Ever hear the expression Christmas in July? Many believe it stemmed from this point in the middle of the year, halfway between the end of the last Yuletide celebration and awaiting the next arrival of the winter festivities. Still others fathom it was dreamt up by advertising executives to hock Christmas items at clearance prices in the middle of the year.
For all intents and purposes, there’s a little truth to all of these statements and many more. According to some sources, the first use of the actual phrase “Christmas in July,” was an English translation of a French opera called Werther in 1894. The aria says, “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.” Ten years previous, an Ohio fraternity claimed to have had the first Christmas-themed party at their frat house in the middle of summer.
While I’m in no mood to see Christmas decorations quite yet, even though they do seem to come out in the stores earlier and earlier every year, we could conceivably save enough cash to give our pets a little something extra this year during the season of giving.
How to save on pet care
Most of us know that we can save money by shopping online, but when it comes to prescriptions for our pets, the extra costs that we can save on animal meds can be huge. According to an article from the Daily Mail, they report veterinarians in the UK have been accused of markups on their medications by as much as 500% on many common products.
The marketing group Best Organisation was asked to compare the costs of meds dispensed by veterinarian’s offices against those purchased online and found:
- Optimmune eye ointment is available on the internet for £23.86, while a veterinarian practice in North London charges £59.50 for the same 3.5g bottle.
- Six Frontline ® flea tablets are sold online for £16.33 compared to £38.95 in a vet’s office.
Andrew Evans of the online pet pharmacy Vet-Medic said, “We commissioned the research to help us keep our own pricing competitive, we made an assumption that online shopping should come out cheaper but were staggered by how much.”
In sharp contrast, Harvey Locke of the British Veterinary Association, described the accusations of vet’s prices being over-inflated as being unfair. “Veterinary practices will mark up the cost of the medicines they supply,” said Locke, “In order to cover the costs of keeping and dispensing them.”
While I would certainly agree that a small charge to offset the costs of shipping, handling and storage of these medications is reasonable, upwards of 500% is completely unfair, regardless of what Mr. Locke had to say.
The arrival of Santa Claus is still a long way off, but we can still sock away some extra cash to fill our pet’s stocking with gifts on Christmas morn by purchasing their medications much cheaper prices online. Father Christmas would agree we’re still buying the exact same medicine at a fraction of the cost.