Every year, Americans spend around $100 billion on pet products and about $30 billion of that’s spent on veterinary care and medicine.
We all love our pets and it’s heartbreaking to see them suffer, but what do you do when you simply can’t afford the pet medications they need?
Here’s how you can cut costs on medications for pets and avoid this awful scenario.
Save With Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is a godsend if your pet needs urgent veterinary attention or life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, few pet insurance policies include cover for pet medications.
If you’re lucky enough to find a comprehensive, all-inclusive policy for your pet, you’re likely to pay a premium for it. This might not work out cost-effectively if your pet rarely needs medication, but it’s a nice-to-have if you can afford it.
Like health insurance for people, the more inclusions in your pet policy, the higher your monthly premiums.
Ask For Your Veterinarian’s Advice
Your veterinarian understands your pets’ needs and only wants the best for them. Speak to them about your financial concerns and ask them if they can assist.
There are a few ways your vet can help you save on pet medications:
Human Medicines for Animals
Some medications have the same effect on animals as they do on us. For example, penicillin works well for both human and animal ailments. Sometimes, these human meds are cheaper than the animal versions.
Your vet might also know of over-the-counter or home remedies that work for common pet conditions. These might take a little longer to take effect, but they’ll provide much-needed relief for your pets.
Always ask your vet if they know of any cheaper alternatives to their prescribed medication for your pet.
Don’t try any home remedies or human medications on your animals before speaking to your veterinarian. They’ll know about any harmful side effects or toxic implications of these treatments.
Since they treat your animal regularly, they’ll also know if these medicines might react with any current medication your pet’s taking.
Generic Pet Medications
Generic varieties of brand name medications come onto the market as the patents on the originals expire. These medications have the same active ingredient, and thus the same effects as the original.
They’re much cheaper than the original although the only reason for this that medicines cost a lot of money to research and develop. Generic equivalents cost less to bring to market since they piggyback on the research involved in developing the original drug.
Pharmaceutical reps sometimes give veterinarians free samples of medications. Often, these are newly-approved types of medicines for animals.
Your vet might have some of these suitable alternatives in their stash of free goodies.
Portable Pet Prescriptions
Many vets have a dispensary onsite and provide you with medications directly. Ask your vet if they’ll write out a prescription for you instead, so you can shop around and compare prices.
If they agree, there are a few more ways you can try saving on medications for your animals.
Buy Medications for Pets Online
When you have a written prescription for your pet medication, you can enjoy up to 70% savings when you shop at an online pet pharmacy.
These pharmacies have much lower operational costs than brick-and-mortar stores, so they can charge less for their medications. Also, Canadian-based pharmacies pay less for their supplies and can pass this benefit onto their clients. It’s legal to buy medications from Canada if you live in the USA.
Always ensure you shop at a Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site) for your pet medications.
These sites have approval from The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy vets. So, you know they comply with federal and state licensing and assurance requirements.
When you shop online at one of these reputable outlets, you can often compare prices from different suppliers to you always get the best deal. You might also find they have some super savings available via coupons you can redeem at checkout.
Find Coupons for Pet Medications
You can also browse the websites of various drug manufacturers to find coupons. Sometimes these suppliers advertise savings as a marketing initiative to encourage extra sales and brand awareness.
Usually, you can print these out and redeem them at your pharmacy, or use the coupon codes at online pharmacies.
Sign Up for a Prescription Drug Card
You can buy many common pet medications at your regular pharmacy and a pharmacy drug card will offer savings on these too.
These loyalty cards give you cumulative points, discounts, or benefits every time you buy any medications from the relevant pharmacy, including your pet’s requirements.
Another convenience of a pharmacy drug card is that you won’t have to fill in your details every time you shop with them. They’ll keep your information on file. They can also enter your repeat prescriptions on your first visit, so you don’t need to bring them along every time.
Ask Your Local Vet School
Do you have a veterinary college in your area? Some of these institutions have compounding pharmacies and dispensaries onsite.
That means you can enjoy considerable savings when you shop directly with them since they make up your medications right there. There’s no middleman involved in the process.
Choose the Best for Your Pet
Never let your pet suffer or become a financial burden to you. Pets should bring only joy and enjoyment to your life.
With a little selective shopping and by asking for help when needed, you can avoid all the stress involved in affording medications for pets.
For more helpful advice on how to keep your pet healthy and happy, keep browsing our blog.