1. Because the reddish-orange gelcap contents (containing lycopene, which is derived from tomatoes) can stain fabric, carpet, and fur like ketchup does, it is best if you find a creative way to have your pet swallow the Ocu-GLO™ gelcap whole and NOT have them chew it. To help with this, you can hide the gelcap in a soft treat such as peanut butter, cream cheese, Cool-Whip®, Kraft Cheez-Whiz®, squirt Kraft Easy Cheese®, marshmallows, or canned pet food (especially if your dog normally only eats dry food). Other suggestions: Form finely grated cheese around the capsule (keep a container of cheese in fridge for this purpose). Also, a slice of chicken/ham/turkey wrapped around the gelcap; sometimes it is best to use a VERY thin slice of meat to closely wrap around the gelcaps, such as Carl Buddig Thinly Sliced Meat®. Other suggestions: braunschweiger (liver paste) and pound cake. Try giving a small amount of the food without the gelcap first to lower your pet's suspicions (see #5 below).
2. Use Pill Pockets®, a specially formulated soft moldable treat designed to hide pills and capsules. There are four flavors for dogs: Chicken, Hickory Smoke, Peanut Butter, and Grain-Free (Duck and Pea). Many veterinary clinics also carry Pill Pockets®.
3. Slice up a couple of hot dogs (a healthy brand) and put them in a plastic bag with your dog's gelcaps. Refrigerate for 24 hours. When you are ready to give your dog Ocu-GLO™, start by giving a few chunks of hot dog, followed by the gelcap. The gelcap will smell like the hot dog, so your dog will think that’s what they’re eating. Don’t give rounded ends of the hot dog without halving them first, as they can be a choking hazard.
4. Try giving Ocu-GLO™ gelcaps when your dog is hungry, just before mealtime. If you have multiple dogs, give them ALL treats at the time that the gelcaps are given, so that they are all eager to have a treat; this enhances the desire to eat the gelcaps.
5. Immediately after giving your dog the Ocu-GLO™ gelcap, give them another bite of food or treat as a “bite chaser”. This will help ensure that your dog has swallowed the gelcaps. Another trick is to give 3 treats instead of 2-- 2 “undoctored” and 1 “doctored” with Ocu-GLO™: Give an undoctored treat, then quickly give the doctored one, then quickly give the “bite chaser” undoctored one, so your dog is eager to swallow the second treat in order to get to the third one.
6. Some dogs, no matter what, will not take the gelcap whole. If this is the case, some owners will cut the tip off the gelcap (be careful-- it is messy!) and mix with food, and also cut up the capsule into bits and put in the food too in order to make sure that the entire dose is taken. Remember that for these dogs, they might like Ocu-GLO™PB capsules better ! (see the Ocu-GLO™PB dosage suggestions for more information).
7. Try associating Ocu-GLO™ treat time with a sound reinforcer. Shake the bottle of Ocu-GLO™ and then start giving the treat(s), so that your dog comes running at the sound!
8. Professional method: Open your dog's mouth, place the gelcap as far back in the throat as possible and hold the mouth shut for 5-10 seconds to make them swallow. You might also try gently blowing in your dog's nose as this will cause them to swallow. If you are not sure how to do this, have your veterinarian's staff show you how.