The FDA on Friday approved Slentrol, the first prescription weight-loss drug for dogs.
Pfizer's Slentrol was approved for use in an estimated 5% of dogs in the U.S. considered obese (weighing 20% more than their ideal weight). Veterinarians may also prescribe the drug for use by another estimated 20% to 30% of dogs that are overweight, but not obese.
Pfizer estimates the doggy med will cost pet owners between $1 and $2 per day.
Excess weight in dogs can be caused by keeping the animals sedentary and allowing them to eat leftover human foods. It can pose the same health problems it does in humans: diabetes, heart problems and joint problems. Likewise, Slentrol can also have the same side effects for dogs that weight-loss drugs have in humans--vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Slentrol originally started out as a drug Pfizer was researching to lower cholesterol in humans. The medication, prescribed by vets, will carry a warning that it is not to be used in humans.