Pet Pharmacies: Review of PetCareRx and National Pet Pharmacy
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Pet Pharmacies: Review of PetCareRx and National Pet Pharmacy

In this report

Like other members of the family, pets sometimes become ill and require prescription medication. Trips to the vet can get expensive so many people are buying discount pet medications from online pharmacies.  But it is important to purchase pet prescriptions that are safe from reputable companies. There are many pharmaceutical websites that sell expired or "off brand" medications and do not follow state and federal laws. PetCareRx and National Pet Pharmacy are two online pet pharmacies certified by Vet-VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site). Both companies have passed rigorous licensing and inspection requirements, proving that they are legitimate pharmacies.

National Pet Pharmacy and PetCareRx also sell other health and wellness products for pets like vitamins, supplements and specialty food.

#1 - PetCareRx

PetCareRx is an online “pet pharmacy”, licensed in all 50 states, that sells prescription and non-prescription medications for cats, dogs, birds and other animals. 

When an order is placed online or by phone, the PetCareRx pharmacist will contact your vet for authorization and ship the order directly to you. PetCareRx has a huge inventory of FDA and EPA approved pet medications and other pet products at up to half the price charged by veterinarians and pet stores including:

  • Flea & Tick medication
  • Heartworm medication
  • Vaccines
  • Urinary tract medications
  • Medications for birds and reptiles
  • Health Supplements
  • Pet Food (dogs, cats, birds, reptiles)
  • Shampoo & Grooming products
  • Pet products (Food bowls, leashes, beds, carriers, toys)
  • View all products


  • Certified by Vet-VIPPS (this seal of approval shows that a pharmacy adheres to the highest standard of excellence in pharmaceuticals for pets)
  • Low Prices and huge selection of prescription medications
  • Price Match: If you find a lower price on the same product from a licensed Vet-VIPPS certified pharmacy, PetCareRx will charge you the same price.
  • Pet Health Guide and Vet Blog – a large resource of useful pet care information
  • Website is detailed yet simple to use; refilling prescriptions takes only a few clicks
  • Product Guarantee for Heartworm and Flea/Tick Medication:  If you pet contracts heartworm while using a PetCareRx product you may be eligible for reimbursement (test must be provided) Or, if your pet is gets fleas & ticks after using a treatment (Advantage, Frontline, etc) PetCareRx will resolve the problem by giving you an alternative treatment or refunding the amount paid.
  • Rebate Program: For every dollar you spend, you will receive (1) PetCareRx point which are worth 5% of your order. For instance, if you spend $100, you will have $5 extra towards your next order.
  • Paw Stockings: Dog and cat Christmas stockings stuffed with goodies available during holiday season – monogrammed upon request.
  • Free Shipping on orders over $35. Prescription Orders ship within 24-28 hours, most other items ship same day via UPS with option of paying extra for faster shipping.

I have been a customer of PetCareRx since 2004 when my older dog had problems walking. My vet prescribed Rimadyl, which relieves pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis.  My dog responded amazingly well and within a few days he could walk easily. My vet charged almost double for Rimadyl compared to the price on

Others share my enthusiasm for this company:

WOW!  When I came across, it was a blessing!  I am a foster-mom for Homeward Bound Cat Adoptions, in Las Vegas, and when I took on FOUR newborn kittens, I had to purchase cans of KMR formula for them.  Petsmart and Petco charge between $7.99-$8.99 per 12.5 oz. can, however when shopping through (a shopping rebates website), not only did I get the KMR for $5.40/can, free shipping with a $35+ purchase, and Pet Points, I also get a 12% rebate through!


Live Chat window is a bit annoying. It pops up while browsing and again when exiting the website. When I am ready to leave a website, I don't appreciate being stopped by an advertisement.

Pet Food – limited selection and veterinary diet brands such as Hills Science Diet not available

Selection of pet products is minimal (beds, food, leashes, etc)

#2 - National Pet Pharmacy

National Pet Pharmacy sells prescription/non-prescription and generic brand pet medications as well as other pet products. Their staff includes licensed pharmacists. First time customers must mail the veterinarian’s prescription form to National Pet Pharmacy in Louisville, Kentucky. Refills may be ordered online. 

These products and more can be found in stock:

  • Medications for dogs, cats and other animals
  • Pet food (regular and specialty)
  • Dental and weight loss products 
  • Flea & tick treatments
  • Vitamins & supplements
  • Pet accessories (beds, collars, leashes, crates, etc)
  • See all products


National Pet Pharmacy has slightly lower prices than PetCareRx on many items. For instance:

Advantage Flea Treatment for Dogs (11-20 lbs):   $ 43.99 at National Pet Pharmacy and $45.99 at PetCareRx.

