Online pet pharmacies claim to offer convenience and lower prices on pet medications than the local veterinarian’s office. However, there are several reasons you should skip the online pet pharmacies and stick to buying medications for your pet in person from your veterinarian. If you are considering shopping online for pet medications, consider the following information before making a purchase.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has investigated many online pet pharmacies, discovering that many of these pharmacies sell counterfeit products. All of these products are dangerous to pets, however, pain reliever medications and heartworm preventatives are especially dangerous to give to pets without the oversight of a licensed veterinarian. Counterfeit products are made with no quality control, and there is no way for pet owners to know what substances are actually in these products. The products may be full of harmful chemicals, and may also lack the actual medicinal properties that are essential to keep pets healthy. It is actually cheaper to buy approved medications from your local vet, so you can be sure that your pet is being treated properly and you won’t have to go back later to fix a medical issue that you thought you were preventing with regular medication for your pet.
Expired & Improperly Stored Medications
Online pet pharmacies do not go through the same channels a licensed veterinarian goes through to obtain the products they sell. Some online pet pharmacies buy old stock from veterinarians or products with dubious origins. This can lead to consumers purchasing pet medications that are nearing or past their expiration dates. These medications may also be stored improperly. Improper storage in extreme heat, extreme cold or dirty storage conditions can render the medication ineffective at best, and deadly to your pet at worst. Since there is no way to know the chain of custody for the medications sold at online pet pharmacies, it is best to protect your pet’s health and purchase from your local veterinarian. Local vets usually purchase directly from the manufacturer, or from a licensed distributor, so you can be sure that your pet’s medications are fresh and properly stored.
Several online pet pharmacies are located outside of the United States. As a result, there is no control of these pharmacies by the FDA. With this lack of oversight, these pharmacies are free to sell medications that are expired, diluted, or otherwise tampered with. These pharmacies also sell medications that require prescriptions, without requiring customers to provide an actual prescription from the pet’s doctor. This can result in customers getting the wrong type of medication for their pet, which can ultimately result in a sick pet, a large veterinarian bill and even death for a beloved furry family member. Avoid pet pharmacies that are based outside the United States, and those that do not require a prescription for medications that are only sold by prescription. Contact a local vet, like Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, for your pet’s medication needs.