There is no doubt we live in an age where online shopping has taken over. It’s quick, it’s easy, and let’s face it, it can be less expensive. These days, with H.E.B., Kroger and WalMart offering order and pick-up your order, it’s easy to combine everything into one trip. What about medications for your pets? Are online pharmacies actually cheaper? Do their medications meet the same storage and handling standards or come with a manufacturer guarantee? Is it safe to purchase from these stores? The answers may surprise you.
Here are the major advantages of purchasing your pet’s medications directly through Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital® rather than a big-box pharmacy.
- Manufacturer guarantee: certain products, such as Heartworm prevention in particular, are fully guaranteed by the pharmaceutical company that produces them. This guarantee ensures that if your pet were to contract heartworms or even intestinal parasites while consistently taking their preventative as prescribed, the pharmaceutical company will cover the cost of treatment; at least a portion of it. And most importantly, this guarantee only covers those pets whose medication was purchased directly through a veterinarian. Each manufacturer has their own guidelines.
- Quality control: while we cannot speak for the medication handling or storage/shipping conditions to which online pharmacies adhere, we can promise that all medications shipped to and stored within our hospital are always kept at appropriate temperatures, inspected prior to filling and removed from inventory as soon as they approach expiration. The products in our online pharmacy come directly from the same distributor as our in-house products, so we know they are also keeping product at a safe storage. Our online pharmacy adheres to strict manufacturer guidelines.
- The Right Product: are you sure you’re getting the right size and dose for your baby? Getting the correct dosage and size for your baby is very important and sometimes there are a lot of choices. Every order that goes through our online store is reviewed by one of our staff member to ensure you don’t give the wrong medication, dosage or size to your baby.
- Manufacturer rebates and bonus free doses: the majority of pharmaceutical companies will offer exclusive rebates and/or additional free doses when certain quantities of their medications are purchased. These added savings and extra doses are typically only available when medications are purchased directly through veterinarians. The down side? Products purchased online sometimes do not qualify for the manufacturer rebates and bonus free doses. However, you can stop by and see us in person or use our online store, where you can look up manufacturer rebates.
- Convenient shipping: we know that having medications shipped to your door is a huge bonus of online pharmacies. The bigger bonus? Medications ordered through our online pharmacy still meet the manufacturer guarantee and quality control standards outlined above. Again, our online pharmacy adheres to strict shipping and handling guidelines set forth by each product manufacturer to ensure products are handled properly.
- Remind-Me: the one thing our online pharmacy offers that no other pharmacy is able to offer is an auto-remind shipment. Regulations dictate that medications can only be shipped in original manufacturer containers, meaning you can only purchase 6- or 12- month supplies of your pet’s prevention medications, such as Heartworm and Flea & Tick medications. Because our online pharmacy comes from us (or the distributor we use) you can sign up for Remind-Me which can ship your monthly prevention each month. When you receive it in the mail, that is your reminder that it is time to give it to your pet.
- Personal Service: If you have any questions at all, or just need help with your online order, call us at 281.997.1426 and one of our Client Relations Specialists will walk you through the process. We can even send you an email with a link where all you need to do is click on the link (in the email) and it will add the correct product to your shopping cart. All you need to do then is add payment and shipment information and you’re all done.
So now let’s talk price. We compare our prices for popular canine and feline monthly preventative products, including Heartgard, Frontline, Nexgard, and Revolution, to those of 1800.com sites each month, and we remain competitive with these sites. They are sometimes able to beat us on price. However, when you compare the cost of treatment for one of the illnesses from which these medications are protecting your pet, and whether the manufacturer will cover the cost of treatment or not; we feel there is no comparison.
The big box pharmacies are able to sometimes sell their product for even less than we can purchase it directly from the manufacture/distributor, and that brings up a couple of questions. One; by what means are they purchasing these products that they are able to get them so cheap, and two; is it worth the risk to save $10 or even $30 dollars? It is true that sometimes these organizations purchase these products in such large quantities that they are able to get substantial discounts and in those instances, we are just not able to compete.
But, as we discussed above, if you want the guarantee and if you want to get everything in one stop and have it delivered to your home when you need/want it, why not use our online pharmacy/store? In addition to medications, we also have pet diets and other items for your pets.
Remember to Shop Local and support a small business!