Is there a difference between the products that I buy on the internet or the big box stores versus what I can buy at my Vet’s office?

Dealing with fleas and ticks can be a nightmare for any pet owner. 80 % of dogs and 20 % of cats have allergies to these pests and it is these allergic reactions which can make our pet’s miserable… but even when our pet’s appear to be unaffected by these parasites they can still be present and can cause disease in our pet and for we humans.

Understanding what works.

In today’s world of slick marketing there are an amazing number of products out there that claim to work, from homeopathic products, to generic Frontline, to pills like Comfortis and Nexgard. Is there really a difference…. And the answer is yes! There is always a reason why some products on the internet or the Big Box Stores cost a fraction of what your vet provides…. and it is not because these stores can buy some things cheaper, because they cannot! Probably the most common reason why many products are cheaper are because they simply don’t work or work very poorly. There is little control of the claims of many products, there are many counterfeit and outdated products (especially online), and many have dangerous, even deadly side effects. Your veterinarian is the most knowledge resource you have to help you pick the best product for you and your pet, based on your pet’s needs, their health and other risk factors. Your veterinarian can tell you which products work, which one may be safest around young children, if you may need to take other preventive measures to protect your family. As a concerned pet owner, do you really believe that the high school student at the retail store knows what product works best or which might be safest. In addition, your veterinarian often has rebates and free product giveaways, which can make purchasing the best products through them less expensive. And only your veterinarian can stand behind the guarantees that these companies make about their products. Don’t you think in a multi billion dollar market, which is poorly controlled, that there may be, counterfeit products, and false claims?

What does our government say about the issue?

The FDA has put out several articles in the past few years, which are posted on the FDA.gov website, warning consumers of the risks of online pharmacies and other questionable sources. In 2013 alone, the government shut down over 1600 online pharmacies and recently issued a report stating that 97% of online pharmacies are not in compliance with government regulations. Even the most popular of the online pharmacies have been sued by state pharmacy board’s because of their illegal practices, unfortunately, the fines able to be imposed, are too small to make a difference in their business practices. In addition many of these online pharmacies are operated outside of the U.S. and have little reason to comply with our laws.

Safety, effectiveness, value… your veterinarian can provide for your pet what no one else can!