Saving on Prescriptions for Your Pet: The Ultimate Guide

saving on prescriptions

57% of Canadian households own a pet, including 5.9 million dogs and 7.9 million cats. They’ve become a part of the family for most citizens.

Owning a pet is a major investment regardless of where you live. Medical costs are the second most expensive aspect of pet ownership behind food, totalling $476.60 every year.

Saving on prescriptions for your furry family members is the best way to keep them (and your wallet) happy and healthy. Avoid purchasing directly from the vet and find a reputable online pharmacy with affordable generic pet medications. 

Read our pet prescription savings guide to learn the most common types of ailments, how they’re treated, and how to get medications to treat them safely at the best price.

Know What Pet Prescriptions You Need

Preparation is the key to saving on medications. You need to learn how much your animal needs, which drugs will be effective for them, and how much they’ll cost.

Knowing the most common conditions and medications to treat them is an important way to prepare, especially for new pet owners. It can save you from buying medication you don’t need and lets you budget for what you do need.

Common Conditions in Cats and Dogs

Conditions that affect both dogs and cats include joint issues, cancer, and swallowing inedible objects.

Both cats and dogs experience seasonal allergies and allergic reactions but react to them differently. Cats vomit, lose their hair, and experience more skin irritation than dogs.

Dogs can suffer from any one of over 100 skin conditions. Each one may require a specialized medication such as a cream or ointment to reduce discomfort.

Common intestinal problems for dogs include ulcers, kidney disease, and parasites. Inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, and constipation occur in cats.

Dogs need to have their teeth brushed to avoid periodontal disease. They may require medications such as pain relievers if their condition becomes serious enough.

Cats are prone to infections of the urinary tract and kidneys. They may also develop abscesses due to tears in the skin from catfights or infections.

The Most Common Pet Prescriptions

Most pet prescriptions are types of preventative care. They ensure your dog or cat won’t come into contact with a range of parasites in their daily life. Other medications are used to treat infections and other emerging conditions.

Some of the most common pet prescriptions are heartworm meds, flea prevention, NSAIDs, anti-bacterial Amoxicillin, worm treatments, and medications to treat Giardia infections.

Average Medication Costs

Dogs and older cats are susceptible to degenerative joint problems such as arthritis. Treatment for these painful conditions can add up to an average of $3000.

Cancer treatment is one of the most difficult and expensive medical procedures your pet can undergo. It costs thousands of dollars with prices ranging based on the severity of the disease.

Other conditions also differ in price based on the treatment regimen they require. For example, you’ll face a large bill for your cat’s kidney infection if it gets so severe that they need a transplant.

If you know your cat or dog has a pre-existing condition, find an affordable provider to receive the medication they need to manage it. Don’t ignore preventative options like heartworm and flea treatments, and be sure to leave a little extra money for emergencies. Use all of these considerations to include pet prescriptions in your budget. 

Consider Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is the animal equivalent of human health insurance. Approximately 12% of dog and cat owners have it.

Most pet insurance policies cover emergencies, accidents, and unexpected illnesses. The protection usually doesn’t extend to preventative and routine care such as checkups, vaccinations, and certain medications.

Purebred dogs are more susceptible to genetic issues. The top 10 breeds most likely to develop health problems are the Miniature Poodle, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Labrador Retriever, Basset Hound, Saint Bernard, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, German Shepherd, and Cocker Spaniel. 

Cat breeds that need the most veterinary care include the Persian, Siamese, Abyssinian, Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair, Sphynx, and Scottish Fold.

If your pet fits into this category, pet insurance may be a worthwhile purchase. It will help cover the costs of almost all forms of veterinary care, including pet prescriptions.

Don’t Purchase Directly From the Vet

The vet care industry made $29.3 billion in 2019 alone. This includes profits from all of their services combined, including everything from surgeries to pet prescriptions.

Keep in mind that a vet clinic is a business and must make a profit. They pay to obtain and store pet medications and must make a return on their investment. 

There’s no regulation to determine how much a vet clinic can charge you for each medication. They determine their own rates and will often choose the highest possible amount. They are allowed to mark up the average market prices of your pet’s medication from 100-160%.

Veterinarians are experts who know what type of care your pet needs, and they may be able to provide advice on what medications to choose. This should be the only involvement they have in the process. 

Don’t buy your pet medications directly from the vet. Look for a reputable pharmacy that sells pet medications instead.

Brand Name vs. Generic

One of the most effective methods for saving on prescriptions is to choose generic alternatives to brand-name medications. They cost 85% less on average.

The price difference is not the only distinction between brand name and generic medications. They’re chemically similar but have differences that set them apart.

What Makes A Medication Brand-Name?

The reason brand-name medications cost more is that they need to be approved first. The manufacturer must get the idea for the drug, research and develop it, and have it approved by the FDA. This can cost millions of dollars and take several years. 

After the process is done, they earn exclusive trademark, patent, and sales rights to the drugs. No one else can use their name, packaging colour, or other defining characteristics.

What Makes A Medication Generic?

