Compounded Pet Medication 101

Health & Medical Blog

According to the American Pet Product Association's 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, 67 percent of households own a pet. Just like people, animals have health problems. And according to Liberty Mutual Insurance, nearly 75 percent of pet owners do not have pet health insurance. But regardless of insurance status, pets still need medical care, including prescription medications for acute or chronic conditions. 

For the animal that needs daily medication(s) long term, it can be challenging for the owner to ensure their pet actually gets their medication. Thankfully, compounded pet medication can make it easier on you both. 

What Is Compounded Pet Medication? 

Compounded medication is when a compounding pharmacist mixes, combines, alters, or otherwise changes the different ingredients or form of a medication to make it more suitable for the patient and/or easier for their owner to administer. Compounding pharmacists can compound all kinds of medications, from allergy prescriptions to drugs for fleas and ticks or seizures. 

What Forms Do Compounded Pet Medications Come In?

Pets have individual personalities and individual needs, and by changing the form a drug comes in, you as a pet owner can feel more confident that your pet's health needs are being met. 


Many animals are extremely intelligent. They can also be extremely stubborn! Much like a small child, it doesn't take long for an animal to decide they don't want to take their yucky-tasting medicine or figure out you're trying to hide a pill in a spoon of peanut butter.

Not only is it time consuming trying to cajole your dog or cat into taking their medicine, but you can't really be sure they're getting the full dose if they're fighting you every step of the way. For the pet that needs multiple medications or multiple doses daily, administering their meds can end up being stressful for all involved. 

A compounding pharmacist can create a custom treat for your pet with the medication(s) they need in a flavor and format they crave rather than fight. Instead of balking at medication time, they can feel like they are being rewarded when you hand them their treat, and you can feel confident they're getting what they need. 

Transdermal Gels 

While most cats and dogs are happy to receive a treat, this method of medication delivery doesn't work for everyone. Some simply have too finicky a palate or are too smart to be fooled for long. 

Others animals have health problems that prevent going the treat route. For example, a senior pet may no longer have enough teeth to properly chew a treat or they may have a sensitive digestive system that prohibits oral delivery. After all, the goal is to get the medication into their system; if they are going to routinely regurgitate it, the medicine can't help them. 

This is where transdermal gels come in. This is where the compounding pharmacist mixes the medication into a gel that is easily absorbed through the skin. The pet owner then applies this medication to an area of their pet's skin that is fur-free, usually their inner ear. 

Are There Other Benefits of Compounded Pet Medications? 

Sometimes, the commercially available form of a medication just doesn't come in the right strength, and breaking a tablet in half isn't always an option. The compounding pharmacist can formulate a custom dosage. 

If your pet has diabetes, the compounding pharmacist can create a sugar-free version of a treat. Or, if they have a food allergy, the pharmacist can ensure your pet's medication is free of allergens that may otherwise be present in a traditional formulation. 

Don't stress about your pet's medication needs or stress them out trying to make sure they take their medication. Contact a pet medication compounding pharmacist to see what options are available for you and your pet.


22 November 2021

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