Cheap Pet Meds: Is It Okay To Look Online?

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Dog Taking MedicineBeing a responsible pet owner means providing our pets with regular preventative medications in addition to medications treating health conditions. Being responsible can also be expensive which leads us to search for resources for cheap pet meds. Below we will take a look at some of the cautions you should heed when purchasing cheap pet meds online as well as some of the most popularly purchased medications.

PetCareRXJust as human medications can be expensive, pet medications can also be costly. As a pet parent of a special needs dog, I know firsthand just how financially draining pet medications can be. There is an option to save when making these purchases by researching online pet meds. Unlike veterinary clinics that add their markup to pet medications, online pet meds resources have the ability to purchase items in wholesale quantities. Purchasing in bulk allows these resources to pass their savings on to consumers. It is important to ensure that savings are being passed because of bulk purchasing and not because of medications that have been purchased overseas.

Why You Should Avoid Medications Purchased Overseas

When purchasing our own medications and supplements, the majority of us look for FDA approval as well as research on side effects and possible complications of medications. As pet owners, it is our responsibility to do the same thing for our pets when purchasing their medications and supplements. Purchasing pet medications that have been sourced from overseas is a poor decision because it can have many unexpected complications.

Possible Complications from Overseas Sourced Pet Meds

Low Quality Product

One of the biggest concerns when purchasing cheap pet meds online that have been sourced from overseas is that these medications do not have approval from the FDA. The FDA provides protection for consumers by monitoring the quality of ingredients utilized in medications. While other countries have their own monitoring processes for medication production, the United States has one of the strictest sets of regulations.

No Veterinary Approval

Many medications that we give to our pets require veterinary approval. Unfortunately, purchasing pet medications that have been sourced from overseas many times means that no veterinary prescription is required. Without a prescription required, pet owners are able to get their hands on any number of potentially harmful medications. Responsible pet owners should not support such practice; there is a reason why veterinarians receive such an extensive education.

Cross Contamination

Cheap pet meds that have been outsourced from overseas also have a higher chance of cross contamination. Cross contamination can occur in the form of mixing in other pills with medication, diluting of medication or even providing the wrong medication in the packaging. This all comes down to slacker production regulations and medications produced overseas not being monitored by the FDA.

Generic Medication Solutions

While there is certainly no problem with purchasing generic medications when you know what you are getting, purchasing generic brands that are not recognized in the United States can be troublesome. Even pet medications require strict testing before being approved for use, but testing regulations vary depending upon the country of origin. Non-recognized generic medications can have any number of ill health effects and can even cause lifelong damage or even death.

Scams

Online purchase scams can happen anywhere in the world so this is not limited to medications that are sourced overseas. The difficulty with products sourced from overseas however, is that there is no easy method for resolution if money is taken and no product is shipped. There is even less of a solution for pet parents who receive fake medications or subpar medications through purchasing outsourced medications online.

Complications from Purchasing Cheap Pet Meds from Disreputable Providers

Targeted Medications

Purchasing certain medications online can also be tricky because they are targeted to local concerns. For example, medications engineered to protect against specific strains of a disease that are local to one area, are not guaranteed to be effective against a variation of the disease in another area. This means that even if you think you are doing the right thing and protecting or treating your pet for a condition, you may be passively allowing the condition to ravage your pet’s health.

Recalled Products Are Often Still Carried Online

Another concern when purchasing pet medications online from disreputable dealers is that many times they are slow or reluctant to pull recalled medications off their shelves. Medications can be recalled due to contamination or due to recent research revealing serious long term side effects. Where reputable companies and veterinarians will immediately pull these products off their shelves, less reputable companies may keep these products on their shelves and continue to sell them to make a profit.

Expired Medications

Disreputable pet medication companies may also refuse to pull expired medications off their shelves because they do not want to lose profit. While for some items expiration dates are suggestions of when that item expires, for other items they are definitive dates at which time medications start to break down. In certain medications, once an expiration date passes, that medication begins to break down and not only is it no longer effective but it can also cause serious side effects.

Diluted Medications

Disreputable retailers of cheap pet meds have also been known to dilute their medications and supplements in order to make more money off their product. Dilution of medication is serious and results in your pet not receiving the appropriate dosage to control their medical condition. In certain circumstances not receiving enough of a medication may not have too much of an impact on your pet’s health, but in other situations it can be fatal.

Counterfeit Medications

In the past the FDA has warned consumers against purchasing pet medications online due to online retailers selling counterfeit medications. Counterfeit medications are medications that are not the “real thing” in one way or another. Most commonly this refers to drugs that are being sold for an intended purpose but have a problem with the drug itself such as: the wrong active ingredient, not enough active ingredient, too much of the active ingredient or no active ingredient at all. These medications are sold so that their manufacturers can make a profit, but they pose a significant risk to your pet if administered.

