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Save money on pet medications

Last year, Americans spent almost 30 billion dollars on veterinary services for their pets. Consumer Reports has some tips on how to save money caring for our furry family members.

More than a quarter of all pet owners worry they won’t be able to afford their pet’s medical treatments.

“We want our dogs to be healthy but it cost a lot more to keep them healthy than even us sometimes," dog owner Diana Bryant.

Pet owners spend anywhere from 9-thousand to more than 13-thousand-dollars for medical treatments over the course of an animal's’ lifetime. Costs can continue to rise if your pet needs a prescription.

Consumer Reports Health Editor Lauren Friedman says before you buy the meds directly from the vet consider shopping around.

"You can also buy a lot of your pet’s medication from a regular human pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens," Friedman revealed.

Although there are some veterinary-specific drugs, a number of the meds prescribed to pets are the same as used for people - and some pharmacies will give you the same discounts on drugs they offer regular human customers.

Consumer Reports says online pharmacies are another way you could save filling your pet's prescription. But just like when buying your own meds online, it’s important to make sure you buy them from a safe site.

"The safe-dot-pharmacy program screens online pharmacies for humans and for pets. It makes sure that they’re storing their medication correctly, dispensing it correctly, and dispensing the right kind of medication," Friedman explained.

Like all medication, always follow the label’s directions. If you have any questions about the medication, ask your veterinarian.

Another tip that may save you money in the long run, ASPCA recommends you spay or neuter your pet to prevent health problems, like uterine infections, breast tumors, and testicular cancer.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org.

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