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Online Pet Pharmacies – Safety, Drugs, Top Stores & FAQ

Written by Khalil
Khalil is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
online pet pharmacies
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

There is no doubt about the increasing utility online services are offering in today’s digital age. As the consumers shift online, we’ve seen a rise in online pet pharmacies. It’s very convenient for busy pet owners to hop online, take a quick survey for the best prices, and order the medicines their pet needs in no time. The process is quick, efficient, and hassle-free!

Although this is becoming the new normal, there is still some concern regarding authenticity and quality. When you opt for an online pharmacy for pets, the stakes are high. Your pet’s health and life are in question. You cannot afford the minutest risk. Therefore, to help cautious pet parents, this post will cover all the answers to common questions.

The common risks alongside precautions as well as some reliable options for pet pharmacies are covered. So if you want to find out all that you need to keep your pet safe while availing the ease of online pharmacies, keep reading!

How Do Online Pet Pharmacies Work?

Let’s talk about the process of ordering from a pet online pharmacy. The process is simple. It involves minimal effort and is also pretty quick. You’ll start by choosing the best online pet pharmacy as per your needs. Then, you will search the website to find the medicine you need. This search can be eased with the use of filters. So, if you’re looking for a skin medicine for your horse, you can use the filter to only find horse-friendly medicines.

Once you’ve found the product you need and are satisfied with the prices, it’s time to order it. You simply select the product you need and move onto shipping details. This is where you’ll have to provide a prescription. Any responsible online pharmacy for pets will require a prescription from within the past 12 months. Some online pet pharmacies require a confirmation from your vet before they ship out the order. This confirmation request is sent and received via fax. All in all, the process of verification is also swift.

Providing prescription details and verification is a one-time thing only. After that, the online pharmacy saves your details and you can opt for an auto-fill for your next order. The shipping time of the medication varies from pharmacy to pharmacy. It is, however, within the 2 to 7 days range. Medicines that you find on online pharmacies are the same price, if not cheaper, than what you’ll find in your local pet pharmacy. Moreover, you also have the option to go through several online pet pharmacies to find out where you get the best rate.

Risks With Online Pet Pharmacies

As convenient as online vets and pharmacies, it comes with its fair share of concerns. Not everyone online is trustworthy. Especially when you talk about your pet’s health, there is no room for the slightest uncertainty. Here are some common red flags and risks. If you notice them on an online pet pharmacy, opt-out of ordering from them!

Counterfeit Products

The biggest problem that you’ll face online is the lack of authenticity of pet meds. You as a pet parent may have enough knowledge about what medicines and brands work best for your pet. Simultaneously, your vet also would have suggested the best medicine companies that you should use. Some fraudulent online pet pharmacies sell the medicines under the name of these well-known companies. Their packaging is also the same. The pictures available on their websites make it look like the product you’re purchasing is exactly what you want.

However, since these websites have minimal accountability, they sell a different product in this packaging. The medicine is counterfeit. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can know if the product you’re ordering will be authentic or not, so it’s important to only opt for responsible and famous online pet pharmacies.

This is why you need to look at the other factors before finalizing a purchase. As long as the other signs guarantee the safety of the online pharmacy, you can trust them. But in the case of the smallest doubt, you should avoid buying from them.

counterfeit medicine for pets
Beware of counterfeit pet medication online.

Expired Medications

You’ll find numerous pet pharmacies online. However, not all of them are trustworthy. Even if you end up buying from them, make sure to look through some things before you give the medicine to your pet.

Your medicine could be in the right packaging, the product might look real and authentic too. But, there is a chance that it may be expired if the website you ordered from wasn’t reliable. Medicines are a product that you need to use urgently for the sake of your pet’s health. However, don’t put your pet at a bigger risk in this urgency. Always make sure that the medicine hasn’t expired before you use it.

Non-FDA Approved Medicines

Brick and mortar vet clinics and pet pharmacies are highly regulated by the FDA. They have to follow strict rules and measures. On the other hand, no online pharmacy for pets has to go through this protocol.

While the FDA keeps an eye on them, there is a chance that you come across one that hasn’t been in FDA’s attention. If you do find an online pharmacy that is selling non-FDA approved medicine, you can report it. FDA makes sure to get the website blocked and down. To check if the medicine is legit, you can go through the FDA database.

Whenever you order medicine for your pet online, make sure the product is approved by FDA. As for international online pharmacies, they also can only ship the products that have been approved by US standards. If a website claims to ship medicines even if they aren’t manufactured as per US standards, you can report it because it’s illegal and unsafe.

