We all know that the food we eat plays an important role in keeping us healthy, avoiding disease, and even in helping us to manage the symptoms of pre-existing medical conditions. The same can be said for our dogs and cats. In fact, a number of prescription therapeutic diets are available to help treat and relieve symptoms of many canine and feline ailments. Before the age of the internet, most pet health products could only be purchased through a veterinarian's office. Now there are many online stores where pet care products and treatments can be obtained. However, the Food and Drug Administration is seeking to regulate prescription diets so that they can only be obtained from a veterinary practice.
Therapeutic diets play a major part in maintaining quality of life. For an overweight pet, there are special formulas which contain fewer calories and increased fiber to encourage weight loss. Those pets that are prone to urinary tract disorders, such as bladder stones, can eat prescription formulas to reduce the risk of them recurring. Therapeutic diets are also available for conditions such as joint pain, diabetes, dental disease, digestive upsets, food allergies, kidney and liver disease, and age-related dementia. For some individuals, these diets are essential to keep them in good health and avoid periods of sickness, such as dogs with pancreatitis that need a low-fat diet.
One issue pet parents have with prescription diets is that they are usually more costly when compared to regular kibble or canned food that can be purchased from the supermarket or pet store. Because of this, many pet parents have looked to buy them online to keep their costs to a minimum. The FDA does not want prescription pet foods to be sold online. They want to discourage pet parents from treating their four-legged companion without having first obtained a proper diagnosis from a vet. This government body also aims to regulate how such foods are marketed and promoted. Manufacturers will be discouraged from making claims on their labels that their product can treat a medical condition unless the food has been assessed and approved for that purpose. Such foods need to undergo the same tests as drugs to make sure that they're both safe and effective.
For pet parents, this means they'll need to spend a little extra money buying their prescription food from their veterinarian. This will ultimately improve the care that's offered to pets. The FDA's planned regulation will prevent pet parents feeding an inappropriate prescription food to their furry friend without being sure of what's wrong with them, or giving a therapeutic diet to a healthy pet. Both can have potentially dire consequences.
Prescription diets are an important part of managing a pet's medical condition and can play as significant a role as drug treatment. While they may be a little more expensive than regular food, in the long term, they're cheaper and better for a pet than being treated for a flare-up of their disease. Buying these foods from a veterinary clinic allows vets to monitor their patient's condition, and parents will be assured that their much-loved pets are being cared for and treated appropriately.