A stress pill for dogs?

by Leanne Thompson on January 3, 2009

We all know that dogs can get stressed, particularly when they’re left on their own during the day while their owners are at work, but should you be offering your dog medication for stress? A UK firm believes so, after they bought the rights for some US invented drugs for dogs.

Dogs are big business in America, and the dog medication industry is worth £33 billion in the US every year, with some dog drugs heading to the UK. In the US, dog and cat owners are able to buy pet medications for everything from obesity to depression.

Acura Pharma, the British company, has bought two of the US drugs and plans on selling them to the UK dog owner market. The two drugs are similar to Prozac and help dogs contain aggression, and battle against OCD.

Despite the drugs being widely used in the US, they were invented by a Brit, vet Dr Nicholas Dodman.

People are bonkers about their pets, as they should be.

Most pet owners understand that animals are living, sentient creatures-that have emotions similar to our own. Pets face more mental health problems for the same reasons we do as we live increasingly constrained, pedestrian lifestyles.

Not everyone agrees that drugs are required in dog training though, with veterinary surgeon Dr Ian Dunbar stating:

I’ve never had to resort to drugs to deal with some quite serious mental problems. But the average pet owner wants a pill because he thinks it’s a simple solution.

He claims that the drug manufacturers in the US have ‘badgered’ vets to prescribe the drugs for dog owners to administer to their dogs, stating that psychological conditions within dogs are impossible to diagnose, and hence treat with medication.

The drugs will be tested in the UK before being released, and must be prescribed from a vet.

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