Americans will spend more than $53 billion dollars on their pets this year.  That’s the projection of the American Pet Products Association.  We’ve increased the amount we spend on Fido and FiFi by more than $20 billion in just the last ten years.  We spare them nothing, even antidepressants, though given the amount we spend it’s hard to imagine what they’re depressed about.

The ASPCA informs pet owners that there are times and conditions where administering medication to address behavioral disorders is advised, something Dr. Bonnie Beaver concurs with.  She’s a professor of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at  Texas A & M, has written countless books, articles and given lectures all over the world. 

Dr. Beaver says if a pet-owner is having issues with their dog, the first thing to do is get a diagnosis from your veterinarian.  “What we need to do with any problem is establish a diagnosis,” she tells KTRH News. “Medicines are effective in about 20% of the problems.  So it is not a panacea.”

Among the medications recommended by the ASPCA are benzodiazepines (such as Valium or Xanax), tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil or Tryptanol), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Anapril), and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Prozac and Paxil or Zoloft).  In many instances there are variations of these medications that are strictly intended for canines.  Only a veterinarian can diagnose your dog/s condition and prescribe these medications.

“That type of medication is used for problems that are associated with stereo-type behaviors, repetitive behaviors and obsessive compulsive ones,” Dr. Beaver says. “And that’s kind of arbitrary because we don’t know what they’re thinking, we just observe them doing the same thing over and over and over again.”

Americans spend $12.65 billion on supplies and over the counter medications for pets annually, and $13.67 on veterinarian services.