Before online pet pharmacies became a thing, pet parents used to rely on vets to get medications for their dogs and cats. Along, with everything else ecommerce have simplified the way people shop for pet products. Now, there are countless online pet stores that offer amazing deals on pet meds online and feature a long list of branded pet products. Considering the fact that pharmacies at vet clinic often sell medication at the printed price, pet parents often scout for discounts and deals online. In a bid to score a bigger discount, pet parents often venture into websites that sell fake medications. Expired products are often repackaged and sold at huge discounts. Dangers of shopping for pet meds online is real, which is why it’s smart not to get lured in by crazy discounts and offers.
Should You Shop Online?
Absolutely! Just because there are a few websites that sell fake or expired products doesn’t mean you should stop buying pet meds from online stores. Would you stop shopping at physical stores if a particular retailer sells you a bad product? There are easy ways of finding out if an online pet pharmacy sells genuine pet products or not. Start by reading Yelp reviews to find out the experiences of past customers. A genuine pet pharmacy should also have a VIPPS accreditation and be registered with Better Business Bureau. A lot of reputed pet pharmacies buy directly from manufacturers and store them in proper facilities. Buying pet meds and products from these online websites comes without a smidgen of risk.
The FDA Warning: Way back in 2010, FDA issued a warning that stated the dangers of shopping for pet meds online. For the first time, consumers were made aware of sites selling counterfeit and expired products. There were also some sites that sold products that were not approved by the FDA, which contained ingredients that were potentially harmful to pets. Today, with greater customer awareness, the future of these unscrupulous sites are restricted to the dark web. Most large online pet pharmacies nowadays source their products directly from manufacturers and they are approved by multiple independent agencies.
What Do You Need to Do?
There is no harm in searching for deals on pet meds online but it’s important to be realistic. If a shady looking website offers a 70% off on a popular pet product, then that’s an immediate red flag. It’s also important to stick to a few pet pharmacies. While you can have multiple tabs open to compare the prices of pet meds, it’s best to buy medications from a few select online pharmacies. Look out for subtle signs. Is the website selling prescription drugs without asking you to upload the vet’s prescription? Does the website use a secure encryption standard to protect customer data? Lastly, does the website display a VIPPS accreditation badge?
Much like shopping anywhere else, it’s important to find a good online seller. While hunting for deals is important, it should not come at the cost of trusting an unethical website.