Heartguard Plus (dogs over 50 lbs) 6 tablets:         $38.49 at National Pet Pharmacy and $43.99 at PetCareRx


Certified by Vet-VIPPS and Better Business Bureau

Selection of products is one of the largest online

Price Match: They will match the price on any product from any online retailer. You just e-mail verification.

Website is well designed; the search engine is amazingly refined. For instance, you can look up pet food items by flavor, age and breed of pet, brand, form, protein source, etc.


Prescriptions: First time prescriptions cannot be filled until customer places an order and checks out, and then mails the vet’s authorization form with order number to National Pet Pharmacy in Louisville, Kentucky.

  • Licensed in only 42 states for prescription medications
  • Shipping: While some medications ship free, most items are shipped flat rate per pound. (0 to 4 lbs = $5.99, 5 to 40 lbs = $9.99,  etc)

Customer reviews: I found an equal number of complaints and compliments about National Pet Pharmacy's customer service.

“I placed an order for a special vet prescribed cat food and in order to get this, I had to send in a prescription. I did not have one, so I called the next morning and spoke to a male agent. He assured me that my order has been cancelled and charges on my card had been dropped. …. so, I called again to speak to someone else. This time they told me that my order has already been processed and shipped. “

"I have been shopping at National Pet Pharmacy for a couple of years now, and have never been disappointed. Their website is easy to navigate, their products are reliable, and their prices competitive."

The negative reviews should not prevent anyone from ordering from National Pet Pharmacy as their prices and selection are excellent.

The Bottom Line

Having been a customer of PetCareRx, I would not hesitate to recommend this website or National Pet Pharmacy. They both offer discount prices on prescription medications. PetCareRx is still my first choice, even though National Pet Pharmacy has lower prices on many products. The reason is because PetCareRx will call your vet to verify the prescription; National Pet Pharmacy does not (you have to mail the vet's authorization after placing your order). However, if your pet is on a weight loss or other special diet, I would suggest ordering from National Pet Pharmacy as their pet food selection is enormous.

When a pet is ill, you should always consult your veterinarian first. Advise your vet that you prefer to order the pet medication online because of price or convenience. Give the vet the name of the online pharmacy so he or she will be prepared to authorize the prescription if they get a call or need to complete a form. Most vets won't mind if you purchase the medicine online instead of from their office as this has become a common practice. But if medication is needed immediately, your vet may insist that you buy the first prescription from his office and additional prescriptions may be ordered online.

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Comments (2)

Actually, the only way I found out about the "policy" of National Pet Pharmacy of requiring a first time customer to mail in a prescription was by searching for their bad reviews (during my own bad experience with them) and finding this link.

Before I ever placed my order with them I called ahead and asked their customer service dept what would be required - I had adopted a dog out of state, had on the day of adoption driven back to my own area, and realized after the fact that although the fosters had had her comprehensive medical spay/deworming/heartworm test, etc done, beyond her single initial dose of heartworm preventative, I'd been provided neither a written prescription nor further doses.  I let NPP know this, that I would have no logistical way to obtain a written prescription and also stressed that I would be ordering for the first time.  Their response?  No problem!  We'll just fax the vet, they'll fax us right back, done and done!

Suffice it to say, a week and dozens of emails/phone calls later, the only thing "done" was my card was charged within 24 hours of placing the order, but a week later I was still getting repeated emails from NPP saying "the vet refused to approve by fax" (an outright lie, as I'd talked to the vet's office multiple times) and "you need to mail in a prescription" - see "called NPP before placing the order to tell them I had no paper prescription".

They will not only lie to you about their "policies" but will actually CHARGE your card for orders that haven't even been approved or processed.  What reputable company does this?  Any reputable company will APPROVE your card but not actually charge until the order ships.  This company charged my card, "kept the order open" when I said to do no such thing, and changed their story during my repeated phone calls to them from "you need to mail it in" to "we've gotten the fax back and it's all good and will ship tomorrow plus I'll email you tracking tomorrow when it ships" and then back to "you need to mail it in or nothing will ship".

I recommend ordering from ANY online pet pharmacy other than this one.  Statistically, I don't see how you could go wrong, just cover your eyes and throw a dart at the screen to any other one at random. No other one could possibly be worse than National Pet Pharmacy.

Hi LK Grandmain -

I actually work for NationalPetPharmacy and want to thank you for reviewing our site. I do want to point out that our customer care reps do in fact contact our customers' veterinarians to verify prescriptions. You do NOT need to mail a script unless your vet will only provide you a physical script (some vets refuse to fax them to us). We will reach out to any vet by fax when a customer places their first order and will continue to do so on each subsequent order. Could you let me know what gave you the impression that you had to mail the script to our pharmacy? I want to make sure the our customers know just how simple it is to fill orders on our site. 


Kelly L.