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There are several reasons you should consider getting your pets medications from your veterinarian:

When it comes to buying medications online, it is important to be very careful.  Pet owners who purchase drugs from non-veterinary approved online companies may think they are saving money but in reality the may be short-changing their pet's health and putting its life at risk. 

In many cases, veterinary prices are as good as if not better than prices provided by online retailers, even when shipping is included!  Not only is it more cost effective many products are meant to be sold through your veterinarian so that your veterinarian or veterinary technician can answer any questions, provide you with instructions for use, and maybe even demonstrate how to give your pet the medication. Also your veterinarian usually has the medication in stock so that you have the medication immediately and you don't have to wait to get it from another pharmacy.

You many also wish to consider that if you order from a non-veterinary approved pharmacy and the medication isn't properly shipped or isn't properly packaged (some need to be cold or on ice), it could render the medication ineffective, damaged and unusable. Whereas if you get it from your veterinarian, you know it has been properly handled until it reaches you. If there is a problem with the medication received from an non-veterinary approved online pharmacy, there might be a period of time when you pet isn't getting its medication as you wait for the replacement medication to arrive. 

Read on for further reasons why you should buy your pet's medication from your veterinarian.

  • Manufacturers will often not guaranty or warranty medication purchased through suppliers other than veterinarians. Incorrect medications are often sold to clients through non-veterinary sources.  This results in the potential to cause serious complications.
  • Your veterinarian will monitor for any side effects and effectiveness of any medication and consider the effects of any combined medications.  
  • While it might be convenient to have medications delivered to your door, simply call ahead and to reserve your medication to be picked up or see if you veterinarian has a online pharmacy through the practice. Another option maybe to ask if your veterinarian is able to ship a product to you!
  • Medications are usually dosed on a weight basis.  It is important that your veterinarian determines your pet’s weight and calculates the correct dosage to achieve the desired effect from the medication. Your pet’s current health condition my also alter the final dosage.
  • Dog and cat owners should keep in mind that their cats are not small dogs, nor are their dogs large cats. Many medications that are administered to dogs are not safe for cats and can be fatal, with the reverse being true as well. 
  • Many medications need to be reconstituted or diluted specifically for your pet. Some medications must be kept in a controlled environment or refrigerated. The medications that are shipped to your veterinarian are properly packaged and delivered under controlled temperatures so you don’t have to worry about receiving "spoiled" medicines that were exposed to temperature extremes, sunlight, moisture, etc.
  • Some medications require follow-up monitoring for adverse reactions or dosage adjustments. If an adverse reaction does occur, it is important to have established a veterinary-client-patient relationship to ensure that your pet receives appropriate medical attention.  An adjustment to the dosage may need to be made after lab tests and/or examinations are performed.
  • In deciding where to purchase medicines for your pets, you need to balance any cost savings with the unique services and expertise you receive from your veterinarian.
  • Keep in mind also that medicine prescribed and purchased at your veterinarian’s office comes with the comfort of knowing that you and your pet are individuals and have distinct needs that can best be served by your veterinarian.
  • Some websites sell medicine that may not be safe to use and could put your pets health at risk.  Some websites that sell medicine that:
    • 1.) are not U.S. state licensed pharmacies or aren't pharmacies at all
    • 2.) may give a diagnosis that is not correct and sell a medication that is not right for your pet
    • 3.) won't protect your personal interest. 
  • Some medicines online are fake or counterfeit, too strong or too weak, have dangerous ingredients, have expired or are out of date, are not FDA approved and have not been checked for safety and effectiveness, are not made using safe standards, are not safe to use with other medication or with products you use, are not labeled, stored or shipped correctly.
  • A physical exam needs to be performed to make sure your pet is healthy in order to be able to prescribe a medication.  It is recommend to speak with your veterinarian and have a physical exam before you get any new medicication.  Use only the medication that has been prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Many prescription drugs are only effective for specific problems and may actually be harmful to your pet if used without that critical veterinary exam and diagnosis. 
  • Over the counter pain medications are not safe - Do Not Use!

 Information provided from the FDA and PVMA