Companion animals—also known as pets—are involved in virtually every facet of our lives today. From providing companionship for someone who may live alone, to acting as service animals for those who need them in that capacity, pets are an integral part of our lives in the United States. Yet, until relatively recently, our medical care for pets was limited, to say the least.
For example, medications for such common ailments as heartworms, arthritis, worms and parasites, the simple antibiotics and medications that were available were typically unpalatable, to put it kindly. They came in varieties that had poor scents, tastes, and textures—meaning that our pets frequently would not voluntarily ingest them.
This, in turn, led pet owners to take rather drastic steps in attempting to get their pets to take medication. Some owners would chase their pets, pry open their mouths, and force a pill down their throats. Others would engage in subterfuge, attempting to hide a pill in a glob of peanut butter or a slice of cheese. Still others would give up on getting their pets to take a pill and would instead go to the veterinarian's, where they would get an injection.
Each of these methods has a downside. Forcing a pill down an animal's throat can be traumatic to both pet and owner. Hiding the pill in food can be problematic when the medicine is supposed to be taken on an empty stomach. Taking the pet to the vet's for a shot is both expensive and time-consuming. Faced with these choices, many pet owners would eventually give up and abandon any attempts to keep their animals on the medication they needed.
Now there is a better way: PF, Inc. ("Pet Flavors Inc.") has led the charge into making medication for pets more palatable. "Palatable" is a term that refers to how likely a pet is to accept an offered medication, without coaxing or forcing.
Typically, there are three different considerations in making a medication palatable: its scent, its taste, and its texture (or "feel"). Domestic animals—particularly dogs—have a highly-developed sense of smell. As such, to make medicine palatable, flavor vendors must create a flavor that has an attractive scent and taste.
Heartworm medication is essential for pet owners who want their pets to live long and healthy lives. A heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that grows in the hearts and lung arteries of dogs, cats, and other animals. It is commonly spread through the bite of a mosquito; however, it may be transmitted in other ways, too.
Animals who develop heartworms can be treated, but the treatment is quite dangerous and even sometimes fatal. However, leaving the parasites untreated is not an option, as that option will always end up being fatal.
When it comes to heartworms, the best way to treat them is to put your pet on a preventive medication. One of the best known such medications is Interceptor® by Elanco. Elanco produces Interceptor® using PF, Inc. flavoring.
After obtaining flavor for pet medicines from PF, Inc., Elanco uses the flavoring to subtly mask offensive smells and tastes that would otherwise occur in Interceptor® (and other medications). This makes Interceptor® more palatable to pets, meaning more pets will willingly ingest it.
The result: healthier pets, and happier owners. Now, with Interceptor®, no pet owner has to go through the emotional turmoil of losing a beloved pet to heartworms.
Heartworms are not the only type of worm that plagues pets. Roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are all common parasites that infect animals through various means. While not all are as deadly as the heartworm, none of them are beneficial and pet owners must do everything they can to help prevent such infestations or treat them when they do take place.
A leading medication for deworming is Iverhart Max® by Virbac. Virbac uses PF, Inc., flavoring to help entice pets into consuming Iverhart Max®. This is a key part of keeping pets healthy and happy, and makes life much easier for pet owners, as giving a pet a highly palatable soft chew or chewable tablet is much easier and faster than the old methods of forcing or tricking a pet to take its medication.
Unfortunately, arthritis is not just present in humans. Pets get it too, particularly elderly animals or giant breed dogs. In years past, there wasn't much an owner could do except try to force some unpalatable medication on an animal—or make the tough decision to put a beloved pet down to prevent further suffering.
Today there are great medications available to manage pain and reduce inflammation related to arthritis. One such medication is Metacam® by Boehringer Ingelheim. In producing Metacam®, Boehringer Ingelheim gets palatability enhancers from the top flavor concentrate manufacturer—PF, Inc. Boehringer Ingelheim then uses these enhancers in crafting a pharmaceutical product that is both effective and palatable.
When a pet gets sick, no longer do pet owners just nurse them along and wait for them to recover; instead, depending on the illness, owners may be able to use antibiotics to speed recovery. Likewise, when a pet is recovering from surgery or an injury, antibiotics are a necessary part of ensuring the pet does not develop an infection.
PF, Inc. palatability enhancers are used in leading antibiotic products such as Baytril® by Bayer. As one of the cutting-edge flavor suppliers, PF, Inc. has perfected the balance between scent and flavor necessary to get a pet to ingest the antibiotics.
Because pets live longer than ever, there is a higher demand for pet medication. This means a higher demand for palatability enhancers to help ensure pet acceptance of the medication. PF, Inc. has established a reputation as one of the leading flavor manufacturers, and we look forward to playing our role in keeping pets and owners alike healthier and happier than ever before.