Is it Safe to Order Pet Medicine Online?
- Make a visit to your veterinarian prior to an online purchase
While purchasing medication online is a convenient way to save money, it should never be a replacement for a veterinary visit which will determine specific needs for your pet.
- Choose a web site that belongs to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy
Veterinarians can be wary of online pharmacies – unapproved or low-quality medication can endanger the pet. Some disreputable pet pharmacies sell counterfeit pet products and unapproved or expired medications. They have been known to make false claims and distribute pet medicines without a prescription. Look for a site that displays the Vet-VIPPS seal. This shows compliance with Vet-VIPPS criteria, including authentication and security of prescription orders and ensured quality. More safety tips: Look to see how long the pharmacy has been in business and read customer reviews!
- See a veterinarian before purchasing NSAIDs (nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) or heartworm medicine online
Veterinarians often prescribe NSAIDs for pain in dogs, but they should not be purchased on the Internet without a veterinary visit. It is important for dogs to have blood tests, a physical exam and undergo monitoring while taking NSAIDs. It is equally important for the owner to be informed of possible side effects, accompanied with an information sheet.
Potentially fatal – dogs, cats and ferrets can get heartworm disease from mosquitoes carrying infected larvae. Heartworm medication kills the larvae before they become adult worms. The American Heartworm Society recommends using medication for dogs year-round, no matter where you live in the United States. A dog that already has heartworms can have a severe reaction to the medicine, so an annual test is also recommended.
- Transferring a Prescription to a Safe and Legitimate, On-line Site
When your veterinarian prescribes medicine for your pet, discuss the possibility of online purchase. A good veterinarian will understand your need to save money, and sometimes they will match the price that you can get online. It is your right in most states to ask for documentation of your pet's current prescriptions and to have those records transferred to whomever you choose. However, a pet owner can not demand a diagnosis or a new prescription from their pet’s doctor that would not ordinarily be recommended. In other words, you could not request a prescription for heartworm medicine without a current heartworm test.
Pet care can be expensive, so it makes sense to save money wherever possible. On-line sites can offer great deals on frequently administered flea, tick and heartworm medicines, expensive joint supplements and long-term prescription medication. Take advantage of the tips above for convenience and savings!