The Dangers of Buying Heartworm Medicine Online

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Heartworm preventatives and flea repellents are expensive, we know. But resist the temptation to purchase these products from online retailers, on eBay or Craigslist. You might end up with mislabeled or counterfeit drugs and those can really harm your pet!

This blog post from the Littlestown Vet Hospital reminds us that buying low cost preventatives and repellents from places other than your vet’s office can result in purchasing something that isn’t what you intended.

People do sell counterfeit pet drugs that resemble real brand-name products on the outside… but the actual pills or chews are not the real thing. They may do nothing, or may contain chemicals that can harm your pet. And this isn’t a new problem — the EPA has been dealing with it since at least 2004.

How to keep your pet safe from fake medication

When purchasing flea repellents or heartworm preventatives, make sure the labels and box design match your old products, make sure all the documentation is complete and in English, and, if in doubt, don’t use it!

For more information on spotting fake flea preventatives like Frontline Plus, and other medications, have a look at these articles:

EPA Fact Sheet: Retailers and Counterfeit Pet Products

The best bet? Buy flea preventatives, and other medications, from your vet

The safest path is to just buy these products directly from your vet. It’s expensive, sure, but what is peace of mind (and your dog’s health) worth to you?

Have you ever had an issue with fake medication, or do you know anyone who has? How do you prevent fleas and ticks on your own pup? Let’s all learn together in the comments!