How to Spot a Reputable Cheap Pet Meds Distributor

PetCareRXThe best solution in finding a reputable distributor online is to ask your veterinarian who they approve their prescription with. For example, my vet always approves my prescriptions bought through PetCareRX so I feel good about buying there. Discerning veterinarians are very careful about whom they will allow patients to fill prescriptions with and their advice is generally trusted because they work with these distributors on a regular basis. If your veterinarian does not have any suggestions for online retailers of cheap pet meds there are some ways that you can spot a good distributor.

A Good Pet Medication Distributor Always Requires a Prescription

Just as human prescriptions are controlled by prescriptions, pet medications are as well. Prescriptions may seem like an inconvenience when ordering something online, but they exist to ensure that your pet is safe. Prescription medications are controlled by prescriptions because if they are administered incorrectly they can cause significant health effects. Even the most caring of pet owners could administer medication to their pet thinking that their dog needs pain killers for arthritic pain when in actuality their dog has fractured their leg and requires more than pain killers. Certainly this is an extreme example but things like this would happen more frequently than we care to admit if prescriptions were not required.

Veterinary Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites Approved

A reputable online pet meds distributor will have various certifications one of which may be the Vet VIPPS approval. This certification establishes that a veterinary internet pharmacy site has met the standards set out by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. In order to receive this accreditation the pharmacy must have a physical address that has been approved. Online pet pharmacies that have received this certification should have no problem providing clients with proof of their accreditation.

Legit Script Approved

Legitscript.com is a newer verification service that provides information to consumers as to the legitimacy of their internet pharmacy of choice. The Legit Script service screens online pharmacies for both safety and legality. This service also provides consumers with information on the distributor including their location, where they are licensed to ship to, the variety of prescriptions they offer and whether they accept transferred and refill prescriptions in addition to new prescriptions. In order to be approved by the Legit Script service, a pharmacy must meet eleven standards including: pharmacy licensure, DEA registration, prior discipline, pharmacy location, validity of prescription, legal compliance, privacy, patient services, website transparency, domain name registration and affiliated websites. With the exception of the VIPPS program already mentioned, the Legit Script program is the only program recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Secure Website

A reputable pet pharmacy should always offer a secure website that allows for users to conduct transactions without worrying about their financial and personal information being exposed. The most common method of securing these websites is currently the VeriSign system. A secure website not only indicates a company that cares about their consumers, but it is also necessary to ensure your personal data remains secure.

Pharmacy Guarantee

While not all pharmacies that offer a guarantee are reputable pharmacies, all reputable pharmacies should offer a guarantee. A great example of a reputable pharmacy that offers a full guarantee on their products is PetCareRX. At PetCareRX all medications they dispense are guaranteed to be approved by the EPA as well as the FDA for sale within the United States. In addition, this pharmacy guarantees that their medications are never expired or foreign and their pharmacy is always supervised by a professional licensed pharmacist. PetCareRX also offers guarantees on some of their products that include reimbursement for treatment should medications not perform to standard.

Prominent Contact Information

Pet pharmacies that are reputable always provide clear contact information that is easy to find. This information should be valid and include a phone number as well as email contact information. A “bonus” is when pharmacies offer live chat capability for instant contact with customer service representatives. Be wary of pharmacies that do not provide contact information, provide contact information that is very hard to find or provide contact information that is not valid.

Privacy Policy

All reputable pharmacies should have a privacy policy on their website that is made easily accessible to users. A good privacy policy will state that the website you are using never shares your information without your prior consent. There may be an exception to this rule noted for when you purchase offers given by third parties advertised on the pharmacy’s website.

Clearly Posted Customer Service Hours

A reputable company always posts customer service contact information in addition to their customer service hours. There are many reasons why you may need to contact the pet pharmacy you purchase from and customer service hours make this possible.

Multiple Payment Methods

A good pet meds company always offers multiple payment methods such as VISA, AMEX, MasterCard and Discover card. Some pharmacies also offer purchasers the opportunity to use PayPal as a payment method.

Specialty Shipping Methods

Something that purchasers often neglect to think about when purchasing pet medications online is the method of shipping that is used. While many pet medications such as flea and tick preventatives can be shipped through regular ground shipping, other medications demand temperature controlled shipping. Reputable pet medication suppliers will always ship these medications through cooled shipping.

What are some of the More Popularly Purchased Pet Meds Online?

Regardless of whether or not your website of choice is reputable, as a pet owner you should always use your best judgment when purchasing medications online. Some medications should never be trusted to online purchasing and should always be purchased from and possibly administered by a licensed veterinarian. An example of this type of medication includes many cancer fighting medications. There are many medications that are commonly purchased online that have fewer requirements for safe shipping. Some of these medications include: heartworm preventative, flea and tick preventative, glucosamine supplements, deworming medications like Drontal Plus and Panacur Granules, joint health medications like Adaquan and Dasuquin, allergy medications such as prednisone and Hydroxyzine, grooming products like Angel’s Eyes and Epi-Otic ear cleanser and nutrition supplements like Nutrical and Prozyme powder.

