While we’re all eager to find a bargain, it pays to do your research when securing medication for your pet. There are plenty discount online stores that stock pet medication, but not all are made equal! If you’re looking to buy any meds online, here’s what you need to look out for.
What are they selling?
When it comes to over-the-counter medication without the advice of a professional, sometimes it’s best to stick to the name brands. If you’re looking for treatment for something that doesn’t need a prescription, like fleas and ticks, worms, or arthritis, then have a good look at the product name. Google it if you’re not sure, to see if there’s any information about its active ingredients and possible side effects, as these may not always be listed on the supplier’s website. If you can’t find an online recommendation from a veterinarian’s website, or if you’re not getting much product information, then steer clear – who knows what might be in those tablets?
Are they accredited?
There’s a lot of online pet stores out there who aren’t accredited. Not only is this very unsafe for your pet, but it also makes it difficult to hold them accountable if anything goes wrong with pet medication. Make sure that whatever discount pet meds you buy online come from a supplier with Vet-VIPPS accreditation. This means they’re held to a high standard of care with a recognized quality assurance policy. Any online pharmacies that are a member of the association can be reported to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and delisted for suspicious behavior.
Do you have a prescription?
There are many medications for more serious conditions that a pharmacy will not sell without a prescription. Just because your pet has symptoms linked to a particular illness, it doesn’t necessary mean that’s what they have, and you can seriously harm them by misdiagnosing a condition and providing the wrong medication. Always get a diagnosis from a registered veterinarian, not Dr Google! And if you’ve found a website that is willing to sell prescription medication without the proper documentation, then that’s a warning sign that it’s probably not someone that you can trust with your pet’s health, and it’s best to stay away.
Reputable online stores selling pet medications can also offer refills on your prescriptions, lessening any expenditures or hassle caused by picking them up at a veterinarian’s. They may also offer extra benefits for customers holding a membership.
Is it safe?
Carefully look over your medication when you do finally receive it in the mail. Some less reputable online vendors may be trying to shift medication that is out of date or close to expiring. Did it seem like a suspiciously good deal at the time? Make sure that the seal on the box hasn’t been tampered with, and that the labeling on foil-packed medication inside matches what’s on the cover. If the box looks cheaply printed, or if the images on the front are pixilated or blurry, then that’s a sign that the medication might actually be counterfeited. The FDA has reported cases of this in the past, so it pays to be vigilant – the last thing you want to do is harm a sick pet that needs your help.