Bypassing Prescriptions

Safe online pet pharmacies will always ask for prescription details. Some will want proof of a prescription that you got from a professional no longer than 12 months ago. Others will take the extra step of confirming from your vet directly. Keep in mind that the pharmacies take this extra step may be taking a day or two more, but their services can be trusted with closed eyes.

Pharmacies that do not require a prescription are immediately in the shady territory. You may deem it to be convenient if you haven’t had the time to visit a vet. If you’re self-medicating your pet, websites like these will catch your attention. But remember that you should never self-medicate your pets, especially with some of the easily available over the counter animal drugs.

An online pharmacy that is bypassing something as major as the requirement of a prescription cannot be trusted. They may ship out medicine that can be a threat to your pet’s health and life.

No Trace of Manufacturers

It’s better to be extra cautious than to be sorry later on. Before you purchase medicines from a vet pharmacy online, take a thorough look at the manufacturers. The ingredients won’t make much sense to you so the only tool you have to judge the authenticity of the medication is the manufacture.

If it’s from a reputable manufacturer, you shouldn’t be as concerned. If the manufacturer is a new name for you, research on them. Find out if they are approved by the authorities, look at reviews, and make sure they are a trustworthy brand.

The red flag where you need to immediately abort the purchase is if the manufacturers have not been mentioned. Since you don’t know where the medicine is coming from, you don’t know what’s inside it, and there’s no way to judge the medicine’s safety. Moreover, you may also never be able to repurchase the medicine without knowing its manufacturer. Never buy from an online pet pharmacy that doesn’t list the manufacturers of the medicines.

no trace of manufacturers
Find out the manufacturer of the medicine before buying it.

Hard to Gauge Effectiveness

The biggest risk of buying online is that no one can check if the medicine is working fine with your pet. This is especially harmful in cases where you’re self-medicating without a vet’s approval.

Since your pet cannot speak, you don’t really know if a medicine is healing the animal or only making it worse. Pet parents can sometimes be careless. If you overlook a medicine’s expiration, manufacturer, and are unsure of FDA’s approval, the medicine can hurt your pet without you even knowing it. To stay on the safe side, steer clear of any pet online pharmacy that seems to be risky.

Top 5 Best Online Pharmacies

All the risks that come with an online pharmacy for pets may have made you wary. But, you don’t have to worry. You can still make the most of this online facility.

Here are 5 of the most reliable and trustworthy online pet pharmacies that you can trust. Order whatever medicine you need for your pet from these pharmacies without any concern.

1. Chewy

logo of

Chewy is not a name that you need an introduction to. If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably already used Chewy to order some sort of pet supplies or food for your animal. They also offer medicines and animal drugs in their online pharmacy. A wide array of medicines is available on Chewy for all sorts of pets including cats, dogs, horses, birds, etc.

What’s great about this online pharmacy is that it lets the users search the available products very precisely. You can filter search results by animal, brand, and condition. So if you have a picky pet, you can easily find what they’d like within minutes. If you’re looking for a discount on pet meds, Chewy is the place to go. They offer a 30% discount on the first auto-ship order.

The prices on Chewy are lesser than the market price. Along with that, they offer free shipping over an order of $49. This online pet pharmacy requires prescription details before confirming the order.

2. Petco

You can opt for Petco if you need anything for your pet. From medicines to toys to food, you can get it all on one website. They offer over the counter products as well as prescription medicines. For the latter, you have to provide prescription verification.

Petco offers a guarantee that their prices are the best. On top of that, they often have discounts and offers going on. So if you’re in search of a pet online pharmacy where you can save some bucks, Petco will be a great option to consider.

The website is pretty easy to surf through. You can look for specific products with the help of the filters. You can find products for specific animals, conditions, and also look for ones that are available for repeat deliveries. This comes in handy if you’re looking for a medicine for regular use. Keep in mind that Petco currently only offers products for cats and dogs. If you own another pet, this online pharmacy won’t be very beneficial to you.

3. 1-800-PetMeds

1-800-PetMeds is a pet online pharmacy where you can get animal drugs for anything from antidiarrheals to diabetes. They offer a 100% guarantee that the products you will receive from them are authentic. However, if you still have your doubts after receiving the medicine, you can return it and get a full refund.

To order from here, you will have to provide an active prescription along with your vet’s details so that the website can confirm it. You can also mail a copy of the prescription to the pharmacy. Without this verification, you won’t be able to order prescription products.

