Pets are a part of our families, so we always want to do what we can to keep them as healthy and happy as possible. However, like our human family members, there may come various times when our pets also need certain medications to help with different kinds of health issues.
Prescriptions for preventative care for pets and for treatment of chronic pet diseases can be very costly. In fact, Research and Markets reported that the pet medication industry finished 2020 with $10.8 billion in sales. Consumers turn to paying out-of-pocket primarily for prescription and over-the-counter flea, tick, and heartworm products.
You may be surprised to know that as a pet owner there are many ways for you to potentially save on pet medications! We created the below guide for you to reference to learn how to help cut your costs and start saving on pet medications.
Start Saving on Pet Medications Today
While more and more pet owners are opting for pet health insurance to offset their pet care costs, it usually does not come without some road bumps. Pet insurance plans typically don't cover older animals or the cost of medications for pre-existing conditions. Whether your insurance won't cover the astronomical cost of your pet's meds or if you are just looking for ways you can start saving on pet medications, below are some of our top recommended ways to keep more cash in your pocket.
Know Before You Go
The American Veterinary Medical Association has an updated listing of state laws in regards to prescriptions. Most state laws require a veterinarian to provide a written prescription upon request so you can then have it filled at a pharmacy of your choice. If your state doesn't mandate this, check with your vet beforehand to see if they are willing to write a prescription you can take with you.
Shop Around for Pet Medication Prices
According to Consumer Reports, two-thirds of people are still getting their pet's medications directly from the veterinarian. While getting prescriptions at the vet's office is more convenient, the markup can be as high as 113% over wholesale. That's a lot of money you could be keeping in your pocket! So we can't stress it enough to try looking elsewhere as well when it comes to getting your pet's medications filled.
Use CareCard to Save on Human Drug Equivalents
Speak with your vet to determine whether there may be a less expensive, human equivalent to the drug they can prescribe for your pet. Many pet owners may be surprised to learn that several medications made for humans are also safe for their pets, and are priced at a fraction of the cost. (Always consult with your vet first before giving your pet any medication.)
If there is a human alternative to your pet's antibiotic, antifungal, antidepressants, or other prescription, also be sure to use your CareCard at the pharmacy. For example, Cephalexin is a popular human antibiotic that will only cost you around $12 at retail pharmacies when you pay with your CareCard, whereas the pricey pet version might set you back at least $70.
Use CareCard on Medications Approved for Humans AND Pets
Some drugs are approved and often prescribed for use in both humans and pets. These medications can also be filled at retail pharmacies like Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens.
As mentioned above, we always recommend comparing prices at the pharmacies around you to see which one has the best price. By searching for the drug name directly on CareCard's website, you can see the costs of medications at your local retailer and potentially save up to 85%!
Amitriptyline is a drug prescribed to both humans and pets. It can cost about $33 out of pocket, but with CareCard, it will run you, on average, only around $4!
How to Use CareCard at the Pharmacy to Save on Pet Medications
CareCard not only saves you money, but you can also easily use it at your local pharmacy. Follow these steps to start saving instantly:
Type the name of the medication into the search bar located on CareCard's homepage. From there, CareCard will find pharmacies around you that have the prescription available along with the cost. (Be sure the zip code is correct on the medication's page.)
Click on "Get Free Coupon" beside the pharmacy you wish to fill your pet's prescription. You will then be prompted to enter your email or text, depending on how you prefer to get the coupon. You also have the option to print it out.
Once you get to the pharmacy to pick up the medication, pull up the coupon from your email or text, or present the printed coupon to the pharmacy staff.
Other Important Things to Keep in Mind About Pet Prescriptions
If your vet did not send the prescription over electronically, you must give the written prescription form to the pharmacy. For a prescription to be filled, it must include specific information, including but limited to:
Name of the drug
The veterinarian's DEA number
Name, address, and telephone number of the veterinarian
Name, address, and telephone number of clients (RP)
Identification of animal(s) treated (species, sex, etc.)
Date of treatment
Drug strength (if applicable)
Number of refills
While we of course hope that our pets will always stay as healthy as possible, our pets will probably need some type of medication at some point in their life (and offering those medications to our pets can help continue to keep them healthy!) And luckily, now you don't have to go into debt paying for their prescriptions. By doing a little bit of research, cost comparison inquiries and using CareCard, you can save on medications for your beloved furry companions. Learn more about how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.