A Diet Pill For Dogs? Somebody Shoot Me!

A diet pill for dogs has got to be the worst idea since screen doors on submarines. Here’s the story.

Last week, Mary and I (and our Dachshunds Tucker and Gracie) escaped the hot Sonora desert to enjoy a brief but refreshing road trip to the picturesque mountain retreat of Ruidoso, NM, where we visited some friends.

Upon returning to my usual mountain of emails, I found an announcement about how the massive drug giant Pfizer has just released the first FDA-approved prescription diet pill for dogs!

It’s called “Slentrol.”

Well, nothing puts a rock in my flip-flops quite like the greedy drug companies coming out with another “miracle” pill the modern world can’t live without – aided and abetted by good veterinarians much too eager to suspend their disbelief.

The idea that you, or your dog, can drop pounds and achieve legitimate fitness by taking a prescription pill is ludicrous!

Pfizer claims that a pill a day for three months or so will do the trick. Slentrol works in your dog’s digestive tract by preventing the absorption of fat. It also makes doggy feel full.

Unfortunate side effects include

• Vomiting
• Loose stools
• Diarrhea
• Sluggishness

What’s worse, any drug that prevents the absorption of fat (GlaxoSmithKline’s “Alli” for people comes to mind) will likewise prevent the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, which are vital to good health in all mammals.

Your dog will no longer assimilate the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which are crucial to good eyesight, a shiny coat, good heart health, and strong bones. And Slentrol will rob your dog of Co Q-10, the critical energy source for almost every cell in your dog’s body and chief contributor to the healthy functioning of all major organs like the heart, brain and liver.

Say goodbye to essential Omega-3 fats too. Although dogs evolved over thousands of years on a diet of protein and fats, your dog will have to do without Omega-3s which are the key to reducing heart disease, high blood pressure, increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and maintaining strong and healthy joints, eyesight, and immune systems.

So then why in the name of holy Toledo would you eliminate all the goodness in your dog’s diet just to help shed a few pounds? Isn’t there a more sane approach to achieving good health than a diet pill for dogs?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. ‘…now Gary’s going to launch into his usual harangue about the importance of getting enough exercise. Then he’ll probably remind me that somebody once said, ‘If your dog’s fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.’’

Well, yes, exercise is profoundly important, but I’m going to save that rant for another article.

For now, let me just ask you to use your imagination. Think about all the good things your dog gets with proper vitamins, minerals and herbs – good eyesight, a shiny coat, a healthy heart, strong bones and teeth, clean arteries, good HDL cholesterol, a robust immune system, increased longevity, and vibrant energy flowing to every cell in his body.

After all, isn’t that what you want for your dog… or cat? Isn’t that reason enough to just avoid dangerous prescription drugs altogether – especially a diet pill for dogs?

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