Picture of Cheap and Easy Pill Pockets for Dogs
I learned this trick as a pet sitter - it is cheap and easy and works for very finicky dogs who love to spit out pills.  If you need to give your dog pills on a daily basis it is great because it takes the hassle out of giving pills to your dog.

I decided to post this Instructable because lately I have noticed the Greenies Pill Pockets that are sold in pet stores.  I love Greenies, but I wanted people to know that there is a very inexpensive way to make your own pill pocket.

All you need to make your cheap and easy pill pockets is:

* hot dogs (vienna sausages are a great choice for smaller dogs)
* a pill
* chopsticks
* knife to cut hot dog

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Cut a piece of hot dog off

Picture of Cut a piece of hot dog off
This is pretty self explanatory.  Cut a piece of your hot dog off.  You are going to use this to put the pill in, so it should be large enough to hide the pill in, but small enough so your dog can eat it in one gulp.

Step 2: Insert chopstick through the hot dog

Picture of Insert chopstick through the hot dog
Insert your chopstick through the hot dog length wise.  If you don't have a chopstick, you could use a ball point pen (leave the cap on) or something similar.  I highly recommend chopsticks though, because they are the perfect size for most pills and have a pointier end.

Step 3: Hide pill in the hot dog

Picture of Hide pill in the hot dog
Take your chopstick out and push your pill in the hole that the chopstick left.

Step 4: Feed the hot dog to your dog

Picture of Feed the hot dog to your dog
This is the fun part - feed the hot dog with pill inside to your dog, who will be so happy that you are feeding him/her a hot dog that they will gulp it down and not even realize there is a pill inside!
frozzy2421 days ago

Our 8 year old Belle has hurt her left hind paw/leg somehow (presumably jumping on and off of the bed or couch). Her vet prescribed an anti-inflammatory pill and a pain pill. She does not like peanut butter, cheese nor any of the usual likes that most dogs have. She also has a food allergy and HAS to taste test everything we put in her bowl or hand feed her. So we thought we were being sneaky the other night, she loves chicken and pork, so, I stuffed a pill inside of a piece of chicken....nope, out came the pill and down went the chicken, lol. The same thing happened when we tried it with pork the next night. She does not like hot dogs (except her chi-weenie brother Chucky), but I never thought of the chicken franks.

After discussing our dilemma with her vet, I was just going to text my hubby to pick up some pill pockets on his way home, maybe I'll ask him to bring chicken franks too. Chucky will eat anything after-all, and he can have what Belle won't. ;)

Thanks for the idea!

AlanJ24 months ago

i have a 15 yr old takes pills daily. have done this he smells the pill.we have used hot dogs vienna sausage peanut butter cheese hamburgers eggs these are all okay short term. im thinking on my next pill pocket[homemade] i may melt a tad of cheese on the open end

nmacmoragh3 years ago
yay a hot dog!!
It would be great if someone would just make a less expensive Pill Pocket. Maybe I've just found my calling in life.

Greenies ARE expensive. Are they kidding?
susanrm4 years ago
I wouldn't feed my dog or cat commercial hot dogs - almost as nasty as commercial pet food. I'm looking to find a good substitute for my cat's pill pockets. He devours the Greenies ones now, and he's very finicky.
fraugefahr (author)  susanrm4 years ago
To each his own. Our dog is pretty finicky, so I use whatever works, and figure, in small amounts, the greater good of getting her meds outweighs the bad.

If you find a good solution for your cat, I'd love to know. One idea might be to get some fresh chicken or meat from a butcher and use that.
I've tried meat. The only pill I need to "pocket" is a little round black one that is impossible to crush in the mortar and pestle (which I do with his other supplements) and tastes terrible if I let it dissolve in his food. If I try to wrap food around it, he eats the food and spits out the pill. The pocket is the only thing he will inhale straight down without chewing... oh well!
fraugefahr (author)  susanrm4 years ago
Yeah, I think cats would be a little bit harder to pill than dogs. A lot of dogs will gulp down anything, whereas cats, well, not so much! :) How big is the pill? Maybe wrapping the pill in a little piece of cheese would work, that way he wouldn't be able to separate it from the pill and spit it out.

Dairy isn't good for cats, unfortunately. I found a recipe online that I will try. It's a lot of work. Oh well!
 heres a good tip:

get c0cktail sausages and cut in half, then insert the chopstick down half the length of the pill, do the same for the other sidethen stick the pill half in one side and the other in the other side
baudeagle5 years ago
We just baste the pills in peanut butter.  The dogs love peanut butter!
fraugefahr (author)  baudeagle5 years ago
Yes, peanut butter is great for most dogs - but unfortunately for us, our dog doesn't like peanut butter :(  Thus the hot dog pill pocket :)
sr1sws5 years ago
Nice, Greenies are expensive (IMHO).  My dog likes whole wheat bread, which works for *some* meds ;-)
fraugefahr (author)  sr1sws5 years ago
Thanks!  Never thought about the bread - that's a good one!