The American Chemical Society said U.S. pet owners spent $18.5 million last year on veterinary care, medications and other non-food pet supplies.
And as people around the world devote more of their income to keeping pets healthy and comfortable, pharmaceutical companies are devoting more research to pet health.
Writing in the ACS journal Chemical & Engineering News, Associate Editor Rachel Petkewich reported the amount of money spent on pet care in the United States is expected to grow by more than 6 percent annually. And that, she said, is spurring global pharmaceutical companies best known for making human medicines to devote more research dollars for their animal health divisions.
Such research has yielded new medicines and vaccines to keep cats and dogs healthy. For example, Petkewich cited recently approved canine diet drugs, a drug for vomiting in dogs and a new medication for the barking and other undesirable behavior associated with separation anxiety.
But Petkewich noted people might also benefit from animal health research, with products originally developed for animals often being re-purposed for diseases in humans.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International