Generic drugs enter the market when the patent rights for their brand-name counterparts expire. They also need to be approved by the FDA as well to show they’re bioequivalent.

Generic drugs have the same active ingredients and use the same manufacturing process. The only differences are that they have no recognizable label, may come in different colours and sizes, and contain inactive ingredients like fillers, binders, and flavourings.

There is a range of generic pet prescriptions on the market today. Try Ivermectin instead of Heartgard for heartworm treatment and prevention. Consider Fipronil instead of Frontline Plus to ward off fleas. Try Carprofen instead of Rimadyl to treat pain, fever, and/or inflammation. Consider Metronidazole instead of Flagyl for Giardia infections.

Almost all medications have a generic equivalent that’s more affordable but equally effective. Owners may worry about the safety of these lesser-known options, but they rarely cause any additional complications. There are only two legitimate reasons you would ever need to purchase brand-name pet medications; ineffectiveness and a lack of availability.

Every dog and cat is an individual and may not respond well to certain medications. If the generic option doesn’t provide enough symptom reduction, you may have to switch to the more expensive brand-name version.

The pet medication you need may not yet have a generic equivalent approved by the FDA. Do your research to see if one is available before deciding.

Buy Online from Canadian Pharmacies

Convenience is a major factor in all purchasing decisions, and this applies in the healthcare field as well. While you could go to a physical location to purchase and pick up your pet prescriptions, going online is a simpler method.

The Internet connects the entire world, and you don’t have to be in the same location as a manufacturer to purchase their products. You can and should find a reputable Canadian pharmacy to fill your pet prescriptions.

Why Online?

Online pharmacies are cheaper and more convenient than the traditional alternative. They allow you to avoid veterinarian markups and have your pet medications delivered to your door.

Online pharmacies may provide a greater variety than physical locations in your area. This is essential for pets with rare conditions or specific medication allergies.

As long as you choose a reputable provider, you’ll enjoy a range of secure payment methods. You can pay with credit or debit cards, money orders, or whatever method is convenient for you at the time.

Why Canada?

We no longer live in an age where you find a product and are forced to pay whatever rates the closest location asks for it. The Internet allows you to make purchases from around the world at any time and choose the most affordable provider. 

Healthcare costs differ from town to town and can be astronomically different in separate countries. Americans spend more on prescription drugs than any other country, adding up to an average of $1,200 per person. Healthcare costs are out of control across the world, but some areas have begun to reduce the burden. 

Canadian pharmaceutical costs are some of the lowest in the world. Purchasing from one of the country’s many online pharmacies is the only way to take advantage of their reduced rates if you’re not a citizen.

Saving on prescriptions doesn’t require an internet connection. The pharmacy can also communicate with you over the phone if needed.

Keep in mind that ordering pet medications online isn’t always the fastest method. It can take up to several weeks for your delivery to arrive. If your best friend needs their first dose immediately, consider getting it from the vet and ordering the rest.

Other Tips for Saving on Prescriptions

Once you know that your pet responds to a specific medication, order either a 30 or 90-day supply. You’ll enjoy reduced rates and the convenience of delivery.

Shop around to find the most affordable pet prescriptions. See if they have rewards or patient assistance programs that can help you reduce costs even further.

How to Ensure Your Cheap Pet Prescriptions Are Safe

Be careful when looking for cheap pet prescriptions. The internet is full of scams and unlicensed dealers who promise a great deal but deliver an inferior product.

There are several safety checks you should perform before buying any pet prescriptions, especially when you go online. Look for guarantees and proof of approval while researching the drug and pharmacy before making a purchase. 

Look for the Norton Shopping Guarantee. It includes identity theft protection as well as purchase and price guarantees. 

Also, make sure your pet’s prescriptions have been approved by the Veterinary Drugs Doctorate. This means there is evidence to prove the drug’s safety, effectiveness, and quality. Look for a drug identification number as proof.

The NTI or narrow therapeutic index and Drug Product Database are two resources that allow you to look up details about any pet medications. You can check to see if they’ve been approved and how effective they are at treating the conditions they were designed to treat.

Check to see if a pharmacy has any reviews available online. Try contacting them to see how quickly their support teams respond. Make sure they require a prescription for every order.

Choosing a reputable online pharmacy allows you to reduce medication costs while ensuring that the products are safe and effective. 

Where to Get Pet Prescriptions

Most Canadian households have a dog or cat living with them but may struggle to keep up with the costs of their daily care. One of the most expensive factors is pet prescriptions to treat and prevent illnesses.

There are ways to fight back against these high costs. Consider pet insurance, purchase prescriptions from reputable online pharmacies instead of the vet, opt for generic alternatives, and shop around for the best rates.

Cheap pet prescriptions aren’t worth the cost savings if they harm your pet, so do your research before making a purchase. Check for guarantees and approvals. The pharmacy should be quick to respond to any service requests and ask for a valid prescription.

90 Day Meds is a reputable online pharmacy ready to serve every member of your family. Check out our pet medications today.

Works Cited

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