Pet Medications Can Take a Bite Out of Your Wallet

When Rover or Fluffy is sick, you'll do just about anything to get that furry little beast better and back to his or her rambunctious self. But while money is no object for your pet's medical care, there are ways to save on one part of the treatment package - your medications. First, find out from your vet if the prescribed medication is a drug used for humans. If it is, the easiest way to save some bucks is to get the prescription at your friendly neighborhood pharmacy. The savings will vary based on your vet's pricing and the drug, of course, but I've found there's almost always a savings. Ask for the medication name, strength and number of pills. Before you leave the vet's office, give your pharmacy a call and don't forget to ask about generics. If there is a savings, ask your vet for a prescription. He won't be offended; pet owners do it all the time. If the pharmacy's costs are comparable to your vet's, you can at least save yourself a drive. At the pharmacy, you can even use prescription discount memberships, that is, as long as you have a "family" membership. I can vouch for the fact that Walgreen will let you use your Prescription Savings Club membership for the four-legged members of the family. (And if you're single and didn't get a family membership to begin with, you can upgrade your membership when Rover needs a prescription.) You can also shop the online pet medication Websites, like www.medi-vet.com or www.1800petmeds.com. You can't turn to these sites for drugs that you need right away, like a course of antibiotics or an ointment for an ear infection, because your vet will have to provide the prescription to the online pharmacy (which can take a few days) and the medication must be shipped. However, the sites can save you big bucks on drugs you'll be using on a regular basis, like heartworm pills, flea and tick prevention products or any medication you know you need about a week in advance. And most sites will ship free if you order a minimum dollar amount. If you end up having to pay for shipping, be sure to factor that cost in when comparing the online price to your vet's. Last but not least, there are special veterinary compounding pharmacies that can offer more convenient forms of certain medications, like liquids when your vet only offers a pill form, and often their specific delivery of the medication nets you a savings in the process. My vet actually shared this little secret with me when my cat was prescribed a very expensive drug on an extended basis. I used Roadrunner Pharmacy in Phoenix, AZ (www.roadrunnerpharmacy.com), but there are many others like it. Be prepared the next time your furry friend is under the weather. Ask a few questions, spend a little time and do some shopping. Your doggedness will leave you with dollars in your pocket that you can use to spend on Rover and Fluffy later!