The Ultimate Guide To Saving Money On Pet Meds

The Ultimate Guide To Saving Money On Pet Meds

One of the inevitable responsibilities of pet ownership is the need for pet meds.

The fact is, at some point in your pet’s life, he or she will need a medication.  From preventatives like flea, tick and heart worm medications, to antibiotics and pain medications, the list of possible pet medications your dog will need is endless.

In this post you will learn

  • Why pet meds cost so much and why that cost is rising
  • Where to buy pet meds using three different methods
  • 5 tips for saving money on pet medications
  • How pet insurance can help cover the cost of pet meds
  • Proper handling of pet meds for safety and efficacy
  • How to dispose of pet meds

Pet Meds for Big Dog Owners

I have discussed how expensive big dogs are to purchase (through a reputable breeder), feed (naturally), and provide medical care for in numerous articles.

It boils down to this.

Big dogs come with big expenses.  While this post WILL help you save money on your dog’s pet meds, you need to budget accordingly if you choose to take on the responsibility of owning a large or giant breed dog.

Because despite the unconditional love and laughter they bring to our lives, that love comes with a cost…. higher doses, more pills, and as a result, higher pet med costs.

This is our reality.

Why are Pet Meds So Expensive?

There are several reasons for the increasing cost of pet meds.

Keep in mind, this is not an all-inclusive list.

  • Increasing Cost of Research and Development

Like with human medications, one of the reasons for the increase in costs is due to the sheer number of new and improved diagnostic and therapeutic treatments on the market.  Research and development is not free. It comes with a cost.

And depending on how novel the treatment and how long it was studied, the expense of that research needs to be made up for somewhere.

  • Increase in Preventative Care

Preventative care is another reason the amount of money spent on pet medications has increased.  In fact, flea, tick and heart worm preventatives make up more than half of all pet medication expenditures.

  • Retail Markup of Prices

If you obtain your pet medications from your veterinarian, expect a mark up between 100% – 160% plus a dispensing fee.

And for some medicines the markups are even higher: 567% for the anti-inflammatory steroid prednisone, 800% for the pain reliever tramadol, and more than 1,000% for the antibiotic amoxicillin, according to a 2009 survey of vet pricing conducted by the market research firm LHK partners.

  • Status Quo

Lastly, pet owners often unknowingly support the status quo because they are either unaware of their ability to get their pet medications elsewhere, or they prefer the convenience of getting them directly from their veterinarian.

Believe it or not, Congress has actually gotten involved when it comes to pet owners being “unaware” of their ability to get a prescription for their pet medication.  H.R.623 – Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2017 seeks to “promote competition and help consumers save money by giving them the freedom to choose where they buy prescription pet medications, and for other purposes.”  It has been introduced in the House, but to my knowledge, has not yet made it out of committee.

If you feel strongly about this issue, reach out to your representative and let them know how you feel.

Let’s not wait for Congress to act.  We have the power to control our own financial destiny and the healthcare destiny of our pets.

Lastly, in my research for this post, I came across an interesting FTC staff report from May 2015:  Competition in the Pet Medications Industry Prescription Portability and Distribution Practices.

While lengthy, this report discusses in depth competition, automatic prescription release laws, and exclusive distribution of certain pet medications.


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