Save Money on Your Dog’s Medicine

By Paris Permenter and John Bigley

Save Money on Your Dog’s Medicine

Whether it’s a one-time antibiotic for an injury, or a medication your dog needs every month for a chronic condition, dog prescriptions -- like human prescriptions -- can be costly. One money-saver that many pet parents don’t know about, however, is the fact that many dog prescriptions can be filled right at your local drugstore. You’ll just need to present a prescription from your dog’s veterinarian. From that point on, it’s much like getting your own medicines.

When purchasing your pet's medications at the drugstore, you’ll often have the option of a lower-cost, generic version. It definitely pays to ask. Some drugstores offer prescription clubs for lower costs.

Another option is a printable prescription card that is accepted at many traditional pharmacies. For example, the free Community Discount Drug Card is accepted at over 50,000 drugstores and includes coverage for your pets. Similarly, the RxFreeCard and offer printable prescription cards to cover your pet’s medications that can be filled by a traditional pharmacy.

Depending on where you live, you may benefit from a prescription-drug discount card from the National Association of Counties. This card covers prescriptions for residents without prescription drug coverage or for those whose needs aren’t covered by insurance -- and that includes pet prescriptions too. There’s no fee, but your county must belong to the association. About half of the counties in the U.S. belong to it, and almost 60,000 pharmacies accept the card.

Check to see if any associations you belong to offer prescription cards. For example, a benefit of membership in the American Automobile Association is the free AAA Prescription Savings Card. It can be used any time you fill a prescription that’s not covered by insurance -- including pet prescriptions that are filled at drugstores. The average savings is 20 percent, with greater savings on those prescriptions filled by mail.

Remember, the first step in saving money at the drugstore on your dog’s medication is requesting a prescription from your veterinarian. If your dog’s medicine is one that can be filled at your drugstore, you may be fetching some real savings.

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the founders of  and the authors of Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos. The husband-and-wife team lives with its two rescue dogs, Irie and Tiki, in Texas.

Posted on August 30, 2011

sam says: my dog is a fur year old alaskan huskey she has a bloated stomach and is frequently drinking and urinating. she is not constapated, her temp is good and the vet said the only thing they are worried about id her while blood cell count. her medicine isnt helping and they are not sure what it is. what should i do?

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