Buying pet medicine online can be a safe and convenient option for pet owners. You might have adopted a senior pet or have multiple pets in your household. In that case, an online pet pharmacy’s lower costs and convenience can help you keep up with their medications and save you money. We got some advice from Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM a veterinarian at Cat-World.com and director of Kingsgate Animal Hospital in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Whittenburg educated us on the ins and outs of how to order pet medication online.
How do you safely order pet medication online?
There are several reputable pet pharmacies online. However, there are unsafe ones out there too. Dr. Whittenburg advises using caution when ordering medications off the internet and doing plenty of research.
Certain online retailers sell the same name-brand medications you can get through your vet. VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) or NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) has accreditated these online pharmacies. It’s important to verify their accreditation before placing an order to ensure the website is legitimate.
Can you order pet meds without a vet prescription?
That depends on the type of medication. Some types of pet medications require a prescription, while others might be over the counter. Either way, consult with a veterinarian before medicating your pet.
What are the benefits to ordering pet medication online?
As long as you make sure to go through a reputable company, Dr. Whittenburg shares the two benefits of ordering pet medicine online.
You can order the medication from the comfort of your home and have it shipped directly to you. However, depending on the medication, you may need to get a written prescription from your vet before you can order it online.
2. Lower price
The large online retailers buy products in bulk, meaning their prices are often lower.
What are the benefits to ordering your pet’s medications through your vet?
Of course, there are two sides to everything. Dr. Whittenburg says there are benefits to ordering your pet’s medications through your vet rather than online.
1. Safety guarantee
No matter what kind of medication you order for your pet, you’ll know it’s safe and has been handled correctly. You’ll also be guaranteed the correct dose and strength for your pet.
2. Get prescriptions filled quicker
Using a pet pharmacy associated with your veterinarian can help ensure your prescriptions are approved quickly, given that your vet knows your pet’s medical history.
3. Order smaller doses
Vets can sell individual doses of boxed medication, so you only need to purchase the exact amount you need. Online pharmacies require you to buy the entire package. For example, you can buy a one-month supply of heartworm prevention from your vet but may only be able to get a six-month supply online. Buying a big supply can be inconvenient if you won’t use the full box before it expires or if your pet is still growing and will need a different dosage strength when changing weight classes.
What else should you consider when ordering pet medication online?
Before going online for pet medications, Dr. Whittenburg suggests speaking to your veterinarian. They can recommend reputable online pharmacies. Some veterinary clinics have online pharmacies with similar pricing and convenience to the big online pet retailers. Your vet may even offer price matching if you show them that the medication is being sold cheaper from another reputable pet pharmacy.