IBISWorld, a research firm,,  estimated that about 63.0% of U.S. households (approximately 71.0 million) own a pet.  Most of these, about 71% are cats and dogs.  They predict that this number will continue to grow about 4% per year, mostly as the result of new household formation.  As our pets have become members of the family, we have begun to provide for their health needs in a more sophisticated manner.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, each U.S. household spends just over $500 on pets per year and this amounts to about 1% percent of total spending per year for the average household. Spending on pet medications is expected to reach $9.3 billion in 2015.

Just as in human medicine, there is a growing trend towards a personalized approach to treatment.  One way this manifests in veterinary medicine is to treat various conditions with compounded medications versus standard medications. Compounding allows veterinarians to broaden their prescribing abilities and to offer dosages and dosage forms that are pet-specific in strength and formulation.

The goal of compounding for the veterinary patient is to enhance the veterinarian’s ability to treat pets in a more effective and efficient manner.  Compounding is used by veterinarians to solve medication problems by combining specialized medications that meet the unique needs of each animal. Some of the ways compounding is used include:

  • Flavored medication
  • Medicine in ideal size, strength, and dosage form
  • Transdermal medications
  • Unavailable medications
  • Combinations to improve compliance
  • Novel devices and delivery systems

As our understanding of pet genomes increases and the price of genome sequencing falls further, it is likely that more pet medications and nutritional products will be matched to the specific genetic profile of their recipient.  All of which will be good news for your beloved furry, four-legged family member.

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