An extension of the services offered by Pet Lovers Centre (PLC), one of the largest and oldest pet store chains in Singapore that’s also on track to operating 52 stores in Malaysia, Vet Pharmacy has one main goal in mind.
Editor’s Update: The number of PLC’s Malaysian stores has been updated to reflect greater accuracy, based on information given by the team.
With Vet Pharmacy, pet owners can now drop in and speak about their pet’s health and get professional advice, making pet care knowledge more accessible and not just limited to dubious Google searches or expensive vet trips.
But as the media coverage they received upon launching just a month ago was rather brief and lacking in details, some of us pet owners may still be unconvinced of their services.
After all, it’s always been possible to get over-the-counter (OTC) medicine and certain medicated products in regular pet stores anyway, so what is Vet Pharmacy bringing to the table that’s never before seen here?
1. There Are Vet Pharmacists, But What Exactly Can They Do?
The vet pharmacists that Vet Pharmacy works with are registered pharmacists with the Pharmacy Board of Malaysia.
They’re trained in dispensing pharmaceutical drugs and will check that any medicine given to your pet is the right strength.
The dose and route of administration will also be properly communicated to clients to ensure the medicine is used safely and effectively.
However, unlike veterinarians, pharmacists’ core is not in diagnosis and procedure, so Vet Pharmacy isn’t here to completely replace all your vet visits.
“Upon communicating with the clients, if the pharmacists judge that the presenting signs are suggestive of a severe underlying disease which requires further examination or when a procedure or a prescription drug is necessary to alleviate and resolve the presenting case, clients will be advised to bring their pets to a veterinary clinic,” Bryan Boo, PLC Malaysia Operations Director explained.
Vet Pharmacy does not charge for consultation and it operates as per regular retail hours.
2. As Accessible As A Pet Store, But With The Medicine Offerings Of A Vet
“In terms of product selection, Vet Pharmacy provides a complete range of medications including prescription and OTC medicine, whereas regular pet stores don’t sell medicine containing scheduled poison,” Bryan said.
These medicines containing scheduled can only be supplied by healthcare professionals including pharmacists, doctors and veterinarians.
Certain classes of controlled medicine at Vet Pharmacy, just like at the regular vet’s, will require you to show a prescription to obtain them.
Among some of Vet Pharmacy’s offerings include neutraceuticals, skin cream, antiseptics, medicated shampoos and sprays, and ophthalmic (eye) and otic (ear) drops.
More importantly, “Medicine that needs to be taken for chronic diseases such as heart disease and recurrent skin allergies are also available to allow clients to refill pets’ medicine conveniently,” Bryan added.
Vet Pharmacy has medicine that’s mainly catered to cats and dogs, but it also carries medicine for domesticated small animals including hamsters, guinea pigs, and more.
3. Even Veterinary Clinics Are Their Clients
Aside from serving pet owners, Vet Pharmacy also serves as a hub for veterinary clinics to pick up medicines that may not be available elsewhere.
Clinics benefit from Vet Pharmacy’s range of medicine, and in some cases where both an innovative brand and generic brand are available, the client is opened up to the option of choosing the most affordable and suitable medicine for their pet.
4. They Have A Compounding Service For Medicine
If you’re a pet owner, you know the struggle of getting your furbaby to swallow a medicinal pill. In my experience, they tend to be very skilled at leaving out the medicine when you try to hide it in their food or in treats.
Vet Pharmacy can solve that problem for you with its compounding service that can turn tablet medicine into a liquid form, making it easier to administer.
They can also separate a capsule into a smaller dosage for pet owners to more accurately administer the medicine to their pet.
Sure, we could probably separate capsules ourselves, but there’s always the fear of doing it wrongly and giving your pet too much or too little medicine. I’d rather let the experts do it.
A Global Effort Of Raising Awareness & Improving Pet Healthcare
Bryan explained why PLC thought now was the right time to roll Vet Pharmacy out.
“As the companion animal healthcare market is growing globally, veterinary pharmaceutical products are having more presence in pharmacies overseas, for example, in the UK.”
“At the same time, people are more aware of zoonotic diseases (germs from animals that can cause illness in humans). Pharmacy involvement in the veterinary industry will further raise such awareness and improve the level of companion animal healthcare,” Bryan stated.
Hence, Vet Pharmacy was modelled after overseas ones and launched for the benefit of pet owners in Malaysia.
PLC chose to launch it in Mid Valley Southkey, Johor because of its strategic location which isn’t burdened by traffic congestion.
As for whether they’ll be expanding it to other parts of Malaysia, Bryan said, “It is still too early to comment on this. The decision on expansion depends on the market’s demand.”
Caring for a pet is expensive, that’s a given fact. I’ve lost count of how much we’ve spent on veterinary fees for every small ailment our own pets go through, and we have 5 of them in total.
We tend to be overly-cautious with our loved furbabies, but we’ve learnt that it isn’t always necessary to rush to a vet first thing for a lot of the false alarms we’ve had.
If something like Vet Pharmacy had existed in our area years ago, I’m sure we’d have had much more peace of mind, financially and emotionally.
Featured Image Credit: Vet Pharmacy