According to the ASPCA, 62% of all households in the United States have a pet. We animal lovers always think that our pets are never going to get sick and will live forever. I know I do! But when our four-legged child, brother, or nephew needs pet medicine like antibiotics or a heart medication, what do you do? The truth is...our pet health is not something we plan for!
My doberman, Mya, gets frequent bladder infections. Since she can only bark at strangers who walk by and not talk, she tells us by laying at the door all the time rather than in her dog bed. Every couple of months, we go for a car ride because my sweet pet needs a veterinary visit. It's the same routine: our pet vet samples her urine, shakes her head, and hands us a bottle of antibiotics.
|My three nephews-all in good pet health!|
|My dobe Mya has been|
prescribed a few pet prescriptions!
Keeping my pets healthy is one of my priorities, but it's a tough pill to swallow sometimes. Every time I head to the counter after one of my pets gets checked out, I cringe because if I need medication, I can never predict what my bill will look like. I like surprises, but not that kind of surprise!
Recently, I saw a commercial for online discount pet pharmacy and thought I would do a little research to see if that was a way to keep my pets AND bank account healthy! After I played detective for a hot minute, I realized that online pet pharmacies may be an alternative to purchase cheap pet medication. However, buyer beware! Although there are reputable internet pet med pharmacies out there, there are also fraudulent ones. Don't take a chance with your pet's health. Make sure the online pet pharmacy you choose is certified. One such certification is from the National Association Boards of Pharmacy who accredits online pharmacies for dispensing prescription drugs for animals. The certification is called Vet-VIPPS. This way you know your dog is getting the proper dosage in order to get well.
Protect Yourself While Caring for Your PetAlways curious about learning new things, I continued my Sherlock Holmes moment. I did a little bit more research. It turns out, in some states, veterinarians can legally deny a patient's request for a written prescription, leaving the patient to either purchase their pet's medication at the vet or not at all. Crazy, right?
I also learned, however, there is a new act on the block titled Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011 that plans to represent just what it says--fairness to pet owners. If passed, by law pet owners will have the right to receive a copy of veterinary prescriptions, personally or electronically, to take to a pharmacy that fills pet prescriptions if they choose. In some states where it is legal to write pet prescriptions, veterinary practices are charging a fee to write out a prescription to use elsewhere. They also make patients sign a waiver saying the practice is not responsible for accuracy of the prescription. In layman's terms, if you take your pet prescription and get it filled somewhere other than at your vet's office, your veterinarian is not responsible if the prescription is filled with the wrong dosage or even medication. The law, if passed, will prevent practices from charging a fee for simply writing out a prescription and making patients sign a waiver relinquishing responsibility. The act was introduced last April and is still waiting to be passed by the house and senate and to be signed by the President.
In the meantime, if the cost of your prescription pet meds is causing you to roll over and play dead, there is help! Another option for caring for our four-legged friends is pet insurance. Yes! Pet insurance! ASPCA provides Pet Health Insurance coverage for your best friend that comes in four different tiers of coverage. With over $50.96 billion spent on our pets in the United States last year (American Pet Products Association), pet insurance is becoming more common and a way to reduce the costs to keep your pets healthy and your dog's tail wagging and cat purring.