ARDMORE, OK -- Millions of pet owners across the U.S. are now using pharmacies to fill their pet's prescriptions, instead of a veterinarian. But some say that might not be the safest choice.
If you have one of these, or one of these, at some point they might need pet medications to keep them healthy. While pet owners can buy those through vets, many are opting to buy through a pharmacy. Candice Hills has three dogs a cat and a fish. She says she doesn't know if pharmacists should medicate pets.
"They would need to know some familiarity with the animals and the types of medications," Hills said.
But this question didn't stop the six million americans who bought pet prescriptions through a non-vet pharmacy in 2011. Vet Dr. Barbara Dunn has clients who go this route, and she says it worries her.
"it does make me nervous sometimes once a prescription leaves here because you sort of have lost a little bit of control over what happens," said Dunn.
Dunn says a dosage mistake could happen because some meds could look strange to a pharmacist without any training in animal pharmacology. But pharmicist Paul Reed has filled pet prescriptions for 22 years. Whether he doses a human medication for a pet or compounds one from scratch he says he has resources to help get it right.
"I've looked up dosages for cats and dogs and body weights and rates of excretion and all sorts of things."
Buying your pet's medication at a pharmacy isn't your only option. You can also take your search to the world wide web.
But Dr. Dunn says some online pharmacies can't always be trusted.
"They get a tradition, history or background of not following the rules."
Hills will do anything to protect her pets because...
"They're like my kids."
And that means shopping smart for pet meds.