Should You Use Online Pet Pharmacies?

05/14/2012

Should You Use Online Pet Pharmacies?

 

Save Money on Pet Medications

One of the recent online shopping trends is the use of internet pharmacies. Internet pharmacies provide cost savings for many prescription drugs. This development has also moved into the pet world as we are now seeing online pharmacies for pet medications. So should you use an online pet pharmacy?

Like many dog owners, I live in a region that is considered heartworm territory where all dogs are highly recommended to go on heartworm preventative medication during the season, which lasts from June to November (at least up here in southern Ontario).

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My Lhasa Apso dogs were prescribed the Sentinel brand of heartworm medication and although I don’t personally endorse any specific brand, I chose to stay with Sentinel each season for now. My dogs must take one tablet at the beginning of each month for six months starting each June. Each box of Sentinel containing six tablets cost me $82 at the vet clinic and since I have two dogs, the total cost for heartworm medication was therefore $164. Not knowing any better, I paid this amount for the first year that my dogs were on Sentinel.

For the following year, I started to investigate the online pet pharmacies. I found a few and compared their prices. I found one that I have used for two years now and my total cost each season is now down to about $132, which includes shipping. This is about $66 per pack of six tablets of the same Sentinel I got from the vet. So even with the shipping cost, I’m saving about 20% by using an online pet pharmacy instead of letting my vet dispense the heartworm medication.

Purchasing prescription medications from online pet pharmacies do require a written prescription from a vet. At first, I wasn’t sure if my vet would refuse to give me a written prescription since this would result in some lost business for the clinic. But both the vet clinics I used in Montreal and Toronto didn’t have any problems giving me written prescriptions. I think they are aware of the online pharmacies and that if pet owners can save significantly by using them, especially during times of recession, then they should be obligated to help out this way. My position is that if a vet refused to supply me with a written prescription for this purpose and insisted that I obtain medications strictly through the clinic, I would seriously consider changing vets.

Of course, for medications that are required immediately after a visit to the vet like for an infection, I would still take the treatments from the clinic knowing that I am probably paying a premium. In these cases, I won’t go through the online route to wait for shipping if my dog needs the medication right away. But for something like heartworm or flea control medications that can be planned well ahead with no urgent time factor involved, the online pet pharmacies such as Total Pet Supply or Pet Care Choice are the way to go.

Different countries have different regulations regarding the importation of prescription medicines. Currently, Canadian residents cannot purchase from an online pharmacy outside of Canada. Many online pharmacies ship only to certain countries for certain products, especially prescription drugs.

About the Author

Clint Cora is the author of the book “Potty Train Your Puppy With A Litter Box – Convenient House Training Indoors For Dogs” . He has house trained his dogs indoors since 1979. For more info, see indoor dog litter box potty training

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