Is Purchasing Cheap Pet Meds Online Right For You?

PetCareRXPurchasing cheap pet meds online should always be taken seriously and it is not always the right decision for everyone. When considering purchasing pet medications online you should always consult your veterinarian first.

If your vet recommends an online store try purchasing through them first. If your vet does not recommend a store then make sure to do research in to reputable and recommended online stores. Research should begin with the criteria already outlined but it is also helpful to ask friends about their experiences with specific stores.

We highly recommend PetCareRX to purchase cheap pet meds online. They meet every criteria of a reputable online pet medication company including requiring a prescription, having a secure site, offering live chat and being Vet-IPPS and LegitScript aproved.

Cheap Non-Prescription Medications

Not all medications you will need to purchase for your pet will be prescription medications. Despite being over the counter medications however, it is just as important to follow the same purchasing protocol.

Keep an Eye Out For Too Good To Be True Deals

Just because a medication is non-prescription does not mean that it cannot be harmful if purchased out of date, in diluted form or when made with inferior ingredients. While there are a number of companies online that are able to provide discounts on non-prescription medications, if a deal seems too good to be true then it usually is. Non-prescription pet medications can be as expensive, if not more expensive than prescription medications which sometimes prompts dishonest sellers in to selling inferior products.

How can these inferior products be harmful to your pet? Depending upon how these products are inferior they can cause a number of problems for your pet including vomiting and potentially fatal reactions. You can avoid being taken in by this type of scam by reviewing feedback on sellers and ensuring that you check the sell by date on medications when you receive them. If the seal of any medication has been broken or tampered with return the product immediately and request a refund.

Generic or Name Brand?

When it comes to non-prescription medications as pet owners we are given more freedom of product selection. For example when looking for a joint supplement we know which ingredients we want in a product but there are always a large number of products to choose from. This wide range can often overwhelm dog owners. One of the most frequently asked questions in this type of situation is whether or not to purchase a generic product.

As with human medications many popular products are available in generics at a more affordable price but it is important to research the contents and efficacy of these products before purchasing. This is particularly true of online vendors who almost always have their own name brand of product. There is no point in saving 50% off a non-prescription medication if the medication doesn’t work in the first place! So how do you determine whether a generic product is just as good as a name brand product?

Ingredients

The most important thing you can do when comparing name brand medications to generic medications is to look through the ingredients list in detail. You will not only be looking to compare ingredients but you will also want to compare quantities of ingredients.

If the name brand flea and tick medication you use typically contains 9.8% Fipronil and a cheaper generic medication contains 9.1% Imidacloprid and .46% Pyriproxyfen then it is important for you to note the difference. This difference does not mean that the medication will be any more or less effective for your dog; it simply means that it utilizes a completely different active ingredient. In the case of dogs that have allergies or sensitivities (particularly to medications) then you may want to find an alternative generic that contains the same active ingredient or simply purchase the name brand product.

In some cases, it is not the active ingredient that differs; rather it is the amount of the active ingredient that differs. This can be particularly important if a specified dosage is required to achieve the desired effect such as with joint care supplements. In this example if you usually purchase a name brand product for joint health that contains 900 mg glucosamine and the generic option contains only 500mg. It is again important to note that you are not purchasing the same medication.

Daily Doses

The example above brings us to the discussion of daily doses. When purchasing an item like the joint supplement noted above, generic medications that contain lower levels of active ingredients may require higher applications. For example instead of giving your dog two joint supplement chews a day, the generic may require you to administer four. When looking at this type of dosage difference it is easy to see why the generic product is cheaper because you are getting less for your money. It may take a little mathematics skill but if you are looking to purchase cheap non-prescription pet meds then you need to look at how many doses you are getting for your money.

Ingredient Combinations

Often, medications that are offered at significant discounts are made from inferior ingredient quality or at least less potent ingredients. To use the example of joint supplements again, most experts will agree that joint supplements should include around 1000 mg of Glucosamine AND around 800mg of methylsulfonylmethane or MSM. Many inferior joint supplement products will include only Glucosamine. While glucosamine itself is not an inferior ingredient, without the supplementation of MSM, the results of joint supplementation therapy are not going to be the same. In this way the combination of ingredients in the medication is going to be less beneficial to your pet.

When in Doubt Ask For a Recommendation

With so many different generic and name brand non-prescription medications available, it can sometimes become confusing when trying to find the best option for your pet. If you find yourself getting confused, the best option is to ask for a recommendation. Be wary however, of who you ask a recommendation of. Veterinarians, animal researchers, animal behaviorists and animal surgeons are the best resources for information depending upon the non-prescription medication you are considering. Avoid asking employees in pet stores since they rarely have specified knowledge of their products or of your pet’s individual needs. Ask a professional in an animal related field for their opinion on the products that you are considering. Ask if they have any firsthand experience with the products you are considering or if they could recommend a different product that has worked for them. Never be afraid to ask too many questions, these professionals are almost always more than happy to share their knowledge with a responsible pet owner.

