You don’t need to own a pet for very long before you discover that it is a bottomless pit into which your money pours. Your cute puppy needs food, medications, grooming, and toys. Your kitten soon needs expensive visits to the vet. Your foal needs a farrier, a stable, and even more expensive visits from the vet. And so it goes on. Not surprisingly, many pet owners start to look for ways to save money, and one of the ways that is now available is to order your supplies online.
There are plenty of good reasons for considering an online source for your everyday pet needs.
- Generally, prices are lower than in a local or downtown pet store. You can also search around for deals more quickly and easily.
- Having large quantities of pet food delivered to your door saves you time and travelling, as well as being a convenient way to save you all that lifting and carrying.
- There is more choice. If someone recommends a particular item, you may not be able to find it in your neighborhood store, but you will certainly find it online.
- You can take your time reading up about items at your leisure, rather than hastily scanning the labels in the store. You want to take your time reading information about the products that might suit you—you can, for example, read online at AllVetSupply.com full details of when and how to administer the treatments and supplements they supply.
- Pet foods are regulated at the federal, state, and local levels. With a reputable site, you can buy with confidence.
Before you rush to buy everything your pet needs and wants from an online site, remember that there are some caveats to bear in mind as well.
- You will not get quite the personalized attention that you may be used to in your neighborhood pet store, although most online suppliers will have equally knowledgeable staff. Some people prefer a face-to-face relationship when their pets are concerned.
- It is easy to get carried away, on an online store, by the sheer volume and variety of options, leading you to buy more than you intend to. Although online sites will have a returns policy, it is sometimes easier to take unwanted stuff back to a local store.
- It is tempting to skip your visit to the vet, if you can find what you think you need at a much cheaper price online. Rarely, some less scrupulous sites may give you the impression that you can diagnose your pet yourself.
Things to Consider
Before you go online, especially if you are a new pet owner, make a list of the things you are planning to order, and don’t be easily tempted into following links to cute, but expensive, extras. A few clicks can soon lead you into spending more than you meant to, and that can take away the principal advantage of buying online in the first place.
Don’t be tempted to look for prescription medications. If your pet is not well, go to a vet, where you will get professional advice and treatment. If you want to source the prescription medication yourself, it is possible to do so over the internet. But if you do get your prescriptions online, bear in mind the FDA’s advice to use only Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacies, or a pharmacy recommended by your vet.
Look for a company that is regulated and inspected by the state in which it operates. Make sure that it only sells products which are approved by the FDA. This will give you re-assurance that you are dealing with a reputable company with high standards to maintain. The better companies will try to give you a service that is as personal as possible, so if you are in doubt about the suitability of an item, phone them or submit a question online—the sort of response you get will indicate the type of company you are talking to.
Your Pet Deserves the Best
You may well need to cut the bills for your pet’s maintenance, but it is important to do that in the right areas. There is a lot to be said for buying online, but as always with the internet, buy with caution. By finding the right online supplier, you can offer your pet the best quality products at a price you can afford.
Kate Kennedy is an animal lover who has a menagerie at her home… 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 parrots, a hamster, a rabbit and some chickens! Not to forget the 3 kids and 1 husband who make as much mess as the animals! She writes about animal care and parenting topics at a selection of places online.