How to ID Counterfeit Pet Products

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A few weeks ago, I discussed the dangers of buying pet medications online. Today, I wanted to review how you can identify counterfeit products from genuine ones when shopping online. Unfortunately, identification is not always easy, especially when legitimate packaging is sold to counterfeiters. If you remember from my first article on this topic, a California packaging company was just found guilty of selling real packaging for popular pet products like Rimadyl and Frontline to counterfeiters.

Counterfeiters are very smart and there is no single characteristic that will identify all counterfeit products. Here are some common irregularities found in counterfeit products. Check that the dosing weight on the outside packaging matches the dosing weight on the inside product. If the outside package says it is good for a dog that is 10-24 lbs. than the inside package should say the same. Likewise, double check that the product you purchased is for the appropriate animal — dog or cat. Make sure all directions are in English and are not missing; any foreign languages would be immediately suspect. US packaged products will also always be packaged in child-resistant packaging. The EPA codes each box with a registration number; counterfeit products will not have an EPA number. Even if counterfeiters start mimicking this number it can always be searched on the EPA’s website.

Buying pet medications and preventives online is a gamble. Many pet parents never have a problem but there are many cases where pets have gotten sick or died due to counterfeit products. Is gambling with your pet’s well-being worth saving a few dollars? Sure your veterinarian might be a bit more expensive than the countless online pharmacies. But, should you end up with a counterfeit product, how much more money will you end up spending to treat your pet if they get sick, spend on repurchasing legitimate medication or preventive, or treat your home for fleas?

Grooming Tip of the Week

We often hear, “my pet has his teeth brushed at the groomer, so he doesn’t need a dental”. If that is the only brushing happening then it is not nearly enough to prevent the need for a veterinarian-performed dental cleaning. Imagine what your child’s teeth would like if you only allowed them to brush their teeth once every 4-8 weeks. To aid in the defense against plaque and tartar buildup, you must brush your pet’s teeth at least 3 times a week and complement brushing with an oral aid such as Oravet chews or an oral rinse.

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