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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32 Comments on "Cheap Pet Meds: Is It Okay To Look Online?"

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Chris
Chris

Stay away from United Pet World. They source their canine products overseas and I was advised specifically from Bayer Animal Health’s technical support line to not purchase their Bayer branded products from United Pet World as they lack the proper efficacy and safety considerations for the North American/US market.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The lure of saving on pet medications in these tight financial times is huge, at least where I live. People want to do what is best for their pets, of course, but a lot of times pet medications get so expensive that it becomes a huge burden to try and keep up. In the long run, buying online pet medications from a disreputable provider is clearly not worth the risk. I never even thought about what would happen if an online pet pharmacy shipped the wrong product or a product from a different region, much less what might happen if they did not send the medication at all. This article clearly alerted me to the real dangers that are out there, and I know now that I will never try to cut those corners. I like the advice at the end about finding a reputable pet pharmacy, and I think it is worth looking into it to see whether the savings are going to be significant. But honestly, if it comes down to filling my prescription at a brick-and-mortar chain or local pharmacy and those are not too much more money, I at least KNOW those are secure.

Cleve
Cleve

It is very smart to use caution when buy pet medications online. I completely understand your concern. Personally, I have had tremendous success with PetCareRX. Overall savings have been close to 30-40%. Everything that I have ordered has arrived as I expected. You mention a worry about getting the wrong product, but if that were to happen you would know because the packages are sealed from the manufacturer. At that point it would be an easy return. Does anyone else have positive (or negative) experiences with PetCareRX or other online pet medication suppliers? 

Anonymous
Anonymous

Did you know that you can get pet medications online for just about any animal that you have as a pet, even fish?  I've never thought of fish needing medicine. 
When I thought about cheap pet meds, I mainly thought of just dogs and cats, and I'm sure if I'd thought about it a little more deeply I might have come up with gerbils and hamsters maybe and  rabbits and ferrets maybe.  But did you now you can get pet medications for horses, livestock, and even fish? 

When I saw that, I had to figure out what medications fish are taking these days, lol.  So when I looked there was fish food and fish antibiotics.  I guess the whole antibiotics thing makes sense for them, living in the murky water and all.  I would guess that they could contract many different types of infections.  However, I just never heard of something like that.  One other thing that I'm glad of is that most of these places are offering free shipping if you purchase a certain amount of products, so it's best to wait until you need a few things if you can.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I have a female English Cocker Spaniel that is getting a bit older and I have noted that in the last year or so, we have spent more on her medication and veterinary visits than we had for her previous eight years combined.  I will not get into the fine details of what we have had to do for her, but I will say that the vet has been recommending more and more preventative care and medications than in the past and the costs are mounting on us.

That being said, we have started looking elsewhere for finding the medications that the vet has recommended.  We used to always buy straight from the veterinary clinic when required to, but now we are looking for other provider.  It is good to see that there are some viable alternatives online now that we can try to make these purchases from.  However, I am glad I read this article so that I know to be very picky about who I actually make my purchases from.  It seems like there are a lot of good ones and bad ones out there.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I think pet meds are one of the most overlooked expenses when families are trying to determine if they can afford the cost of a dog. While a number of people may take in free pets, thinking that food will be the only expense, there are many, many expenses associated with caring for a dog and medication is a major expense. Yet, people don't realize that meds are a necessity or even that dogs need medication to protect them from worms, ticks, fleas, and more. In other words, this isn't something a dog owner should skimp on.

There are a number of places to find cheap pet meds, but that doesn't mean that these are safe sources. Many of these companies are selling fake medication that will not protect your pet and could even make your pet seriously ill. You need to find a legitimate way to save money. Whether you speak to your vet about better prices, purchase medication one month at a time, or look for community programs, you need to do what's right and safe for your dog. If you can't do this, you need to find someone who will take care of your pet and can afford to provide needed medication.

Anonymous
Anonymous

An ongoing expense that comes with owning a dog is medication. While your dog may not have any illnesses, you still need to purchase medicine to protect him from fleas, ticks, and worms. This isn't an expense that is solely for the summer months either. Your pet needs to be protected all year long. My dog was on a medication called Trifexis that cost around $20 a month, or $240 a year. For some families, this may be too expensive. That doesn't mean you should look for cheap alternatives on eBay or with any other untrusted source.
Fake pet meds can seriously put your pet in danger. In fact, it may kill your pet. Instead of trying to save money with untrusted sellers, seek out help from your vet. Many vets will actually match the price of online websites. People also often donate medication when their own pet passes away and vets give this medication to those that are in need.
If you care about your pet at all, you will find a way to get them legitimate medicine. Remember, owning a pet is a big responsibility and one thing you must do is spend money to keep your dog healthy. If you can't do this, you need to find someone who can.

