Dr. Franck, I would like to buy medication for my dog online but I don’t know where to start.
The purchase of products and medications for animals has exploded in the last few years.
However, I suggest you be really careful.
You’re not going to buy supplies to renovate your kitchen! Online pharmacies can provide many medications and supplements and can easily come from non-legitimate or outright illegal sources. The reality is that sometimes these drugs can be counterfeit, which means that they may look identical to the original ones, but in fact, they are not.
They may also have been approved in another country and not evaluated for safety or effectiveness by Health Canada.
In short, it’s still the wild west in this world today. It can happen that the medication you receive contains no active ingredients, contains unknown or incorrect ingredients, contains dangerous additives or is simply expired.
All of these medications have no direct or immediate effect, but they can make your dog’s condition worse without effective treatment.
How To Trust Online Pharmacies
Thank you, Dr. Franck, I understand that there are risks now. Assuming I want to do some research anyway, would you have some ideas of what I should be looking out for?
Here is a list of things that should look suspicious to you if you ever visit an online pharmacy.
If you go through this list and nothing looks suspicious, then this site could be legal and approved.
- First and foremost: avoid buying health products from questionable sites. If you have a doubt, it is probably justified.
- It can deliver medicines anywhere in the world, which is impossible because a prescription can NOT be valid in all countries.
- The pharmacy is not accredited by any provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory body recognized in Canada.
- It does not provide an address located in Canada.
- The site does not require a valid prescription drug order.
- Prices are low or always discounted.
- The site does not have traditional payment methods such as credit cards.
- It delivers health products with a different label than what would be available in a local pharmacy. For example, the packaging is in a language that is not English or French or does not have an expiration date.
- You notice several grammatical or spelling errors on the order site, in their emails or on the product packaging.
- You put in your email and suddenly you have several unwanted messages.
In short, as you have seen, there are many precautions to take.
In the vast majority of cases, it is simply better to buy with a trusted veterinary clinic. You’ll get much better after-sales service too. I hope I’ve made myself clear 🙂
Tell me, I’m curious: have you ever bought any medications or health products online for your dog?
- Specialists In Veterinary Medicine
- The Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)
- CBD Supplements For Dogs And Cats: Where Are We Now?
- 12 Tips To Prevent Dental Disease (Dogs, Cats, Ferrets)
- What To Know About Pet Insurance: A Quick Guide
- Heatstroke For Dogs, Cats (And Other Animals) – A Quick Guide
- Water Consumption For Cats And Dogs – A Quick Guide
Francis Lagacé has been a member of the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec since 2004. He practiced for 16 years in several veterinary clinics across Canada. He treated animals of all types, mainly cats, dogs and exotic animals (rabbits, rodents, ferrets, birds, reptiles). Since 2020 he has been working in the field of veterinary pharmacovigilance. You can find him on LinkedIn.