(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
If you own a pet, you’re in good company. In fact, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association. Pets provide unconditional love and countless memories, and in return they look to their humans to care for them as best as possible.
While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it’s for a chronic condition.
Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense. Few people are aware that by asking your veterinarian two simple questions, you could lower your costs considerably:
• Is this medication available at my pharmacy?
• Will you write me a prescription that I can fill at my pharmacy?
Using your local pharmacy for pet prescriptions
Many pet parents don’t know that most of the medications their pets use are the same ones people use, potentially at the same or a different dosage. That means that many of the pharmacies you visit for your needs can also be used for your pets’ prescriptions. The top five conditions pets share with people are diabetes, asthma, infections, anxiety and depression.
What’s more, filling your pets’ prescriptions at a retail pharmacy is often less expensive than getting it filled through the vet, plus it saves time because you can get all your family’s prescriptions at once, including your furry family members.
How to get pet prescription discounts
To save even more on your pets’ prescriptions, consider using a pharmacy savings card, like the Inside Rx Pets savings card offered by Inside Rx. This free prescription savings card helps reduce costs up to 75% on pet medications when purchased at a local pharmacy or when ordered for home delivery.
The card can be downloaded and presented at one of the 50,000 participating pharmacies located across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These include national chains such as Kroger Family of Pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens. Learn more at insiderx.com/pets. Always follow prescription directions Remember, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for the prescription and dosage and not try to manage your pet’s condition on your own. Do not use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers you buy for yourself with your pet as experts note this can be dangerous.
“Although these products are approved for use in people, many of them are not safe for pets. For example, acetaminophen can cause severe illness, and even death, in pets. Talk to your veterinarian before you give any medication to your pet,” the American Veterinary Medical Association states.
To keep prescription drug costs manageable for pets, ask these two simple questions and explore savings options at your local pharmacy. Laws vary by state, but over 40 states require veterinarians to write a prescription if asked, so it’s worthwhile to inquire. You’ll help your pets feel their best while helping ease your budget as well.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)