Anonymous
Anonymous

After reading this article, I think I would seriously have to think twice and get some good advice about where to get pet medication on the internet before I went out and got some to give to my dog.  It just seems like there is a lot that can go wrong and no good way to really keep track of where this stuff is coming from. 

The internet is kind of like the wild west to me still.  The laws general proprietors have had to adhere to in this country do not apply to businesses overseas and there is so little that we can do to regulate commerce on the web that it leaves doors wide open for consumers to be taken advantage of.  In this case, a consumer that gets taken advantage of could also be delivering bad medication to their family pet and that could cost lives.
I understand that everybody is trying to cut costs where they can these days, but I love my dog too much to try to skimp on things he needs to live a happy and healthy life.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I agree with this article quite a bit. I think people must be out of their mind to go to their veterinarian for their pets’ medications when they can purchase them cheaper on-line. Think about it this way: going to the vet costs quite a bit of money, but if you can eliminate going to see the veterinarian, you can spend a whole lot less on your pets’ medications.

I do not recommend purchasing pets’ medications overseas because most of those have not been tested by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).  I think at some point you have to face it, your pets’ medications are never going to be cheap if you get them the traditional way.

Save yourself quite a bit of money and look for alternative ways to purchase your pets’ medications. All of us would like to save money any way we can, so doesn’t buying your pets’ medications on-line sound like an excellent idea? It’s always best to make sure that you are purchasing them in the United States, from reputable online dealers.  This is the cheap and safe way to buy them.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I have a dog who is getting up there in years and our visits to the vet have seemed to be getting more and more frequent as of late.  We are also buying more medication for the dog than ever before and the costs seem to be steadily rising with each and every visit.  For that reason we have started looking to alternative resources to find our medication provider.   Of course, looking on the internet has provided a great deal of results, but after reading this article I am very hesitant to trust the first seller I see. 

I think what I will do is ask my vet about what he knows about purchasing medication on line.  I know that is kind of a conflict of interest for him, but we do have  good relationship as I have been taking my pets to see him for many years now.  I think without his blessing I may not try it at all because of the dangers you have listed in this article.  I guess I’ll see what happens.

Anonymous
Anonymous

People are always looking for ways to save money and in this rough economy, people are having to dig even deeper to find ways to save. However, you should never risk buying unsafe pet meds in order to save money. While there are ways to save money on pet meds, not all businesses are legit. In fact, some businesses may sell you fake medicine that could harm your dog.
I find that the best way to save money is to speak with your vet. Many veterinarians are willing to match prices that you find online, which means that you can get the same savings without having to worry about whether or not the medicine you purchase is safe. If your vet is unwilling to work with you on price, you may want to consider whether or not your vet has your pet's best interests in mind. As sad as it is, some vets are only in the business for the money and don't care about your pet's safety.
Just remember to explore all your options. After all, you wouldn't risk your child's life with cheap meds, so why would you risk your pet's life? Take the time to seek out programs and other methods that can help you save money on legitimate meds.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I have been seeing a lot of advertising about getting pet medications online.  Although I can see how something like this would be very convenient, at the same time I was a little skeptical.  I wasn't quite sure how to go about finding a good company or which companies had the best reputations.  I know that online, it can be hard to even determine whether you are getting the real stuff, or whether you are getting knock off generics shipped to you from a foreign country, but your review helped me to see what I should be looking for in a company.  I think I feel confident enough now to go out and purchase some pet medications online. 

I think without guidance, you can unwittingly purchase medications from overseas, and you have to be super careful not to do this.  It can be so dangerous for your dog to consume something that could potentially be poisonous.  At best it might be watered down and ineffective which could be just as dangerous for your little pup.

I find myself always reading what I can online about my dog.  I think it's great when I can find information like this that I can use right away.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I understand that people buy medication online because it's easier than leaving the house to get medication and sometimes it's even cheaper then buying medication through the traditional methods. The problem is they have to be really careful about doing this. You want to save money, but you obviously want to take care of your pet or you wouldn't be buying medication for it in the first place. So you just have to use some common sense.
I don't know why anyone would buy any kind of medication overseas. Companies that are located overseas not bound by any kind of laws that regulate the medications in the United States. That's pretty important factor. When I think about the dangers that you can expose your pet to by buying medications overseas, it really scares me. I am afraid that people will start doing this without thinking about it, just to save some money.
Thank you for writing this article. I like the fact the you warned people about the various dangers of buying cheap pet medications, the also provided them a valid option to buy their pet medications from.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I think if a pet owner is searching exclusively for cheap pet meds, then they have to ask themselves a question. On one hand, it is important to save money, but if for some reason they can't find the medication that they need at a cheaper rate, are they still going to get it?

I think that cheap pet meds are great ONLY if you get them from a reputable source.  If they are not in stock there, pay full price and then let the reliable company know that you would like them to carry that medication.  I'm sure they will oblige.

