Like just about everything else, plenty of pet medicines can be purchased on the internet—but buyer beware. If you purchase pet meds online, buy only from reputable sources (skip those bargain basement prices you might find through individuals selling through eBay or CraigsList). Reputable pet medicine companies will require veterinary prescriptions for anything you’d need a prescription for to purchase at your vet’s office such as heartworm preventative.
How do you know if a company’s reputable? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you look for the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice (Vet-VIPPS) Sites; these are sites accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. You’ll see the Vet-VIPPS seal of approval on sites such as www.drsfostersmith.com and www.1800petmeds.com (below):
The FDA also recommends that you order only from US-based pharmacies; they have found foreign companies selling unapproved as well as counterfeit pet drugs as well as drugs beyond their expiration date.
While pet owners buying pet meds from these unapproved sites may think they’re saving money, the FDA notes, “in reality, they may be short-changing their pet’s health and putting its life at risk.”