanut butter. Ferrets enjoy bubblegum and other sweet flavors as well. Birds and gerbils typically like fruity and sweet flavors, whereas horses, as expected, like such flavors as molasses and apple.

  • Honey
  • Kream
  • Lemon
  • Lemon Custard
  • Lettuce Salad
  • Liver


Since it is sometimes extremely difficult to administer medicines to pets, the flavoring of the animal's medicines is one way to improve medical compliance. This process allows veterinary staff to better control disease, helps the pet recover faster, and prevents the development of more serious clinical problems. The goal of flavoring pet medications is to make the liquid concoction taste like a treat so the pet wants to drink it.