Spot the Fakers – 6 Warning Signs You’re Not Dealing with an Ethical Online Pet Pharmacy

pet meds

Much like everything else sold on the internet, there are people selling authentic pet products and meds and there are those who sell fake items. There are more than a few pet pharmacies online that sell counterfeit medications, supplements, and pet food

Sometimes, these fake pet pharmacies are easy to spot. They often offer unbelievable discounts on really popular pet products, have shady websites, and feature “badges of authenticity” that really don’t mean anything.

Honestly, you cannot debate the convenience of buying pet medications online. While there are unethical pet pharmacies, there are also those who sell 100% genuine products, offer great discounts, provide quick doorstep delivery, and feature honest pet meds reviews by real customers. The key is to learn how to filter out these good pet pharmacies from a long list of bad ones. It’s actually pretty easy and once you know the steps you will never have to worry about buying counterfeit pet products ever again. Without further ado, the following are 6 warning signs that you are not dealing with an ethical pet pharmacy.

Websites Not Asking You to Upload a Vet’s Prescription for Prescription Pet Medication

No matter what the selling platform, it’s mandated by law to check the prescription before selling any prescription medication, be it for pets or humans. Therefore, any site that does not adhere to that is essentially breaking the law. That also means, there is a high likelihood that they procure their products from counterfeiters or relabel expired pet meds.

The Pet Pharmacy is Not Vet-VIPPS Accredited

National Association of Board of Pharmacy (NABP) is an international organization that assesses both human and pet pharmacies and offers licenses and accreditations. They introduced the VIPPS program back in 1999 to accredit genuine online pharmacies. As its name implies, the Vet-VIPPS accreditation is offered by NABP to online pet pharmacies.  Most genuine pet pharmacies feature the Vet-VIPPS accreditation logo on their homepages.

Selling Pet Medications That Are Not FDA Approved

If you spot a pet med that’s not FDA approved, then consider that as an immediate redflag. No genuine pet pharmacy would ever risk featuring a medication that’s not regulated. Therefore, if you spot one, it’s a telltale sign that you are dealing with an unethical pharmacy.

Prices Sound Too Good to Be True

If the prices sound too good to be true, then it should invoke suspicion. This means the product featured did not come through the proper channels, which is always dangerous.  Apart from being sold fake products, you might end up buying meds manufactured outside the United States.

Not Listed or Poorly Rated on Better Business Bureau

BBB is an old school way checking a business’s online reputation and it still holds much ground. Head over to the BBB website and check to see if the website is listed. An unlisted website should be rejected immediately. The good thing about BBB is that you can also check customer reviews and ratings.

The Site Doesn’t Allow You to Write a Review

Most trusted online pet pharmacies would allow you to write a product review. If you buy from them the review gets marked as “Verified”. This is a risky move for people selling fake products, that’s why almost none of them allow visitors to write reviews.

676 – The Number You Need To Remember as a Dog Owner

 

It’s a beautiful day; don’t let it get away.
-U2

Orion and Sparta.  Brittany Graham Photography

Orion and Sparta. Brittany Graham Photography

This time of year can kinda suck if you have asthma.  Which I do.  I’ve got an upper respiratory infection on top of it.  I’m miserable. I feel like death warmed over.  In the history of sickness, I don’t think anyone has ever been as sick as I am right now.

giphy

Then I realized that I was being stupid.  The temperature is 53 degrees – warm for Cleveland (or the Arctic Tundra, but I repeat myself).  The sun is shining.  It’s an okay day for hiking, or at least going for a short walk with my best friend.  And here I was squandering it feeling sorry for myself, which is what I’ve been doing or the past 2 days.  Yes I’m legitimately sick.  But that doesn’t negate my dogs’ need for activity.  I’ve been cutting corners, using the treadmill for Orion, and a backpack plus some minor agility for Sparta, as outlined here and here, but nothing really beats a good walk.  Sunshine only adds to the benefit.  It was time for me to suck it up and go outside.  But I still don’t want to.

The lights...it hurts

The lights…it hurts

Then I saw an update in the mail from my dog’s vet, reminding me that Sparta was due for her rabies shot.  I looked through her medical records to verify, and stumbled across something that I’d forgotten: Sparta is almost 10 years old.

Now, that’s not such a big deal.  She’s not old (yet), but it did make me stop and reflect.  Most dogs live to be roughly 13 years old.  That equals only 676 weekends.   So far she’s far more than halfway through that allotment.  Technically speaking, she only has maybe 290 weekends left with me.  That means, at the very most, we are down to 77 weekends to drive that hour down to Bow Wow Beach, so I can watch her swim.  We only have so many hikes left together.  Only so many more times she can jump into the backseat of my car without help.  And there I was, squandering this time because I have a cold.

Sometimes we think of dogs in human terms, including how much time we’re given together.  At 42 years my young(ish) age, I still have a lot of time left.  We tend to include our dogs in that time because we assume that they’ll always be there.   But there is a set amount of time with them.  Perhaps 676 seems like a lot of weekends to romp with with your dogs.  Enough time to do do anything  you want.  But I’ve already used up half of those with Sparta.

It made me think.  It made me, well…

Damn, I hate when that happens

So I took my dogs for a walk.  Not far.  Just far enough to change my perspective. Which was far enough to make me want to hike even farther.  I’m not going to waste today anymore.

Keep calm and pilot on

Kerry Stack
Darwin Dogs
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio