Dear Daisy Dog: I have four mastiffs that take monthly heartworm preventive and flea/tick  pills. Because my dogs are large, their medications are expensive. I want to economize by buying them on the internet. How do I know if an online veterinary pharmacy is legitimate?

Daisy Responds: The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) investigated 11,500 online sources of prescription drugs and found that only four percent complied with U.S. laws and industry standards. Many of the other 96 percent are rogue pharmacies that distribute counterfeit drugs that may be harmful or useless.

When purchasing medications online, you can protect your dogs’ health by buying only from retailers that have “.pharmacy” in the website address.

These internet pharmacies have been thoroughly evaluated by the NABP, a professional organization which verifies that they are legitimate companies consumers can trust. The NABP probes the entire supply chain, including the drug’s manufacturer, the distributor and the pharmacy that dispenses the medication to the consumer.

Visit www.safe.pharmacy/buying-safely/#USvets for a list of reliable online veterinary pharmacies – or buy directly from your veterinarian.