Your pet is an important part of your family, which is why you do everything you can in order to help keep them healthy and happy. When your pet is ill, you want to help them as rapidly as possible, and this usually means giving them medication. This can make it attractive to search for and buy pet meds online, especially since it sometimes seems that these medications are available at discounted prices. The only trouble is knowing which pet meds are the best solutions–and which pet meds may not only fail to serve the intended purpose but may possibly also cause problems and so should be avoided. This is why it is very important to understand when to see a vet.

Do I Need a Vet

No one knows your pet better than you do. You know what makes them excited, what makes them nervous, when they are feeling happy, and when they are feeling sad. You know their normal patterns of behavior, and this means you know when they are not feeling like their normal, healthy self. This is incredibly valuable, especially since it can help you to detect a problem long before there are any other, objective symptoms. However, unless you have the training and experience of a veterinary doctor, there is a very good chance that you will be unable to accurately diagnose your pet, or determine the proper treatment. For example, you may think your pet is suffering from indigestion and give them medication for this condition when actually they have a kidney issue and need medication for that. This is why it is always better and safer to go to the vet when you notice that something is wrong with your pet.

So what if you go to the vet, get a diagnosis, and receive a prescription. It seems safe to buy the medication online in this situation, right? Well according to the FDA, it’s still not entirely safe. The main issue is that while there are many sites that represent legitimate pharmacies and provide authentic medications, there are many, many others that sell unapproved pet medications, counterfeit pet medications and even expired medications. What this means to you–the pet owners–is that you run a risk of buying medications that are at best ineffective and at worst unsafe for your pet. When you purchase pet meds at your vet’s office, you can be certain that they are the proper medications for your pet’s condition and that they are the authentic medications that your pet needs.

There are some limited instances where you may be able to buy pet meds online with relative safety after you have seen the vet and received a diagnosis and prescription. An example may be when you are purchasing flea and tick medication for your pet. When this is the case, the following guidelines can help to ensure that you are buying an authentic product from a legitimate pharmacy:

  • Ensure the pharmacy requires a veterinarian’s prescription. Any pharmacy that does not require a prescription for pet meds is unlikely to be legitimate.
  • Stick to websites that end with “.pharmacy.” These websites have had to meet very strict standards set by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s Pharmacy Verified Websites Program. These standards ensure that the online pharmacies with this label are trustworthy and safe to buy from.

No matter what, you should always have a licensed veterinarian perform a physical examination of your pet prior to buying any medications. There are certain signs and symptoms that a vet may recognize when you don’t, and this can make the difference between accurate and inaccurate diagnoses. Websites that promise legitimate veterinary diagnoses based upon the medical information you provide them should be avoided, as there is just no substitute for a physical examination and true veterinary professionals wouldn’t have it any other way.