Say Good-Boy to Hypertension: A Humorous Look at Trading in Your Pills For a Dog

Editor's Note: This is a humorous article and in no way purports to offer genuine advice about medical matters

| Jun 19, 2007

Researchers say that owning a dog can lower your blood pressure. Think what this means. A hug to Rover may soothe your cardiovascular system more than a fistful of beta blockers. And what about stroking Sweet Pea? Send in the endorphins.

Imagine if dogs found their way into the pharmaceutical marketplace. You might browse the PDR (Physicians Drug Reference) and see "canis familiaris" under the generic listing for Prozac. Airlines might suggest that passengers pack their pooches in their carry-on luggage instead of sending them through as baggage.

Your family doctor might tell you to lose ten pounds, but, instead of pulling out his pad and scrawling a prescription for buproprion phosphate or some such chemical fix, he might recommend a Heinz-69 canine. "Pick out a young, hyper one," Doc might say. "Walk him every night for a month, and that extra weight will be history."

Of course you must beware of the side effects: Bassets can make you sleepy, and you've got to watch out for those drooling St. Bernards. Little dogs that yip and squeak, like Chihuahuas and Pekineses, can make you irritable, and large dogs with super-size poop can set your olfactory glands back ten years.

If you're lucky, your doctor might be well-read and knowledgeable. "Try a Miniature Schnauzer," he might say. "They like nothing better than cuddling up next to you in bed."

Still, you might be unsure whether the dog - somewhat of a semi-controlled substance - is a legitimate substitute for medication. A list of the pros and cons should put your mind to rest.


  1. You may forget to take pills, but dogs will always remind you of their presence, usually by plastering your face with wet ones. By contrast, pills loaf around on the kitchen table or bathroom counter, daring you to remove their child-proof caps.
  2. It's more socially acceptable to play Frisbee with "Spot" than to remove a suspicious looking pill from a tiny container and gulp it down with a questionable beverage.
  3. Pills require props - for example, a Perrier or a diet-cola. Petting your dog can be a one-handed affair - a bonus for Vegas gamblers.
  4. Pill prescriptions need to be refilled every month or so, but if you're lucky, a good dog can last ten to fifteen years.
  5. Pills are dead giveaways you are medically challenged. But dogs will keep the public guessing - e.g., Is Fifi a prescription or a pet?
  6. Pills sometimes get misplaced in purses, drawers, or attaché cases. Dogs, however, will instantly appear should a half-eaten Oreo accidentally fall onto the kitchen floor.
  7. You run the risk of mistakenly receiving the wrong drug from your friendly pharmacist, but dogs always sniff out the right person.


  1. You must first housebreak a dog before you can use him properly. This can take up to six years.
  2. Dogs can have their "off" days, with cranky growls and mean-spirited nips.
  3. Dogs frighten easily during thunderstorms, earthquakes, and other loud noises. Some have been known to howl woefully or hide under the bed. On the other hand, pills stand calm and cool in medicine cabinets, peeking out courageously from behind the calamine lotion and dental floss.
  4. Dogs are not as mobile or portable as we would like to think. Should you go camping or RVing, they require a boxful of toys, their security blankies, and their favorite treat. Pills require nothing more than the plastic containers they come in.
  5. Dogs will not work 24/7. Their schedules generally consist of twelve hours of sleep, two hours of food consumption, and six hours of chewing up your Prada pumps. That leaves one hour for therapy. Pills are ready to rumble any time.
  6. As a pill-popper, you get to frequent New Age festivals and shop in trendy boutiques with names like "Wild Wheat" and "Health A-Go-Go." Dogs do their best work during summer reruns.
  7. Pill people are perceived as more intelligent than dog owners. It could be the glasses thing, but then again, it could be the standing-out-in-the-rain-thing with an umbrella and a plastic baggie.

So, that's the story. What's it gonna be? Pills or pups? Can't commit? Then compromise. Use both, but check with your HMO first. And, for your own safety, if there's a deductible, for heaven's sake, don't tell Rover.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Food, Losing weight, Personal Stories

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.