Pet Medication: How Choosing the Right Pharmacy Can Cut Costs

April 14, 2014


We love our pets in Colorado and we will do just about anything to take care of them. However, there isn’t a nurturing bone in the body that can absorb the cost of pet medications. It’s difficult to know what the best thing is for your pet and when to look somewhere other than your own veterinarian to get the meds you need. There are a number of pharmacies for your pet out there that people aren’t really aware of.Here are some great options to ask your vet about the next time your furry friend needs meds.

Human Pharmacies

Many pet owners don’t realize that some of the medications their pet is taking are the same that people take.  Did you know that Prozac and Paxil can be used for cat anxiety? Or that Viagra can treat pulmonary hypertension in dogs? You hear about many human medications being only $4 for a month supply and sometimes your faithful friend can use that deal as well. Some pharmacies, like Walgreens, have even gone so far as to stock veterinary only meds such as heartworm and flea/tick prevention. However, these meds aren’t as necessary immediately so you might have time to shop around.

Compounding Pharmacies

Compounding pharmacies are able to prepare medications in different forms and different delivery systems. The age old practices in these pharmacies are very necessary for some of the medications for your pets. Sometimes the dose is very specific and you need to have the medication made for you. Or you could have a pet that is impossible to pill and they need a chewable treat to take their meds. Some pets won’t or can’t take anything by mouth so you might want a transdermal medication that can be applied to the inside of the ear.

Whatever the reason, your vet should be able to work with you and give you the options that work best for you and your pet. Human compounding pharmacies, such as Cornell and Pencol pharmacies in Denver or Monument Pharmacy in Monument, aren’t as common as Walgreens but they are readily utilized by vets in the state.

Pet Compounding Pharmacies

BCP Veterinary Pharmacy in Texas is a compounding pharmacy that specializes in vet medications. Your vet will call them to set up a prescription and they can either send it to the hospital or to your house. Their VetChews are a specialty but they have a variety of delivery systems to choose from depending on what your pets needs are. Although they are in another state, their pricing is competitive and might be worth it to you. Not to mention they sell cheese chews. What dog or cat doesn’t want cheese?

Online Pharmacies

Anyone who watches TV knows that online pharmacies exist. However, you should proceed with caution when purchasing from them because many are known to purchase medications on the black market. It can be detrimental to your pet’s health since it’s unknown how the medication is stored and whether it will be ultimately be effective. In fact, some hospitals now require the owners to sign waivers before they approve a prescription request from online pharmacies.

The FDA has a list of things to be aware of if you do decide to proceed with an online pharmacy. There are distributors like MWI Vet Supply that are able to set up online pharmacy programs through vet hospitals that allow owners  to order meds and get home delivery. Talk to your vet about if they have any programs through their hospital that could benefit you.

Keep in mind that all medications you give to your pet should be with the approval of your veterinarian. Be aware of where you are getting any medications and, since hospitals aren't always stocked with certain meds, always be sure to give plenty of time for refills. If you are ordering from an outside pharmacy, it might take a while to get to you or your vet may need to approve the refill which could add some time as well.  Keeping an eye on your pet’s medication supply will keep your stress level down and make your vet’s office better able to serve you better.