Tuesday Top Ten: Ways to save money on medications for your dog

With the economy continuing in it’s slump, it’s always nice to find a few ways to save money where you can.  With four dogs, two cats, and heartworm testing / annual check-ups just around the corner, I went fishing for some suggestions for a few corners I could safely cut with my dogs’ medications.

10.  If your dog is on medicine for a chronic condition, check out the price on 1800petmeds, PetCareRxDiscountPetMedicines, orTotalPetSupply .  Whether or not you buy from the Internet service is up to you, but you can ask your vet to match the online price if it is lower.

9.  If you do shop online, plan ahead and combine orders where possible so you can spend at least the minimum each time for free shipping.

8.  Compare the various sites to see who is running specials either on a specific medication or on your order as a whole.

7.  Where possible, take advantage of bulk discounts for medications you use in larger quantities.  Make sure to check the expiration date and don’t buy more than you can use before the medication ages.

6.  Look for special prices given to people who agree to receive their purchases by automatic drop shipments.  Vendors love to sign you up for a plan that ships your stuff on a regular schedule and automatically deducts the payment from your bank account.  There is virtually no labor for the vendors, so they are often willing to give discounts for those who like the convenience of not having to remember when it’s time to re-order.

5.  For brand-name medications, consider buying on e-bay.  Check to make sure the medication is exactly the same as what you have gotten in the past from your vet.  For example, a medication may be made one way in the United States and totally differently in another country.  Insist that the formulation you buy be the same manufacturer, packaging, dosage, etc. as what you are used to, so you don’t have any unintended consequences.

4.  Ask your vet if you can have the prescription for drugs to take with you,  rather than filling it in their office.  This allows you to shop for lower prices, either with other vets or with pet stores.  There may be some sound reasons for not doing so, but if the only reason the vet can give you is to maintain his bottom line, you may be better off using a different vet who will work with you.

3.  Check with your preferred pharmacy to see if they offer any discount clubs.  For example, Walgreens has a service where you pay a $35 flat fee per family and get many of your medications for just $5.  Ask if you’re allowed to include your dog on your family plan, and you may see significant savings!

2.  When starting your dog on a new medication, ask your vet if he or she has any samples you can try  before you spend the money on a 30- or 90-day supply only to find out that the particular medication makes your dog throw up or doesn’t have the desired effect on his or her condition.

1.  Ask your vet if there is a human medication that can be substituted for the pet meds.  They are often cheaper and can be bought at some national chains for as low as $5.  In fact, in my area there is a grocery store chain that will give you 7 – 10 days of antibiotics for free!  Make sure you check with your vet before giving any human medication to a dog.  Some, like Tylenol, may be bad for the animal, and for most medications the doggie dose will be significantly different than the dose for a person of similar weight.

What suggestions do you have for saving on your pet’s meds?

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

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