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Consumer Reports: Saving money on pet meds

Posted: 8:34 AM, Jan 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-18 10:34:13-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - More than a quarter of all pet owners worry they won't be able to afford their pet's medical treatments.

"We want our dogs to be healthy but it cost a lot more to keep them healthy than even us sometimes," says dog owner, Diana Bryant.

Pet owners spend anywhere from $9,000 to more than $13,000 for medical treatments over the course of an animal's' lifetime. And costs can continue to rise if your pet needs a prescription. Consumer Reports Health Editor Lauren Friedman says before you buy the meds directly from the vet, consider shopping around.

"You can also buy a lot of your pet's medication from a regular human pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens," says Friedman.

Although there are some veterinary-specific drugs, a number of the meds prescribed to pets are the same as used for people, and some pharmacies will give you the same discounts on drugs they offer regular human customers. CR says online pharmacies are another way you could save filling your pup's prescription, but just like when buying your own meds online, it's important to make sure you buy them from a safe site.

"The safe-dot-pharmacy program screens online pharmacies for humans and for pets," says Friedman. "It makes sure that they're storing their medication correctly, dispensing it correctly, and dispensing the right kind of medication."

And like all medication, always follow the label's directions. If you have any questions about the medication, ask your veterinarian!

Another tip that may save you money in the long run: The ASPCA recommends you spay or neuter your pet to prevent health problems, like uterine infections, breast tumors, and testicular cancer.