One downside to this online pharmacy is that their website isn’t the most user-friendly. You’ll have to dig around and take your time to place the order. However, an amazing feature on their website is the auto-comparison that brings forth cheaper options of the product you’re looking for, if available. Also, you can avail of this pharmacy only if you own a dog, cat, or horse. Other animals’ medicines are not available.

4. WalmartPetRx

Walmart has maintained its repute in terms of its retail business. The same service carries onto their online pharmacy. This pet pharmacy is ideal for all pet owners because you can get animal drugs for all imaginable pets. No matter how unusual your pet is, you’ll conveniently find the right medicine for them on WalmartPetRx.

The user-friendly website offers easy search options. You can find details of all the products on the website so you can confirm the authenticity of the product before ordering it.

There is no doubt about the quality and service offered by this pet pharmacy. Their rates are also affordable and comparatively much better than most local pet pharmacies. They offer free shipping on orders above $35. A further 5% discount is offered for autoship deliveries. After you provide the prescription details, your order is confirmed and it gets to your doorstep in 2 days.

5. PetCareRx

Whether you need prescription medicine or over the counter products, PetCareRx offers it all in one place. For added convenience, the products are categorized. So if you especially click on pharmacy, you’ll find all the prescription medicines on one page. Of course, like all other reputable online pharmacies, PetCareRx also requires prescription details to confirm the order.

If you have a lot of pets or own a pet that is suffering from a health condition, the membership program of PetCareRx will prove highly beneficial for you. In this program, you have to pay a yearly amount of $65 to purchase medicines at a discounted wholesale price all year round. You can also get discounts on vet-prescribed foods under this program.

best online pet pharmacy
There are many great online pharmacies you can purchase from!

About Online Pharmacies for Dogs & Cats

If you still have some questions and queries about online vets and pharmacies, these answers will give you clarity.

What is the best online pet pharmacy?

Some of the best online pharmacies for pets are Chewy, WalmartPetRx, Petco, PetCareRx, and 1-800-PetMeds. All these websites provide a good service. There is no risk of counterfeit or expired medicines if you order from them.

These pharmacies require prescription details for prescription medicines. However, you can get over the counter medicines without a prescription as well. It’s easy to order from these online pharmacies and the delivery time is very swift too. All these online pharmacies offer the best rates for medicines. You can quickly compare the product you need on all these websites to get the best deal possible.

Does Amazon sell prescription drugs for dogs? does not currently sell any pet medications that require a vet prescription. However, Amazon does sell supplements, ointments, dog foods, and many other over-the-counter pet items.

Is it safe to order pet meds online?

Ordering pet meds online is as easy as it can get. All you have to do find a trustworthy website. Go on and search for the medicine you need. Simply type in the name of the medicine or use search filters to get to the search result you need.

To confirm that the medicine is legit, look at the manufacturer and if available, look through the reviews as well. Avoid the pharmacies that offer non-FDA approved medicines and don’t require prescription details. Such pet pharmacies are too risky to trust. Online pharmacies can be very convenient and useful for pet owners if they follow a safe and cautious process.

Can online vets prescribe medication?

A professional vet operating online can prescribe medicines for your pet if they have an approved license to practice. Online vets may examine your pets with the help of a video call or by asking about the symptoms.

Make sure that the online vet you’re referring to is an experienced person who will be able to treat your pet effectively. Do not take the risk of online prescriptions if you’re unsure of the vet’s credibility.

Another option is to get a prescription from your local vet. You can then use this prescription to purchase pet meds through online pet pharmacies.

Is WalmartPetRx a real pet pharmacy?

WalmartPetRx is an online pet pharmacy where you can get all sorts of pet medicines and supplies. It is a very reliable and trustworthy option for pet owners who want to get their pets’ supplies online.

This pharmacy offers a quick delivery service along with guaranteed authentic medication. Once you confirm your order, it’s at your doorstep within 2 days. The website will require prescription details if you order something marked with Rx. But, you can also purchase over the counter products from here without a prescription.

Can I get a pet prescription online?

If you are in touch with a vet who operates online, you can get a pet prescription from them. But other than that, you will have to visit a vet personally to get a written prescription. Online pet pharmacies cannot provide prescriptions. If they do, it’s a red flag for you to stay away from the website.

Once you get the prescription from your vet, you can then use it to purchase the medicines that you need on an online pharmacy. Do not get random medicines based on your personal diagnosis online. Refer to a professional before using any new medicines.

online pet prescription
You can get pet prescriptions online from a vet.

Online pet pharmacies add ease to your life and allow you to receive your dog’s meds on predicted days at home. They may be more expensive but are well worth the costs for the added convenience.

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