The Perils of Internet Pharmacy Purchases for your Pet!

If you buy drugs online, you may be putting your pet’s health at risk. This is especially true if you order a prescription drug without your veterinarian examining and prescribing the drug. Never purchase drugs from a pharmacy that does not require a prescription from a veterinarian, as those pharmacies may be selling unsafe, unregulated, untested and unlicensed drugs.

Some Internet pharmacies are legitimate, but many offer products that are dangerous. Some sell drugs that are not approved for use in Canada because of safety concerns. Buying drugs from Internet pharmacies that do not provide a street address and telephone number exposes your pet to even more risk. You have no way of knowing where these companies are located or what is in their drugs. You may be buying counterfeit drugs with wrong ingredients, no active ingredients, dangerous additives, or drugs past their expiry date. Even if these drugs do not harm your pet directly or immediately, your pet’s condition may get worse without approved treatment.

If you give your pet prescription drugs without a veterinary consultation and diagnosis then your pet may miss the opportunity to get appropriate treatments that would help its condition. Your pet may also be at risk for drug interactions, or harmful side effects that your veterinarian would be aware of and could prevent. You should advise your veterinarian if you are giving your pet prescription or over the counter drugs, vitamins, natural health products etc.

Buying drugs on the Internet may also pose financial risks. In some cases, the product may not be shipped at all, or if it is coming from another country, it could be stopped at the border by Canadian authorities.

The practice of pharmacy in Canada is regulated by the provinces, and any licensed pharmacy that offers Internet services must meet the standards of practice within its own province. If you have questions about whether an Internet pharmacy is legitimate, contact the licensing body in your province or territory.

Health Canada regulates therapeutic drugs in Canada through a rigorous licensing process, which includes an extensive pre-market review and the ongoing post-market assessment of a drug’s safety, effectiveness and quality. All drugs approved for sale in Canada have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN). The DIN assures you that Health Canada has assessed a drug, and considers it safe and effective when used as directed on the label. The DIN also provides a way to track adverse drug reactions. Do not purchase drugs that do not have a DIN.

If you have any questions about your pet or drugs being given to your pet, please contact us at [email protected] or (905) 727-3003.

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