The cost of pet ownership is increasing across the nation. The Toronto Sun reports that the pet industry brings in more than $8.9 billion each year, and spending has increased by about 4.5 per cent year-over-year. At the same time, the cost of standard veterinary services and pet food has jumped by 4 per cent each year since 2008, which is more than twice the rate of inflation in that time period.
However, according to a recent investigation from CBC News, pet owners in Canada could save hundreds of dollars each year by choosing to purchase animal medical supplies at pharmacies instead of veterinary clinics.
Veterinary facilities often charge slightly higher prices in order to support their clinics and staff, and as such following this traditional route for receiving medicine can be costly. Pet owners on a budget are then faced with a difficult balancing act as they grapple with their own budget and needs with the health of their beloved companion. Some savvy caretakers, however, found that purchasing certain medical supplies on their own significantly cut down on costs.
CBC News reports that the average price of 10 millilitres of insulin can range from $125 to $175 at various animal clinics or pet hospitals in the city, whereas purchasing independently from a pharmacy, with the prescription from a vet, allows pet owners to take advantage of prices that range from $63 to $90. Similar discounts are available for supplies like hydration tubes or needles for various injections.
"Perhaps there is a lack of regulation in terms of making healthcare for animals affordable," Nathaniel Christopher, a pet owner and blogger, told the news source. "A lot of British Columbians are pet owners and it would be nice if there were some stricter regulations in place to ensure that prices were lower."
If pet owners begin making the move to pharmacies, the government would likely have to put some new regulations in place in order to monitor the purchasing and pricing of pet medications. While some pharmaceutical practices may be slightly different for pets, the majority of what pharmacy assistants learn in their healthcare courses, including medical terminology and billing, should still be applicable.