Counterfeit Pet Medications

Keep your pet healthy and safe by knowing how to identify illegitimate medications!

Purchasing Pet Medications Online

Be sure to use caution when purchasing your pet’s medications online; not all online pharmacies are safe! Some of these pharmacies sell counterfeit and/or questionable medications. The following will give you the tools to properly determine whether or not you are buying legitimate medications for your pet. If you have any questions regarding your pet’s medication(s) or are concerned you may have purchased counterfeit meds, please contact us and we will assist you.

Why Counterfeit Medications are a Danger to Your Pet

Counterfeit medications are not regulated like the ones your veterinarian will prescribe. These medications can contain different ingredients than what they should have, they may be expired, and they may not be a medication at all. These medications can be ineffective in their purpose, for example, counterfeit flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives may not be effective in protecting your pet from preventable diseases. They can also be toxic where death has occurred. These medications can look identical to the original medication you received which is why it’s crucial that you know what other signs to look for.

We recommend purchasing all of your pet’s medications directly from a veterinary clinic to avoid this issue. If online is your only option, you can visit our trusted online pharmacy here:

Medications to Watch Out For:

Heartworm Preventative 

Flea & Tick Preventative

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

  • Rimadyl (Carprofen)
  • Deramaxx (Deracoxib)
  • Previcox (Firocoxib)
  • Metacam (Meloxicam)

If you have a medication that wasn’t listed above but seems suspicious to you, stop/do not give it to your pet until you’ve contacted your veterinarian and they’ve confirmed whether it is safe or not.

Red Flags Indicating Counterfeit Products…

  • If a prescription from a licensed veterinarian isn’t required. 
  • Their pharmacy is offering huge discounts or extremely low prices that seem “too good to be true.”
  • If the pharmacy isn’t licensed and/or is located outside of the United States.
  • If the same medication looks different than the one you received before.
  • If you’re receiving individually packaged doses for a medication. Preventatives should be delivered in the original packaging, and shouldn’t be separated into individual doses that were put together in one shipment.
  • If the medication isn’t properly packaged/boxed. 

Signs My Pets Medication is Counterfeit

X The weight is listed in kilograms (kg)

X Commas are used instead of decimal points if applicable (i.e. 4,1 instead of 4.1)

X The product lacks FDA Approved statements

X The product lacks an EPA Reg. Number

X Directions for use are missing or not in English

X The product/medication is not the appropriate dosage for the animal pictured on the box 

X There are stickers on the box to hide foreign labeling

X There is foreign language anywhere on the packaging

Signs My Pets Medication is Legitimate

  • The weight is listed in pounds (lbs) 
  • Decimal points are used if applicable (4.1)
  • FDA Approved statements are listed
  • EPA Reg. Number is listed
  • Directions for use are clearly stated
  • The product is in child-resistant packaging
  • The size of animal on the box matches the weight range for that dose of medication
  • There are no stickers on the packaging
  • USA products are in English

Counterfeit & Legitimate Images*

Counterfeit Image*

FDA & EPA Reg Image*

Final Tips

If you have any doubts of legitimacy of your pet’s medication, contact us!

Know the red flags and be A.W.A.R.E.

  • Ask your vet what site they trust
  • Watch for the red flags
  • Always check for site accreditation
  • Report suspicious pharmacies to the FDA, NABP, or the local state pharmacy board
  • Educate yourself about online pet pharmacies 

Always ask yourself: does the pharmacy have contact information? Do they require a prescription from my vet? Are their prices too good to be true?

The more you know, the better you can protect your unknowing pet from these unforseen hazards. Counterfeit medications can cause serious problems for your pet’s health, so be sure to follow these guidelines and communicate with your veterinarian to ensure the best possible care and treatment for your beloved companion.