Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Treat Tuesday: DIY Pill Pockets Again

I started making my own pill pocket treats for Brisbane a couple of months ago, and since then I have made a few batches and learned a few things I wanted to share. Briz is allergic to chicken, turkey, duck, and eggs, and every flavor of Greenies Pill Pockets contains either chicken or duck. Here are the batches I have attempted so far:

Coconut flour/beef babyfood/coconut oil: It has been super hot here for the last several months with no sign of cooling off anytime soon. It has been so hot for so long that I forgot what coconut oil does when it gets cold. Like most fats, coconut oil turns to a nice hard solid when refrigerated. This batch of pill treats went from perfect texture to rock hard once I stuck them in the fridge. We still used them, but I had to let them sit out or roll them around in my hands a bit before I could squish the pills into them.

Coconut flour/bacon/bacon fat: Guess what else goes hard in the fridge? Bacon fat! These were definitely a lot tastier than the babyfood ones, but I ended up adding some peanut butter to get the texture right.

pill treats for dogs with allergies
Unlike most bloggers, I am willing to show you my sloppily-formed
DIY pill pockets in all their lumpy glory.
Rice flour/Steak/Liver/Bone Broth/ Peanut Butter: I just made a huge batch of these and forming them into little pockets took forever. I tried adding a bit of xanthan gum to see how it changed the texture, but I don't think it did much. Maybe next time I'll add some gelatin for curiosity's sake. Yet again, I didn't set out to make these peanut butter treats, but I ended up adding it to help with the texture.

My ideal pill pocket texture is as close to the freshly-opened Greenies Pill Pockets as I can make it. This is a lot like playdough, it needs to stick to itself and be easily squished from one shape into another, but not be so sticky that the tub of them turns into an amorphous blob. This latest batch really didn't stick to itself, it resisted being rolled into shape and instead had to be smooshed rather firmly. I know that cream of tartar is what gives a homemade playdough its distinctive texture, maybe I should try that next.


  1. It's funny you posted pill pockets again as I've been making them for a few weeks now. My rescue is on antibiotics and is impossible to give pills to. I laughed when I saw your pics. You actually make a pill pocket. I totally missed the boat there. I have been making a paste and then when it's pill time I get a finger full and wrap it around the pill. When you said like play dough in the last post that's all I went by. Ha. Mine are also very simple. I use equal-ish parts of rice flower, Greek yogurt and coconut oil. The bacon grease worked better but I don't always have that. Thanks for the awesome post! It saved the hell I was going through giving my old gal pills! Love this blog!

    1. Awesome! So glad it worked for you! I did get tired of forming pockets at the end and just rolled them into individual balls. Do you have trouble with your coconut pill paste going hard in the fridge?

    2. Actually it's not bad. Its firm but soft enough that I just have to scoop some with my finger and it's just right to form around the pill. It is kind of sticky but the dogs love it, so I'm thrilled.