When Buying Pet Medications Online: What are you Paying For?

Internet-savvy, cost conscious pet owners are looking to online options for their pets’ medication needs. Of concern, however, is the prevalence of illegally functioning pharmacies who are selling expired, poorly stored, or incompletely labeled pet medications. In order to protect your pet, as well as your wallet, it is important for people purchasing pet medications online to be informed consumers.Buying Pet Medications Online

Buyer beware when purchasing pet medications online!

In most online transactions, a good dose of “buyer beware” makes good sense. When it comes to the health and happiness of our pets, being an educated purchaser of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications takes on an additional seriousness. Because our pets cannot speak to us (at least not in a verbal language) they cannot communicate when their medication tastes different, smells different, makes them feel sick, or is not working. Thus, it is up to us, the pet owners, to advocate for our pets and be certain that the medications we are providing them for their health are of the intended quality.

What does the FDA have to say about purchasing pet medications online?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has posted a very useful article with suggestions about how an internet user could determine if an internet pharmacy is reputable and likely to sell medications of high quality.

Among additional recommendations, the FDA recommends that any online website that a pet owner considers using to purchase pet medications should be accredited by Vet-VIPPS (veterinary- verified internet pharmacy practice sites). Vet-VIPPS is a segment of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

What are you paying for when you purchase pet medications online?

Perhaps you are paying for time-saving, home delivery, or lower cost. However, what you cannot purchase online from any internet pharmacy is the skill and care of your veterinarian. So, be sure to keep them informed about your decisions to purchase pet medications online. They may have a pharmacy that they have worked with in the past and may be able to recommend.

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Angela Linvill

Angela has been the Hospital Administrator of a multi-specialty/ emergency/ and general practice veterinary hospital since 2005. She is also the Chair of the Contra Costa County Employer Advisory Council. Angela has a Masters of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Troy University. She is committed to helping pet owners make good decisions about the health care of their pets regardless of their financial situation.

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