Ask most pet parents and they will tell you that they buy pet medicine from the vet’s office. Before the popularity of online pet pharmacies, vet’s offices were the only legitimate places to buy genuine medications for dogs. There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of pharmacies attached to vet’s offices. Unless you are dealing with a shady unlicensed practitioner, who are very rare, you are fine to purchase pills and supplements for dogs from vets.
However, when it comes to online pharmacies you need to tread carefully. Back in 2017, the FDA issued a warning to pet parents and asked them to practice caution when buying pet medications online. This was after the US Food and Drug Administration discovered a long list of sites selling counterfeit and unapproved medications and products. These medications often fail to deliver the desired results and are sometimes associated with dangerous side effects. To help you keep your pet safe, the following are 6 mistakes pet parents make when buying pet medications online.
Being Driven by Discount and Not by the Reputation of the Online Store
It’s not uncommon to find pet med stores online offering great discounts. A lot of pet parents end up falling prey to these tactics and end up ordering in a haste. If you decide to buy pills for your dogs on the internet, it’s best to make a list of few reputed sites. When comparing prices, make sure you don’t look beyond sites you know for sure are genuine.
Order Prescription Pet Med from an Online Store That Does Not Ask for Prescription
It’s illegal to sell prescription pet medication without the vet’s prescription. Any site that does not ask for a prescription is thus breaking the law. This may also mean that they are lying about the authenticity of their featured products and medications.
Not Checking VIPPS Accreditation
VIPPS stands for Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. Issued by NABP (National Association of Board of Pharmacy), it’s a type of accreditation given to reputed online pet pharmacies. To qualify for the accreditation, online pharmacies need to meet strict quality, storage, and transport standards. Most authentic pet pharmacies display the VIPPS accreditation logo on their homepages.
Not Asking the Vet for Suggestions When Selecting an Online Store
Your pet’s vet is the go-to person for any pet-related questions. Feel free to ask him or her for suggestions. While a lot of pets may ask you to buy pet medicines from them, some might suggest online pharmacies that are trusted in the industry. Vets regularly deal with a lot of pet health issues. This is why they are the first people to know when medicine bought from a particular site causes any health issue.
Trusting a Site that Sells Unregulated Products
When browsing an online pet medication store, be on the lookout for products that are not approved by the FDA. Many unethical stores feature foreign pet medications, which have failed to clear the FDA standards. If you find one that does, it’s best to stay clear.
Not Checking the “Contact Us” Page Before Placing an Order
A trustworthy online pet store should have no qualms about declaring their contact details. Check the site’s Contact Us page. Stay clear if they only have an online Email form. Trust a site that has a US address, phone numbers, and offer multiple options to contact them.