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Can I Buy Canadian Pet Meds?

Should You Purchase Pet Medications from Canada?

By July 17, 2013 | See Comments

Can I Buy Canadian Pet Meds?

Pet medication can get costly for many pet parents here in the U.S., prompting them to consider purchasing medications from neighboring countries like Canada. This is illegal however, and there are health risks you maybe exposing your pet to.

If you are considering purchasing medications for your pet from online stores based out of Canada, it’s important that you be aware this would be an illegal transaction. As well as breaking the law, though, you could also be putting your cat or dog at risk of health complications. While the drugs from Canada may be cheaper, they are not subject to the regulations of medications sold by American companies, and can potentially cause problems to your pet’s health. All-in-all, purchasing Canadian pet meds is a poor idea, and one that is discouraged by the FDA.

Why Are Canadian Drugs Problematic?

There are a few different reasons that Canadian medications aren’t good news for your pet, beyond the illegality of the purchase. For one thing, these drugs are not regulated as they are in the America. This means you could potentially receive medications that are counterfeit versions of familiar brands. Other possible pitfalls are expired drugs, medications in the incorrect dosage, or formulations intended for other countries. It’s also possible that medications that have been recalled in the U.S. will be still available for purchase from Canada.

One of the major signs of a disreputable company is if they are willing to send you medications without a prescription, and if their prices are dramatically lower than all of the competition. Of course you always wants the best deal -- but if something is typically available for sale for $100 and it’s available on just one website for $20, it might be an indicator that you won’t be getting the genuine article if you purchase there.

Where to Buy Pet Medications

For the sake of your pet’s safety, it’s recommended that you only purchase medications directly from your veterinarian or from an accredited source, such as Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (Vet-VIPPS)*. This certification is given by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and is a guarantee that every outgoing perscription is overseen by a certified professional.

*PetCareRx.com is Vet-VIPPS certified

More on Important Pet Medications

Pet Care Tools: A User's Guide
Flea and Tick Medications: Comparison Chart
Heartworm Medication: Comparison Chart
Flea Repellents in Topicals vs. Flea Pills

2017-04-18T06:56:12

Can you please tell me what business in Canada you order from? Thank you


2017-04-01T12:14:34

Vets in the U.S. are a RIPOFF. They force you to buy shots and other services your dogs do not need. if you do not buy them, they refuse to see your pets. I can buy my vet meds for half the price from Canada. So why not? Most of these drugs come from the same place. Vets and pharmacies in the U.S. do not want you to save money. I truly believe that the shots Vets require in the U.S. are killing our pets. They do not need all the boosters and repeats every year. It is all about the money.


2017-03-14T15:00:12

This article is an outright lie. I am a US citizen who has lived and worked all over the word and so therefor have bought my medications everywhere over the years. It is not illegal to get your prescriptions filled in another country for your own use. Everything I've been prescribed has been exactly the same medication I had here in the US, just with different language on the label and at a fraction of the price. Many medications we buy here in the USA are manufactured all over the world from Switzerland to India. Pet meds are the same. If you buy from a reputable online Canadian pharmacy, they will require a prescription and you will get the same medication you get here for a fraction of the cost. I'm fortunate enough to live in San Diego, which enables me to walk straight across the border to fill some of my prescriptions for both myself and my senior citizen mother. When I come back through US customs, they ask if I have anything to declare, I show them my pharmacy bags, and they wave me through. They don't even look inside, ask what I had filled, or ask to see any prescriptions. Just got my mom's prescription eye drops for $67 that would have been $700 here-- seriously! Same exact drops-- not generic. Brand name drops packaged in same exact very specialized packaging and made in the USA. One of the meds I get for my dog from Canada, Vetmedin, is 50% the price we pay here. Still expensive, but a huge savings and very convenient to get it by mail. If it were counterfeit, I"d know, because my dog can't live without it. She's feeling great now. Brought her back from the brink of death.


2016-05-25T02:05:33

To suggest Canadian meds are not the same quality or they may be counterfeit is suspect at best. Most if not all drugs are manufactured off shore including those sold in the US so that argument does not hold water.
Buy from your vet is fine, except the markup is outrageous. Sites like this one are nothing more than an attempt to prop up the vets. One wonders who has paid for this site, US vets?


2014-06-28T22:16:51

I would gladly go to my vet for a prescription if it didn't cost an arm and a leg just for the consultation. As it is flea meds are expensive already and while I am weary of all online sellers even "legit" prescription required can be a sham. Just check out the fraudulent market of perfume (some knockoffs unknowingly sold by reputable companies). I have yet to make such a purchase online and have only found most websites to be a facade (some are really based in Singapore not Canada like the websites suggest).
Realistically they should offer some kind of low cost consultation extending beyond the typical rabies shot package and fixing. Some of us don't have regular vets due to their sometimes frivolous fees (So you say my cat was poisoned and i really need an autopsy to prove a neighborhood kid possibly poisoned my cat? how do i prove the kid did it let alone find out who did it? what good would that do but leave me owing more money and more pissed off knowing that yes she was poisoned and I can't do anything about it?) Experiences such as these have made me hesitant to trust that vets have my pets' interest in mind before their pocketbooks (...now lumped in with dentists and mechanics :) )
Meds regulated by the US are not necessarily "better" or "safer" because, like most government agencies, politics and money play as much if not more of a role in regulation than the health of Americans does. So color me skeptical about the FDA.
As for what I'm going to do? Most likely buy the non prescription stuff that sort of works until my dogs need their required shots and then demand a prescription at that time. That is of course barring no emergencies bring me in sooner.

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Canadian Pet Meds at a glance

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  • 1Ordering medications for pets or humans from Canada is illegal in the U.S.
  • 2Although prices may be cheaper, meds from Canada are not regulated as they are in the U.S.
  • 3Buying medications from Canada could pose risks to your pet's health.
  • 4Medications should only be purchased from an accredited site or company, or directly from your veterinarian.
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