Our pets truly bring us so much joy. I think they deserve the best. I was stunned when I read about people going overseas to get cheap medication. When I first heard about people doing this for plastic surgery and for drugs, I thought it was crazy and then when I heard of people doing this for their animals, I thought it was just cruel.

It's one thing to consent to risk your life, but to do that to your innocent pet for no legitimate health reason, is awful.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Everyone is looking to save money these days. This also includes pet owners. It seems that with the cost of vaccinations, trips to the vet and even medications, the little guy is more of an expensive proposition than you had first realized.

This can lead many pet owners to start thinking about looking online to find cheap pet medications. There are several problems with this idea, however. The main issue is that when doing this, you must wonder about where you are actually buying the medicine from. After all, this is such a highly regulated industry that the suppliers would almost have to be foreign companies.

Foreign medicine suppliers do not have to meet the same standards as U.S. suppliers. This means that you have no real way of knowing whether or not the medicine you are about to buy is actually pet medicine or rat poison. While this may sound a bit extreme, the point is still valid. Certainly you want to save a few bucks, but not at the expense of putting something into your pet that may actually hurt them!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Just as with people, the cost of medical treatment and medicine for our pets continues to increase. It seems like each year it becomes more and more expensive to take care of best friends. However, using a quality pet health insurance plan can help combat these rising costs. The right plan can not only save you money on treatment, but also medications and sometimes even other pet related issues.                                      
How does pet insurance work? You will take your pet to the vet and receive treatment. In many cases this will also include specialists and even emergency clinics. Pay for the treatment at the time of service (or work out some other arrangement with the doctor or clinic).
After the treatment, you will simply complete a basic claim form. This is much less complicated than an insurance claim form that you might be used to for yourself! Usually these claim forms will be very straightforward and only one page. Take this form and either mail or fax it in to the insurance company. Supply copies of your receipts and you are done.
The specific policy will determine how much you will be reimbursed. There are many policies which reimburse between 70 and 90 percent, depending on the specifics. Some policies will have annual deductibles per pet that must be met before you receive any reimbursement. For example, an policy that has a 200 dollar annual deductible means that you will pay the first 200 dollars of any treatment your pet receives. After this, you will be reimbursed at whatever given percentage is stated in the policy.
While pet insurance costs will vary according to plans, type of pet and a variety of other factors, you should reasonably expect to pay between 20 and 50 dollars per month. Be sure to really read the fine print and make sure you understand all of the specifics and requirements of your plan. There can be deductibles of varying amounts, and even limits on how much treatment your pet is to receive for each particular illness, condition or visit.
However, if you can find a good policy, with a high reimbursement percentage, then this is a great way to save money on all of your pet treatments and medications (find a plan which specifically covers the medications, as well).

Anonymous
Anonymous

One of the most common myths about pet insurance is that you will be limited to only certain vets and clinics. Generally this is not true. You will be able to take your pet to any licensed vet within the US or Canada.
Another myth is that older pets are not eligible for coverage. This is also not true. Any pet over 8 to 10 weeks old is usually eligible for coverage. There may be some extra conditions and restrictions, but you will certainly be able to find coverage for an older animal. In fact, there are policies specifically designed for older pets.
Another persistent myth is that pet insurance plans charge per incident deductibles. Again, this is simply not true. There will usually be an annual deductible that must first be met before coverage kicks in. Sometimes there will also be an annual benefit limit, generally somewhere between 5 and 15 thousand dollars per policy.
A final myth is that it is difficult to apply for or obtain pet health insurance. Actually it is easier now than it has ever been. There are more pet health insurance providers now than at any time in the past and they are eager to sign up new customers.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Quite frankly, I don't have much desire to travel outside of the United States.  I know it sounds harsh, but I hear so many crazy stories about people that travel, like how they cannot eat without getting stomach infections and stuff, or how they get robbed or kidnapped for ransom. 

I know that these cases are probably a minority, but it bothers me that if you buy liquids and other products in other countries, you cannot bring them into the USA through customs because of cross-contamination.  So if this is the case, then it stands to reason that shipping in food or medication your pet is a bad idea, and that your products are likely to have some cross-contamination.  

I think vet approval is key when it comes to pet medication, and there is at least one reputable company that will ship medications to you, yet they are still safe and vet approved.  So why risk it? 

It grosses me out that people are willing to do so many things just to sell cheap pet meds: sell recalls, sell expired meds, sell diluted products, sell counterfeits?  People can be horrible.

Anonymous
Anonymous

How sad for you to be afraid of the rest of the world. This line caught my attention: ‘I know that these cases are probably a minority, but it bothers me that if you buy liquids and other products in other countries, you cannot bring them into the USA through customs because of cross-contamination.’ Obviously since you don’t travel you are unaware that you cannot take liquids from the U.S. into other countries for the same reason. There are many countries are far more advanced than the U.S in different ways, obviously some of the poorer nations are not. You could definitely buy meds from Europe without any fear of receiving a bad product. The EU and Great Briton have very high standards. You will certainly get better food in these countries than you do here, one reason their populations are far healthier. Try Googling U.S rankings against other advanced nations. You will be surprised.

