Buyer beware: Where you purchase your pets’ medication matters
The rising costs of owning a pet has some owners looking online for cheaper medications, but instead of making things better, vets say online products could lead to even bigger problems.
“There are counterfeit products available and the boxes are very similar,” veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Sproll said.
“It would be very difficult for an owner to distinguish which one would be fake versus the one coming from the real manufacturer because the imitations are very good.”
Sproll says the problem is that some online medications haven’t been verified by a licensed practitioner, meaning there is no way on knowing what is actually in the product.
“We’ve had clients that have ordered various medications and then brought them into us saying ‘oh it looks a little different than the one I’ve been getting from you’,” Sproll said. “We’ve actually had one pet that got very very sick from a medication.”
WATCH: Winnipeg vets warn against buying pet meds online
Most dog owners Global News spoke to in Winnipeg said they wouldn’t buy their animal medication online.
“Never, no. I think that’s definitely something you have to do your research on.”
“I personally probably wouldn’t use a product unless it was recommended by my vet.”
Some, however, said they have purchased pet medications online after doing their research beforehand.
“I wouldn’t just buy something without actually having a reference or someone saying this is really good you should try it. I think it’s very risky to just buy blindly.”
Sproll says she is not aware of any safe reliable websites for pet medications and encourages anyone wanting to buy online to check with their vet first.
“If an owner were to find a website that they’re wondering about that’s Canadian I would say bring it to your veterinarian first and have them look into it a little bit before you order something,” Sproll said.
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