Having a dog is more than just having a pet or friend. He’s a member of your family and he fills your life with unconditional love, laughter and lots of play. Yet, he also fills your budget with bills, from vet appointments to food. He might also need medications at certain points, but there are ways to save money on that.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you need pet medication, there are two things that you should always do. It can be hard to take a step back in the moment when you’re worried about your pet’s health and comfort, but both of these steps can wind up saving you a lot of money.
For starters, check multiple sources for pet medicine to get an idea of the potential prices. Many pet medications are distributed through veterinarians, possibly as many as 70% of them. That does make sense. However, according to Forbes, vets might mark their medicines up as much as 100% or more to make money. Could a pet pharmacy or online option save you money even if the pills show up just a tad slower?
Secondly, always ask about generic options compared to brand names. The difference in price between named drugs or generic equivalents in human medications is drastic, and it holds nearly as true for pet medicines. Just making that switch might mean caring for your dog while spending only a fraction of the cost.
Get Pet Insurance
This might not help you with medications resulting from pre-existing conditions; however, it can possibly save you money on pet prescriptions in the future. In fact, it might even help you with vet bills resulting from accidents and illnesses. Some insurance pet policies will even give you discounts on grooming, boarding and preventative health care. Certain policies will also distinguish between temporary or permanent pre-existing conditions.
Get a Prescription Discount Card
If you don’t want to be one of the many dog owners that have to skip out on pet medications due to rising costs, then a prescription discount card might be helpful. They help customers get lower-cost medications whether they have insurance or not. What should you look for in the best prescription discount card? Consider these factors:
- Specific Medications. Not all medications may be discounted. Check for medications you currently need or might likely need to use in the future.
- Pharmacies That Take the Card. Prescription discount cards might not be universal. Make sure your preferred source of dog medications works with the particular card in question.
- Potential Savings. Any discount should be helpful, but actual savings levels can vary, especially between generic and brand medications.
- App or Physical Card. Everything is digital these days and a prescription discount card might come with a phone app that unlocks even more savings.
Save Money on Dog’s Medication by Buying in Bulk
Most prescriptions will have limitations on how many ounces or pills you can have at once. Then again, if you’re dealing with long-term medications, you might have a chance to save money by buying the highest quantity with one prescription. Getting a 90-day supply will usually prove more cost-effective than getting a 30-day supply. Stock up when you can for maximum cost-efficiency.
Keep Your Pet Healthy
While there are obviously many steps you can take to possibly lower the cost of pet medications, your best bet might just be preventing the need for medications in the first place. Dogs, like people, need exercise, hydration and proper nutrition. Keep up with these suggestions, along with your vet visits, and you might keep your four-legged family member healthy enough to avoid needing certain medications. At the very least, you might reduce how much they need or postpone taking them.
People who own dogs not only live longer but enjoy better years along the way. That joy does come with a price tag and medications are part of that. However, knowing how to save money on your dog’s medications can help you balance your budget and keep everyone happy and healthy.