Updated: Feb 5
You can save money on your pet's prescriptions by going to major stores and pharmacies, as well as online pet medication pharmacies. You can also save by using prescription discount cards as well such as SinglCare and GoodRx.
By: Allan R. Kirby
Buying Medications at the Vet?
Since the start of the pandemic, pet ownership has skyrocketed and so has the demand for medications in order to take care of them. This is not surprising because pet owners want to ensure they are providing high-quality care for their pets which is important since pets are often considered a member of the family.
When your pet is having issues you simply go to the veterinarian, get an evaluation done and the Vet will then determine which medication may be necessary for your animal. For convenience, you will like to decide just to get the recommended medications at the vet and pay for them there. Unfortunately in some cases, this can be costly, especially for some medications that you may be required to provide your pet for a period of time.
The main reason it's expensive is that Veterinarians can have a high mark up for their medications and unlike places such as Walmart, they cannot get deep discounts for their medications. Costs could run from 100% to over 150% plus depending on fees such as dispensing fees when buying at the vet as opposed to cheaper alternatives.
Why do people buy medication for their pets at the Veterinarians when its more expensive? It's convenience faster, a lack of knowledge of other options.
So even though many commonly used medications are available at pharmacies, pet retail specialty stores as well as online pet pharmacies and major chains, most people tend not to use them. However, if you want to save money but not sacrifice the health of your pet, there are many good alternatives to buying your pet's medications from the Veterinarian.
Healthcare for pets can be costly but there are alternatives that can help you save significantly on pet medications, over the counter as well as presciption drugs.
The following provide alternatives to your Vet to buy pet medications and over the counter drugs to save money
Target, Walmart, Costco, and Petco are all great places to find deals on over the counter drugs for your animals at deep discounts to a veterinarian.
Walmart for example has recently expanded much more deeply into healthcare for pets with PetRx. PetRx helps pet owners fill their pet's prescriptions at much more affordable prices. Additionally, Walmart has a great selection of over the counter medications for your pets. It's a good place to start when looking to save on your pet's healthcare costs.
However not to be outdone, Costco Pharmacies now dispense commonly used prescription drugs for your pets at a great value. This could be another great place to visit to help reduce costs.
Finally, there is Petco, through Express Scripts Pharmacy at Petco it is licensed to dispense prescription drugs and other regulated products in all 50 states. We will discuss them in more detail with online pet pharmacies, but Petco is a great store to get over-the-counter drugs for your pet at reasonable prices.
Major pharmacy chains
CVS and Walgreens will fill a pet prescription but only for drugs that are also prescribed to humans. There are many treatments both pets and humans receive for the same drugs such as medications for digestive problems, itching and skin irritations, infections, and even high blood pressure.
You do need to have a proper prescription from the veterinarian to have the prescription filled. Pharmacies will not dispense drugs without a prescription even for pets.
GoodRx and SingleCare discounts for pet medications
If you plan on using a major pharmacy chain then it would be a good idea to check out the many different drug discount card programs available for free. You can not only save money on your your own prescriptions but you can save on human/animal prescription as well.
GoodRx brings together prices from major online pet medication retailers, local pharmacies, and other sources to find you the lowest prices on all your pet medications.
You can save for example on pain medication such as Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Previcox, Onsior
Online Pet medication pharmacies
Finally, many online pet pharmacies allow you to buy medications conveniently and cheaply without the hassle of leaving your home. Ideal in today's new world. There are many different online pharmacies available for pet medications and we detail them here:
Chewy pharmacy is a full-service online pharmacy for pet owners. It is designed to allow owners to shop for prescription medications as well as receive helpful information about pet care, health, and wellness from certified and licensed pharmacists.
1-800-PetMeds - Placing an order with 1-800-PetMeds is a simple online process. All you need to do is browse the website or use their mobile app. Once you've located the medications and supplies your pet needs, add the item(s) to your shopping cart and buy. If you are ordering any prescription medications, they will also ask you to provide more information about your pet and your veterinarian. Once purchased your order is delivered to your front door; most orders are shipped the same day.
PetCareRx - PetCareRx is an older online line company that was founded back in 1998. PetCareRx has developed and leveraged proprietary technology that enables it to provide prescription and non-prescription pet medication, health and nutritional supplements, food, and supplies directly to you at significant savings. It is a Vet-VIPPS certified licensed pharmacy selling only EPA and FDA approved products
Petco pet pharmacy offers prescription support and services for domestic pets, primarily cats and dogs. The orders are filled by Express Scripts Pharmacy at Petco. They fulfill over-the-counter and prescription medications, treatments, and preventives for dogs and cats of every age. Rx formulas require an active prescription issued by a veterinarian within the previous 12 months.
VetRxDirect - is an online pet pharmacy that is focused on delivering high-quality pet medications and premium veterinary supplements, at affordable prices, quickly to your doorstep.
You could continue to purchase your medications at the vet or you can save money by using major retail chains and pharmacies or online Pet medication pharmacies ultimately it is up to you. However, it can be costly to own a pet, and using the suggested pharmacies will ensure you can provide great care for your family member while saving money.
Can I get pet medication without a prescription from the veterinarian?
You can only get pet medications without a prescription if the pet medications are available over the counter (OTC). If your pet's medications are clearly classified as a prescription required by the FDA then you can only get the medication from authorized pharmacists with a valid prescription from your veterinarian or an authorized veterinarian
This is a MySmallBank.com blog written by Allan Kirby, who writes and produces Personal Finance and Money Management articles and videos.