Is Petco Getting Your Dog Drunk?

Pet owners are up in arms about an “all-natural calming medicine for dogs” being sold in Petco stores. The product, “Good Dog,” by Pet Organics, claims to “support emotional balance in your dog with this homeopathic, natural aid.” It is a “water additive … made from a combination of four flower essences known for soothing properties, including helianthemum and impatiens.”

However, it is a lot more likely that the soothing effects of the “medicine” is derived from what it claims is one of it’s “inactive” ingredients–alcohol. In fact, the medicine is 13% alcohol, which is about the same amount of alcohol as wine. I mean, sure, a glass of Pinio Grigio might calm your dog down, but it’s probably not a great idea.

So far, over 470 people have signed a petition asking Petco to cease carrying the “medicine” for fear it could cause health problems in dogs, as most dogs tend to be teetotalers and are thus not accustomed to alcohol.

Actually, your dog is pretty definitely not supposed to be having alcohol at all, for any reason, as it could be poisonous.

Colorado’s ABC 7 spoke to veterinarian Narda Robinson about the product:

“It is not advisable to recommend products with a high concentration of alcohol for pets,” said Dr. Narda Robinson, a veterinarian and physician at Colorado State University, pointing to the broader issue of a lack of regulation for homeopathic drugs for pets. “If this product has a calming effect, it’s probably because of the alcohol, not because of the homeopathic medicine.”

To be fair, this isn’t actually a homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicine doesn’t actually have any ingredients other than water–which, hey, at least means it is perfectly safe for dogs. Effective? Not so much. But safe! Because it’s literally just water! There’s a difference, of course, between herbs and “natural remedies” and “homeopathic” remedies.

Anyway, regardless of whether Petco pulls this product or not, it’s probably best that dog owners avoid it, unless they can afford a spot for their chihuahua at Betty Ford. [RawStory]


Petco representative David Hallisey responds to customers concerns:

“The health and safety of pets and people is Petco’s top priority. We sell a variety of calming remedies for pets with anxiety and also recommend that pet parents consult with their vet to ensure that there are no underlying health issues. In light of recent concerns expressed by some of our customers with regard to Good Dog Pet Calming Supplement, and this product’s alcohol content, we have decided to issue a voluntary recall, effective immediately. While we are unaware of any instances of this product causing illness when used as directed, customers can return this product to any of our stores for a full refund of their purchase.”