Pill Popping Pets

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Pharmaceuticals are a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. As a result pet pharmaceuticals have turned into one of the fastest growing segments within the industry. The latest hype is a lifestyle drug called Reconcile.

It’s aimed at combating troubled canines for depression, anxiety and bad behavior.

It’s a trend that some say is resulting in pill popping pets.

"Everyone wants a quick fix so they want me to give them a pill to solve the problem," says Bonnie Beaver, Animal Behaviorist at Texas A&M’s Small Animal Hospital.

Dr. Beaver said Reconcile is virtually the same as human Prozac except the doggy version is repackaged into a chewable, beef-flavored tablet.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved this drug safe for dogs and puppies six months or older.

More than ten million dogs across the country deal with a form of depression such as pet separation anxiety--barking, whining and showing signs of stress when their owner leaves their sight.

So naturally pet owners will do whatever it takes to ensure their pet’s health and safety.

Paula Roberts and her husband have been raising Yorkshire terriers for more than decade.

She said recently a vet prescribed puppy Prozac to her granddaughters’ dog. But Paula quickly turned down the idea and came up with a solution of her own.

“We ended up giving our granddaughter another dog so that her dog had another mate," Paula explained. "Then it completely solved the problem. No behavior issues whatsoever."

According to Dr. Beaver drugs help but they are not the answer. That’s why she prescribes Reconcile in conjunction with behavior modification training.

"Ultimately it is the interaction and the behavior modification that is going to make the difference."

Paula says animals need companionship, “People forget that they buy a Yorkie like Sky and they think oh this is wonderful, they don’t think about the quality of life on dogs it’s just as important as your quality of life.”

An underlying quality that many pet owners may take for granted--dogs forgive so easily and love unconditionally.

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