Medication for your dog

Medication – where do you buy yours?

Until recently, I was able to buy any medication from my vet, as you should do.  However, since Luna’s diabetes diagnosis in December 2017, I have had a bit of a re-think.  She has to have an insulin injection every 12 hours.  See my post about caring for your  diabetic dog for more details.  It’s pretty straightforward, but I must admit the cost of it all does start to add up.

Luna needs:

  • One VetPen kit
  • Needles – 2 per day
  • Caninsulin cartridges – 1 per week
  • Sharps disposal bin

She also has a special diet – Royal Canin Dry Dog Food Diabetic, which you can’t buy from Royal Canin 🙁

After a few months of getting her stabilised, things are generally settled, but we continue to need supplies.  Luna also has to have her ‘glucose curve’ done, which means a whole day at the vet with a blood glucose check done every hour.  The vet usually sends off her blood to the lab for analysis, so that they can see how things have been going for her.

medicationBuying medication online

Some of this is pretty straightforward.  I buy the Royal Canin Diabetic food from Amazon.  Or I can buy the food and the needles from Pet Drugs Online.  They are a  great company, really easy to use.  Delivery is normally free and it’s pretty prompt.

There is a challenge though; buying prescription drugs online.  For these, you must get a written prescription  from your vet.  You will have to pay a fee for this (about £14).  It’s a bit of a faff, but you do then pay a fraction of the price for the drugs themselves.

Once you have the written prescription, you then scan it and upload it onto the site in order to place the order.

A word of warning

I was not able to buy the VetPen cartridges from Pet Drugs Online as they don’t appear to sell these.  They sell vials for syringes, but I use the pen.  It cost over £60 to buy (from the vet’s), but it is so easy to use.
medicationAnyway, I then went to Animed to buy the cartridges.  Using their site was nothing like as straightforward and I wasn’t very happy with their service.  To be fair, this was partly because I tried to order more cartridges than it said on the prescription, thinking I could just order a bigger stock.  But they didn’t make it clear that I couldn’t do this and then didn’t tell me why they hadn’t sent my order.   This meant I had a total panic as I ran out of insulin for Luna!  Fortunately the vet was able to give me some and I did receive the order, so I do now have a bit of stock.

Other medication

I give Sunny Metacam to help ease her arthritis.  I have saved around £50 ordering this online.  Overall, it has already saved me a significant amount of money buying the meds online, but it is more hassle.

NB:  I do not insure my dogs.  This is partly because I have so many and partly because I resent paying insurance when my dogs are generally pretty healthy.  Obviously I would have been able to claim for some of Luna’s treatments and meds, but I suspect there would have been an annual limit on this.

I appreciate that many people feel it is irresponsible not to insure your pets, because you might then be unable to pay for the treatment they need.  Personally, I would rather save the money elsewhere and use that fund when needed.  What do you think?  Do you buy stuff online?   What would you recommend?

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.


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2 thoughts on “Medication for your dog”

  1. Interesting. I have also recently tried online to purchase tick collars, but ended up buying from the vet after I realised the cost of the prescription. Vets have cottoned on to online competition and charging what seems unreasonable prescription writing costs for a single item.
    On the insurance point, what do you do about 3rd party liability without insurance?

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and feedback Sarah. I agree that vets can charge quite a bit, but I think once you have developed a relationship with them, they might make a few concessions. (Trust me, if you have 5 dogs and a cat you soon get to know your vet!) I think if you make sure the prescription is for a largish amount of the medication, it will still be worthwhile.

      With regards insurance, I believe you can be covered for 3rd party liability on your household insurance? You can certainly take this out separately, if you feel the need. When I had paying customers in my house I took out insurance for that, for example. I am covered by the charity I volunteer with (Canine Concern) when Busy and I are in school.

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