Anonymous
Anonymous

One of the first things you must realize about pet ownership is that it is expensive to properly take care of your pet. If you don't have the money to spend on flea, worm, and tick medication, you don't need a dog because this is just one of the expenses you'll face. If you're in a difficult spot, such as being laid off, that doesn't mean you need to get rid of your dog. There are a number of programs meant to help those in need. These programs are in place to help prevent overflow in animal shelters and help save more pets lives.
The most important thing to remember though is that cheap medication from questionable sources should never be purchased, even as a last resort. When worse comes to worse, you can always purchase the medication your pets need on a monthly basis. In most cases, you will pay more per dose, but it's still less expensive than purchasing six months at once. You also have the option to use natural methods for flea protection, which can greatly reduce the cost of your dog's monthly medication, but you must speak with your vet about which options would be best.

Anonymous
Anonymous

You know, as a pet owner, I find it baffling that anyone would actually purchase their pet's medication from someplace overseas.  I find it strange that some people are even willing to risk their own health in this way. 

Though, I'm sure there are some reputable doctors in other countries, many of these countries do not have the same regulations as the USA does.  How can you guarantee your health or your pet's health if you do not know who is making your product?  How can you put it in the body of one of the creatures you love the most on this earth? 

In other countries, some of them have no love or respect for dogs and other pets, how can you trust them to create safe pet medications for you? 

Sometimes I think saving money gets in the way of logical thinking.  I'm shocked you even had to include this section in your article.  You probably even saved some poor little puppy's life with it.  I guess owners can be misinformed, or not know how to spot a dangerous medication source, so you cannot assume they don't care.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Having a dog these days can be an expensive proposition. There is the cost of buying food, vaccinations and other vet bills and even pet medications. Many owners have been tempted to find one of those sites on the internet and buy cheap meds for their pet in order to save a few dollars.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with trying to save a dollar or two, always be aware that your pet’s health is at stake here. Would you even consider buying a medication you needed from an unregulated pharmacy in Mexico or China? Yet, this is exactly what you may be doing when looking at some of these internet sites.

Many places that advertise cheap pet meds are based outside the US. The simple reason why is that they are not subject to the strict US Government regulations for pet medications. In other words, you would probably be buying from an overseas source that has absolutely no reason to sell you legitimate and quality pet medicines. Do you really want to experiment with cheap overseas medicines on your best friend?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I think you need to put as much effort into taking care of your pets as you do the rest of the family. When you get a pet, they rely on you 100% for their care. That means you have to take it seriously and always consider their health just like you would consider the health of a small child. You are making the decisions for them. They really don't have any option but to rely on you.
With that being said, why would you buy your pet medicines any differently than you would buy meds for your children? Sure, you are going to look for good deals, but you would never buy meds from a resource you could not trust. When you buy meds online and your vet has never heard of the place or you don't get their name from a reputable site like this one, it's like buying your child's medication from a random stranger. You might save some cash, but in the end it could cost you far more than anything you can get out of your wallet. Personally, I don't give my dog anything until I talk to a vet or another trusted resource.

Anonymous
Anonymous

While everyone likes to save money, there are certain things that are more important. Health is one of those areas. As a responsible pet owner you love your little ones and will do everything you can to make sure they well cared for, happy and healthy.

There is also no doubt that pet medicines can be expensive. Certainly today there is no shortage of online sites which offer cheap pet meds. The problem with this is that there can be a lot of issues when attempting to purchase quality pet medications at a discount. The first issue to avoid is not purchasing any pet medications from overseas. They will not have any type of FDA approval.

