Our dogs and cats are no longer just an accessory; they’re family. And just like children, we have to take care of them; we invest time and money into whatever it takes to keep them healthy, even if it means spending hundreds of dollars a year on vet visits and pet supplies. The amount of money Americans spend on their pets nowadays has hit an all-time high; this year we are expected to hit $60 million!
Though pet medications are much more expensive than the human equivlanet due to veterinary markups and other fees, pet parents can’t simply cut down on these supplies. They’re necessary for the survival of members of their family. So what’s Plan B? The Internet. “With the growing number of Internet pharmacies, savvy pet parents realize that shopping online can amount to lower prices, and added convenience.”
If you are one of the many pet parents who are looking to save both time and money by order your pet products online, read these three major issues, and learn how to avoid being the one digging a hole:
1. The Shipment That Won’t Stop
Sure, auto-shipments sounds like a cool idea; you only have to place the order once, and the supplies keep coming…and coming, and coming. That’s the major problem with auto-shipments; at some point down the road, you want to cancel or change the plan, but the company just can’t seem to take a hint.
Right after you call the company to cancel the auto-payment of your medications, call your credit card company to let them know that any future automatic payments from that company are no longer authorized.
2. The MIA Shipment
According to SiteJabber, one in five pet parents never received their medication shipments, or it took way to long to show up. This tends to be a major problem when ordering from companies that are based in another country, since the meds will have to go through customs, but it can also occur with companies in the U.S. for a variety of reasons.
Always have a Plan B… a backup pharmacy, that is! It may cost more, but trust me, it’s better to pay a little extra this time around, rather than have a very sick pup, and then pay for the hospital bills. If the company doesn’t deliver when promised, and you want to get your money back, submit your request in writing along with a phone call. There’s no guarantee that it will work, however, and you may have to involve your credit card company again.
3. The Shipment Is Fake… And The Pharmacy Is Too
That’s the problem with Internet; anyone can lie about anything and get away with it. And this issue isn’t isolated to dating websites and social networking, more than one in three online pet pharmicies were found to be illegitimate. So what does that mean for you? The meds they gijve you may not be the ones you thought. They could be fake pills, diluted versions, or have their own additives. Regardless, you’re biting off more than you can chew.
The FDA recommends that you only order pet medications from a website that is a ‘Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site’ or VET-VIPPS verified. This certification isn’t just handed out; the pharmacy must meet specific criteria, including requirements on licensing, inspection, quality, and validity. You can also make sure it is verified by LegitScripts.com.
Well this certainly complicates things! To make sure you don’t end up buried under a bundle of bones, or in your case, debt; ask your vet for recommendations. They’ll be able to tell you how to get cheaper medication for your pets – THE SAFE WAY. Other helpful websites include PetCareRx.com and DrsFosterSmith.com.