J500 Media and the Environment

Prozac for a Pooch by brennad87
April 25, 2009, 10:20 am
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , , , ,

Berkely knows each dawn that it is only a matter of time before they come for her. So nervous she can barely eat, she glances from side to side. Suddenly, hands belonging to one who professes to love her grip her tiny body. Struggle as she might against them, they deposit her in the white room. The door clicks. Berkely will be alone in her cell for the next ten hours. She plays mindless games: spinning in circles, itching her skin until it bleeds. She paces back and forth and cries, hoping someone will hear her. The room soon fills with the stench of her excrement. Finally, at seven pm, her daily solitary confinement is over. She is free, but she is also a nervous wreck.

Pet owners are increasingly medicating their depressed pets.

Pet owners are increasingly medicating their depressed pets.


And so, Berkely’s owner decided to buy her Reconcile, the anti-depressant just for dogs. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating separation anxiety, a problem occurring when dogs are left home alone, beef-flavored Reconcile is identical to Prozac. Pet depression is widespread. In the UK alone, an estimated 632,000 cats and dogs suffer from depression and busy pet owners trying to medicate away their bad parenting increasingly turn towards these drugs as solution for their blue beagles. Reconcile may help Berkely stay sane in her current environment. But her sanity would also return if she had a little more time outside and if she wasn’t alone all day— no medication needed. However, lacking time for that, her owner uses Reconcile to reconcile her desires for a busy life and a pet. It works. After all, Berkely may be confined to a cell, but at least she is no longer depressed about it.


— Brenna Daldorph


6 Comments so far
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This breaks my heart! I wonder if anyone has ever studied whether adding another dog, a playmate, to the family reduces the symptoms of separation anxiety.

Comment by mackenzies09

Your post is written really well. I was always concerned about leaving my cat at home by himself so I would plan my days with time allowances to be home throughout the day. In my opinion, you should only have animals if you are able to let them lead an unconfined life. Animal anti-depressants? Maybe it’s time we take a hard look at our lifestyles.

Comment by christinaw09

This is such an important message for students. Too many of us want to get a pet, but we don’t realize that it’s something alive, something that needs our care, not something that is up sitting on a shelf or that we can just show to friends every once in a while.

Comment by Lauren Keith

This seems like another case of Americans creating a solution to a problem that really just creates more problems…. dogs on anit-depressants? They’re excited to just see you walk in the door, since when is there no time for man’s best friend? Sad.

Comment by amandat09

That’s horrible. Not only will the big pharma dominate our medical market but also our animal’s. I think owners need to really ask if they are ready to take on another member of the family without making it a pillpopper.

Comment by bryand09

Brian Kilcommons, writing for ABC News, (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Story?id=2510076&page=1) was full of tips to help out a pet owner with a dog with separation anxiety– not ONCE mentioning anti-depressants. His tips included things like making sure your dog gets enough exercise and setting aside a special space in your home for him or her. While he didn’t mention getting another pet, Mackenzie, he had lots of solutions which SHOULD be our first option. As Christina said, we should look hard at our lifestyles. Kilcommons says a dog with separation anxiety needs an owner’s help. Not medicine, I would add.

Comment by brennad87

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