You may also find that many of these medicines have a low price tag for a good reason. This often includes being a low quality product. Without any kind of government approval or standards, how could you be sure? Even if there is a process, would you really feel safe buying a pet medication that was certified safe from the government of China? I would strongly suggest only using items with an FDA approval.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thank you for the great resource for ordering pet medicines online. It really is scary to order them online if you don't know what you're doing. I know I probably would not know the difference between expired meds, bad meds, or good meds and I don not expect that most people would know any more about it than I would.
Something else that people might want to consider when they are choosing a place to buy pet meds online is the motivation to get the customer to return to the site. There are pet med dealers out there that will purposely sell you medication that may not work or may even make things worse. You are not likely to know the cause of the illness, so where are you going to go? You are probably going to contact the place you ordered the medicine from and they are probably going to tell you that you need to order additional medication.
I trust the information on this site and if I order medication for my dog, it will be using the resource here. Why? Because I have used other information found here and learned that I could trust what I read here.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I found this article to be pretty enlightening in terms of what kind of problems you can run into when trying to buy pet medication online.  I have two dogs and one of them is getting a bit up there in years.  Since he turned nine years old, we have had to make more frequent visits to the vet and with each visit it seems like a new medication is prescribed for my faithful companion.  I dutifully buy whatever he needs through the vet but I have started to look at other providers for perhaps a more inexpensive alternative to buying it straight through the vet.
However, I had not considered the dangers in buying from providers overseas and from sources I do not recognize completely.  Getting medicine from a country that does not regulate the manufacturing of these chemicals closely is certainly not something I would do for myself and I will not do for my family pets.  I am all about saving money, but I will not do so at the expense of the safety of my dogs.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Make no mistake about it, pet medications can be expensive. This is especially true if your little one has some type of medical condition that makes taking medications a necessity. Fortunately there are a number of options for finding cheap pet medicine, especially online. Yet there are a number of things to watch out for.
First of all, it is probably best to avoid using pet medications form overseas. It is just too difficult to figure out if there has been any kind of regulations for safety or even health standards applied. There may be low quality products produced, or even generic medicines being sold as the real thing.
Take a good look at any website that you are thinking of using to buy pet medications. If they are still carrying products that have been recalled that is obviously a bad sign. Such disreputable sellers have also been known to dilute medicines and even create and sell counterfeit medications. These are certainly not the types of medicines and other products that you would want to give your favorite four legged friend.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I have serious concerns about buying things from overseas. Obviously, we already import a lot of things to America, but I do not really want to be a part of the trend of people who will just buy anything overseas and I certainly do not want to buy medications for my dog, which I consider to be a family member, from some random overseas source. I would buy medication online, but only from a company that I had researched and could see was serious about what they did and had already given good results to people.
For instance, I would never buy anything from a company that does not post contact information. That would be a major red flag to me. I also would not buy anything for my dog as far as medication goes, from anyone that sold other items. If they sold dog items or sold medication, that is a sign that they have a focus on a product area and know what they are doing. Otherwise, I would just move on to another company.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I think it is really great that we now have some options when it comes to buying medication for our pets.  Vet care is so expensive these days and I really look to cut costs wherever I can but still provide a good, healthy life for my dogs.  Fortunately, they do not require medication regularly but they do occasionally need some antibiotics for illnesses and so forth, so I am glad to know that I can get some input from the vet and then do the best I can to get what I need online and for the best price I can manage. 
I really appreciate the information in this article as it does a good job of telling us what to watch out for when it comes to online retailers trying to sell substandard products and potentially harmful drugs.  It certainly seems like there is a lot that can go wrong if you truly do not know who you’re buying from or where that particular drug may have originate.  On the other hand, a smart shopper armed with the right knowledge should be able to do pretty well.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I find it really troubling that people can buy pet medications online from places overseas that require no prescription.   I hear so many people complain about the high cost of veterinary care that I can only think that many are tempted to prescribe their own medications for their dog in hopes of “cutting out the middle man” and saving a few bucks.

This, of course, is dangerous territory for the dog.  We also live in the age where people think they can practically be doctors because of what they can read on the internet and are probably far bolder in making predictions about their animal’s health and what it requires.  A mis-diagnosis could mean serious illness for an ailing pet or even worse, the pet could have serious adverse reactions to the drug and potentially die. 

Obviously, there is little we can do to stop this kind of activity, but I do think it is great that sites like this are helping to educate people about the risks of ordering medications from overseas for either their pet or themselves. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

My sister has a really sweet two year old Springer Spaniel that has an ongoing medical condition.  If any of you have owned any kind of Spaniel you know about their ears.  Springer ears are long and dangling and are notorious for having infection problems relating to moisture getting trapped inside and not adequately drying out.  For this reason, you pretty much need to start treating them from the time they are puppies to avoid any serious complications.  This requires a cleanser fluid and a medication cream that needs to be applied almost daily.  If you do not, then the dog’s ears will start to become bothersome and you will notice that the dog will start scratching at their ears more often than normal and you can smell a musty (or sometimes cheesy – yeast infection – YUCK!) odor coming from under the ear flap. 

I will advise my sister to seek out these medications online through reliable looking resources.  I would expect that buying it in greater quantities would garner her a better deal than what she is getting from her vet right now.  Going online also seems much more convenient.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I am the frugal queen. One of my friends once told me that I probably make my own toothpicks. Of course I disagreed. The cost of cutting up one piece of wood is far more expensive than the cost of a box of toothpicks. But seriously, I am super frugal.
And yet I still wouldn't order pet medication from overseas. Yes I would like to be able to order medication and save some money on my pet care expenses. But I would also like for my pet to be healthy. All the mentions about cross contamination and other such things made me think about things like the fact that they might used expired medications or something. I don't know how they regulate things like that in other countries and I have no wish to find out the hard way.
If you re going to get cheap pet meds online, at least get them from a company that you have been referred to. Don't just go with the cheapest vendor you find because sometimes you really do get what you pay for. You don't want to endanger your pet just to save a couple of dollars, do you?

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