Word of Caution on Doggie Prozac

I read an article in The Brooklyn Paper recently, and was appalled by the simplistic approach it took to canine psychopharmacology. The gist of the article was: we had a dog that bit, so we had the idea to give him Prozac, but we had to work to convince our veterinarian, and now he’s cured.

Even the photo comment makes light of Dutch’s behavior:
“Dutch is a violent Mr. Hyde until he pops his Prozac, as this photo sequence shows.”

Do not believe that solving behavior issues is this easy. Just like people, psychopharmacology affects every dog differently. It has been documented that Prozac can actually lower bite inhibition in some dogs, making them more likely to bite in stressful situations.

Psychopharmacology can be a good option for your dog, but it needs to be considered carefully. Drugs need to be paired with a proper training protocol. Again, like people, psychiatry involves medication AND talk therapy. The best approach for severe behavior issues is to work with a qualified trainer who may refer you to a Veterinary Behaviorist to address the medication needs. A good trainer and Veterinary Behaviorist will communicate with each other about your dog and his progress.

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