Buying Pet Medicines Without Prescription

Just as health care costs for people have increased, the price of medicine and health care for pets has also gone up dramatically. While we may put off going to the doctor ourselves if we just have a sniffle and buy over the counter cold medicine, it gets a bit more complicated when it comes to buying pet medicines without a prescription. There are several types of pet medications that you can purchase without going to a vet and many of those are safe. But anytime you buy pet medicines without a prescription you are taking a small risk to save a little money. There have been cases where human and pet medications manufactured outside the U.S. have been made from inferior drugs or contained the wrong dose, so it pays to be wary.

The types of pet medications most often bought without a prescription are flea and tick remedies and prevention. You can buy dozens of different kinds practically everywhere, from discount stores, pet shops, grocery stores and even online. And there are dozens of different applications, from drops, sprays, shampoos, powders, pills and collars.

You may be thrilled to find what you think is a cheap remedy to a common pet problem, but quite a few of those older over the counter flea and tick products are made with chemicals that have now been known to be potentially harmful to some pets. Older pets, very young ones and pets with other health issues could have a reaction to some of these cheaper flea and tick remedies, sometimes even fatal. And it’s true that a pet can have a reaction to a brand name product as well, but the newer ones are generally made from less toxic chemicals that aren’t absorbed into your pet’s system the same way as older ones.

It’s also very important that you follow the dosing instructions on the package if you do buy pet medicines without a prescription. A vet will weigh your pet and prescribe the correct amount, but if you buy pet medication over the counter you’ll have to weight your pet do the math yourself. Don’t overdose your pet and do not think you can use cat flea and tick products on dogs or vice versa. Each product is specifically made for that type of animal and can be harmful if given to the other.

Deworming medicine is another popular pet medication that is often purchased without a prescription. Again, there are dozens of choices available in almost any grocery, pet or chain store. Just like the flea and tick products, the older dewormer medicine is often made from more toxic chemicals that can be very hard on your dog or cat. Giving the wrong amount or giving dewormer to animals that are older, very young or have an unknown health problem can actually be fatal. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to find dewormer that is safe without a prescription, but you should only give it to pets that seem to be healthy otherwise and carefully follow the dosing instructions.

Other pet medicines you may see in stores are vitamins and joint supplements or arthritis remedies. If your cat or dog is eating a healthy diet, he or she probably doesn’t need added supplements unless your vet says otherwise. Usually a blood test is needed to determine that. And some vitamins and minerals are fat soluble as opposed to being water soluble, so they can actually build up in your pet’s system and become a problem. So again, follow the instructions on the packaging.

Buying pet medicines without a prescription can be done safely, but you have to do some research first. Ask your vet if he or she has any recommendations on where to purchase discount pet medications. Check out online pet pharmacies with the Better Business Bureau and see if there have been any complaints filed against them. You can do that easily online as well. Also ask other pet owners if they have used a particular product before and how well if worked for their pet.

Saving money is a good thing, but not at the expense of your pet’s health. So do your research and use caution when buying pet medicines without a prescription.


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