3 Drugs You're Spending Too Much on at the Vet How and Where to Purchase Them for Less

A Medication Bottle Cap That Says For Animal Use Only

Thumbnail of Prednisone


Asthma & Respiratory
{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart

The cost of caring for a pet seems to be going up every year, especially when it comes to prescription medications. The prescriptions that you're getting from the vet probably cost you a lot of money. Find out where you can buy pet meds for less here.

Caring for a pet can cost a pretty penny, especially prescription medications. But guess what? You don't have to spend as much as you have been. Here's why and how you can get low-cost pet meds.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, veterinarians often markup the price of prescription drugs when you purchase directly from their office. Depending on the drug, the markups can range from 100 percent to 1,000 percent, besides an additional $5 to $15 dispensing fee some vets charge.*

Luckily, purchasing your pet's medications online allows you to bypass that dispensing fee and shop at wholesale prices. This price disparity occurs because online pharmacies typically buy medicines in bulk. Hence, they receive the meds in bulk pricing, allowing them to offer you the best price possible. Your vet has no place to store bulk amounts of medications and has to purchase smaller quantities. Hence, he or she doesn't get the bulk rate discount, forcing them to overcharge. Plus, there's an overhead cost for keeping the medication in stock and a loss risk if it expires while sitting on its shelf.

You can get the meds at a low price with a straightforward trick. Instead of walking out of the vet's office with medication, get a prescription and their respective quoted price. Then go online and see how their quote matches up with sites specializing in pet prescription drugs. Just be sure you're shopping at one of the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy — like this one!

This price shopping is especially effective for medications needed for chronic conditions.

The 3 Most Common Pet Medications You're Spending Too Much On

  1. Prednisone

Vets charge 567% more for this medication!

Prednisone is a steroid — a corticosteroid, to be precise. Corticosteroids are designed to mimic cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone that aids in preventing inflammatory and immune responses. Vets use this drug to treat conditions ranging from inflammation and nervous system disorders to cancer or Addison's disease. However, Prednisone for dogs is most often prescribed for inflammation. Your vet will typically prescribe it in tablet or oral liquid form, though your vet could administer it via injection. The dose will likely be low and prescribed for a short time — 7-10 days is the most common.

  1. Tramadol

Vets charge 800% more for this medication!

Tramadol is a pain reliever for dogs who can't take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Tramadol for dogs is often prescribed post-surgery to relieve moderate to severe pain. However, vets have also recommended it for painful, chronic conditions such as arthritis or cancer. In rare cases, it can be prescribed as a cough suppressant. Tramadol is given in tablet form with or without food. Since it is not long-acting, your vet will likely recommend multiple doses daily. It may be taken for short periods (post-surgery) or longer for chronic conditions. 

  1. Amoxicillin

Vets charge 1,000% more for this medication!

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It is related to penicillin but more effective as it absorbs more easily into the body and is longer lasting. Amoxicillin is designed to prevent bacteria from building cell walls, causing the bacteria to die off. The use of Amoxicillin for dogs can help treat cuts, wounds, and infections, including skin, ear, oral, upper respiratory, and bladder. Amoxicillin is typically taken for 7-10 days in either tablet or liquid form and is usually given with food to avoid an upset stomach. As you must finish every last tablet when taking amoxicillin, so does your pet. Remember, stopping the medication too early can create resistant bacteria, leading to bigger problems. If your pet's infection is severe, the vet may have to inject the antibiotic to kick start the healing process.

*Consumer Reports

7 Popular Vet Meds Pet Parents Should Know About

Many of us have seen the medication ads on TV making us ask our doctors about such-and-such a medication. But what about vet meds? If you think something is wrong with your pet, it pays to know a thing or two about the most popular medications on the pet pharmacy market.

The following are the most commonly prescribed vet meds, with links to their medication guides. The guides will give you a more comprehensive look at each.


Novox is the generic form of Rimadyl (the popular NSAID-type drug for dogs). This medication is beneficial for dealing with chronic pain due to arthritis or any other pain caused by inflammation. If you notice that your once spry pooch is starting to loathe the walks they once loved, it might be time to see if they need Novox.

The primary ingredient in Novox for dogs is Carprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The ingredient has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as other joint pain problems.


Another popular NSAID drug, Previcox, is given predominantly to dogs needing relief from osteoarthritis. A fast-acting medication, Previcox is sure to have your pup back up and running in no time.

Previcox is a veterinary product used to treat a wide range of medical conditions in dogs. It is given orally and absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Previcox works by inhibiting the enzymes that produce prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 is a chemical that causes inflammation in the body, which can be caused by many different things, including allergies and infections. Previcox reduces pain and swelling associated with these kinds of conditions in dogs.

The most common uses of Previcox for dogs include:

  • Dogs with arthritis or other joint pain
  • Dogs who have had surgery on their paws or legs (especially if they have been stabilized before being put under anesthesia)
  • Dogs who have been diagnosed with lymphoma
  • Dogs who have been diagnosed with cancer


Proin is a medication designed to mimic the effects of epinephrine. It is used to help pets with urinary incontinence regain control over their bladder. This drug will help prevent any unwanted leakage. If your housebroken dog is starting to have more and more accidents, it may be time to consider Proin.

Proin works by relaxing the muscles around your dog's bladder and urethra so they can hold urine longer. This can make it easier for your dog to urinate without leaking or spraying.


Designed to help dogs with congestive heart failure, this inodilator works by increasing the circumference of their blood vessels. It results in taking some of the load off of their overworked heart. If your dog has this potentially life-threatening disease, consult your vet to see if Vetmedin is right for your pet dog.


Metacam, one of the few NSAID-type drugs safe for dogs and cats, is an easy-to-use oral suspension. It can help treat your pet's chronic, inflammation-related pain. If you suspect that your pet's mobility issues are due to arthritis, Metacam could be able to help.

Metacam for dogs works in the body by blocking pain signals from the brain to the spinal cord. It can be given orally or via injection once or twice daily. It should not be given more often than once every 24 hours.

Metacam should be given as soon as you notice an episode of pain, even if it's mild. If you're unsure whether your dog has been exposed to an infection or illness, ask your veterinarian about the best time to use Metacam.


Used for the treatment of bronchitis and kennel cough, Temaril is an antipruritic and antitussive type drug used to treat bronchitis and kennel cough. This means that it can treat itching and other cough-inducing symptoms. Often combined with prednisolone, an effective anti-inflammatory, Temaril can also help reduce the itchiness of rashes caused by eczema, otitis, and dermatitis. If you notice your dog coughing a lot, ask your vet about Temaril.

Trimeprazine and antihistamine are the active ingredients in Temaril. Both these ingredients work towards relieving the itching and coughing sensations.


Used to treat hypoadrenocorticism, more commonly known as Cushing's disease or the overproduction of cortisol, this monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) is proven to help boost the body's dopamine production. This allows the receptors in your dog's brain to regulate the production of cortisol better. Cushing's is a common diagnosis in aging dogs, so it can help know the signs and treatment options.

Always speak with a vet before giving your pet any medication, prescription, or otherwise.

Pet prescription plans like PetPlus exist to help make the often staggering price of your pet's medications more affordable. Check out the pricing plans at PetPlus before you have your prescriptions filled.

More on Pet Meds

Can I Buy Canadian Pet Meds?
Generic Alternatives for Popular Pet Medications
11 Ways to Save Money on Pets

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

Was this article helpful?
Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) Cancer Addison's Disease