6 Tips On How to Find Cheaper Pet Medications Online
How to Find Cheaper Pet Medications Online
As any pet owner knows, pet medication can be very expensive, especially when you get it at the veterinary office. What you may not know is just how much more most vet clinics are charging over wholesale. According to a survey of vet pricing conducted by the market research firm LKH partners, veterinary offices markup prices anywhere from 100 to 160 percent over wholesale prices, and some medications are marked up even higher such as certain steroids being prescribed for inflammation that are marked up to 567 percent higher, some pain relievers that are marked up by 800 percent and antibiotics by as much as 1,000 percent. Sometimes you simply have to get the medication at your pet’s vet, like in cases of an emergency, but most of the time spending such an exorbitant amount on pet medications can be avoided.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to save money on pet meds, and this article is going to help you do just that. First we’ll share tips on how to save on pet meds, and after that we’ll share with you the best websites, pharmacies and non-profits to turn to in order to get your pets medications at a price that you can afford. Let’s start now with tips for how to find cheaper pet medications for your pets.
Tip 1 – Create Your Pet’s Health File
Before you shop for medications for your pet, you should have your pet’s health history ready. Just a few things are usually needed for most pharmacies or non-profits, such as an approximate birth date, any medication allergies, surgeries or other health issues and the name, address and phone number of their vet. Other basic things that would be good to know would be when your pet was last vaccinated and for what, as well as when they had their last exam. Keeping this in a file will be helpful for getting your pet’s RX quickly and inexpensively and good to have in case you change vets. I’m sure that if you wanted to get high tech about it, there’s even an app for this.
Tip 2- Shop Around for Your Pet Meds
Just like you do for your own medications when you find that one pharmacy is charging too much, you should also do for your pets meds, which is to shop around. Just because your pet’s veterinarian prescribes medication for them does not mean that you have to purchase it at their office. In cases of an emergency, you should of course consider it, however, if your pet can wait a day or more for their meds you have other options. These include pet med pharmacies online, local pet rescues and non-profit animal humane services that offer the medications at a discount depending on your income, and local pharmacies. For more help in each of these areas, follow this article and watch for part two below.
Tip 3 – Find Out if Your Pet Needs a Prescription
Before getting your pet meds online you should know that for most medications, even certain flea and tick topicals, you will need to have a valid prescription for the medication. This can be obtained through your pet’s veterinary office. To get a prescription most vets require that your pet has been seen by the doctor within the past year, but each veterinary office has different requirements so before shopping be sure to check with them on how to get your pet’s prescription. For some medications a prescription is not needed, but don’t be fooled by sites that say ‘no prescription is needed’ when you know one most certainly is. Our next tip will tell you why.
Tip 4 – Do Not Buy From Websites That Say ‘No Prescription Needed’
Purchasing from an online pharmacy that doesn’t require an RX may certainly seem like a good thing, after all it saves you the inconvenience of a vet visit and the associated fees, but we highly recommend against buying medications through them. Why? Mostly this is because of the high risks involved, such as your being sent a medication that isn’t actually real, has been diluted, or has otherwise been manipulated with in such a way that can cause great harm or even death to your beloved cat or dog. Other issues include that these sites usually take weeks to ship the product since they’re usually overseas, and you may or may not get them as it has to go through customs. You also have a financial risk when giving them your credit card information and recouping your money is unlikely. For these reasons, always buy from a pet pharmacy in the U.S.
Tip 5 – No Prescription Needed Medications
When we say now, no prescription needed, this is of course very different than tip four where we said shopping at a website that says ‘no prescription needed’ when one actually is, is a big no no. In this case we are speaking about when a prescription truly isn’t needed, for example on monthly flea medicine like Advantage or Frontline. With such medications you can shop just about anywhere for them, such as large discount stores like Amazon, Walmart or Target. These places are normally significantly cheaper than pet pharmacies and pet stores. Still, be wary where you are purchasing these medications from and for the same reasons listed in tip four, do not purchase them from overseas.
Tip 6: Use Coupons
Did you know that there’s also coupons for pet medications and not just pet food? There are plenty of coupon codes and even paper coupons out there to help you reduce your pet med prices. Aside from checking your newspaper, should you even get one anylonger, here’s how to find them:
- Ask your vet. They often have coupons or specials that they are given by the manufacturer and they can pass these on to you. Most offer specials such as buy six months of flea medication and get two months free. This often brings the price down to that of what you’ll find online.
- Search Google or Bing. In the search bar simply type in the name of the website you’re shopping on for your medication, such as ‘1800PetMeds’ and the word ‘coupon code’. Another way to search is by the medication itself, so ‘Advantage coupon’.
- Go directly to the manufacturer’s website and look for coupons. Some will even have a link where you can apply for a medication for your pet as a hardship and they will approve a huge discount or give you the medication free.
Ready for more advice on how to get your pets meds cheaper? Continue on to Part 2 where we share with you the three cheapest and best pet med pharmacies online and a review of each. Next week, we will also have more help in part 3 where we share with you which pharmacies locally may sell your pets medications at a discount (as little as $4) and in part 4 we will help you by sharing the largest and most helpful non-profits in the pet industry, should you need their help as well.Part 2: The Cheapest and Best Online Pet Med Websites Reviewed