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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Our Prescription for Your Pet’s Safety: Rx Tips for Pet Parents


There are so many options out there for pet medicines and treatments. From holistic remedies to over-the-counter medicines, to pet prescription medications, it can be difficult to make informed decisions for your pet’s health and best interest. 

We want to take a bit of time to help you better understand the ins and outs of your pet’s prescription and treatment options. We also want to help you steer clear of some of the most common mistakes pet parents make when it comes to their pet’s prescriptive health.

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Pet Parents Make When it Comes to Their Pets’ Medicine

When your pet comes down with a bad case of diarrhea or fleas, it seems like relief can’t come soon enough. As a pet parent, you probably want your pet to feel better ASAP, but avoid these missteps to help keep your beloved pet safe and avoid the greater risk of accidentally harming your pet.

1.  Using the Internet to Mis-Diagnose Your Pet

You’ve probably heard the joke about traveling down the rabbit hole of self-diagnosis on WedMD… but have you considered the dangers of misdiagnosing or mistreating your pet based on internet sources? While websites like PetMD are excellent when it comes to educating pet owners when it comes to their pets’ health, it can be dangerous to solely rely on just an article.

Not only can a pet parent misdiagnose and treat their pet, but these articles offer preliminary and surface-level information only. As medical doctors in veterinary medicine, we fully understand the entirety of your pet’s health and needs based on their medical history, size, age, and breed.

Veterinary medicine is a hands-on practice. When we examine your pet and prescribe medicine, we can physically see, feel, and diagnose your pet. The importance of an in office medical assessment and exam should not be underestimated.

2.  Treating a Pet With Over-the-Counter Medicines Without Consulting a Vet

Pet parents often turn to OTC medicines for expediency and to save money. While this may seem logical, OTC medicines can be less effective, resulting in longer-term treatment and higher cost overall.

Holistic and OTC treatments can also be dangerous. When you read the label of most OTC drugs, you’ll notice a long list of warnings. Do you fully understand the risks and directions? If not, call us. If you’re unsure of how a treatment will interact with your pet’s existing medicines, err on the side of safety and consult us first.

OTC medicines can be dangerous if not used exactly as directed or if used repeatedly while the underlying condition is not treated. 

3. Using Outdated Prescriptions or Expired Medicine, or Using Medication Not Prescribed for Your Pet

  • Expired Medications

As medicine ages, the ingredients can break down and degrade which can lead to active ingredients becoming less effective and even dangerous. Medical companies test the longevity of their medicines to safeguard pets. Expired medicine is never safe for your pets.

  • Refilling an Expired Prescription

Most prescriptions come with a limited number of refills in a limited timeframe. Why? Your pet’s needs change over time. Pets gain weight, age, and their overall health needs evolve. Refilling an expired prescription can be dangerous.

  • Using a Prescription Not Prescribed for Your Pet 

Different pets have different risk factors and needs. We tailor your pet’s care based on a wide array of factors. All of your pets have unique needs that you may not be aware of. Before giving your pet medicine, always consult us. We will look at your pet’s symptoms, medical history, and other factors to assess the best medication strategy for them. 

Always Fill Your Pet’s Prescriptions from Your Veterinarian or Veterinary Approved Online Store

When you order your pet’s medicine from us, we can answer any questions you may have. 

Ordering from us or our online pharmacy also ensures your pet’s medicine is handled appropriately. Ordering from a vet or our approved pharmacy certifies that your pet’s medicine was stored and shipped safely. Keeping medicine shelf-stable means keeping it at the right temperature and under the right conditions. 

Seeking your pet’s prescription medicine outside of an approved source can result in ordering expired medicines or medicine that hasn’t been stored or shipped safely.

We Take the Guesswork Out of Your Pet’s Health

At Minnesota Veterinary Hospital we strive to offer competitive prices for top-quality care for your pet family. We want you to enjoy years and years of happy memories with your healthy pet. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your pet’s health, OTC medical treatment, and prescriptions. From pet anxiety to fleas, we’ve seen it all.

If it’s time for your pet’s annual exam, prescription refill, or annual vaccinations, give us a call or request an appointment

Image Credit: bong hyunjung