More than 1 in 10 pet owners have been conned into purchasing fake pet medicines online.

With COVID-19 causing a 129.5% YoY increase in online shopping sales in May alone, it is concerning to learn that over 1 in 10 pet owners have been duped into buying fake pet medicine online. After receiving their online order and questioning the authenticity, these pet owners reported the issue only to receive confirmation that the products they’d bought were indeed fake.

fake pet medicineThe true number of owners affected is likely to be even higher, as a further 12% of pet owners in this survey said they believed that they may have received fake pet medicines, but had not gone down the route of reporting these to find out for sure. It is not surprising that pet owners are being tricked, illegal traders can often use real imagery and adverts to sell fake products at a slashed down price, which can sometimes entice the high numbers of pet owners who like to shop online.

Unbeknown to most pet owners, counterfeit medicines come in many forms. They can often look, smell and feel like the real thing but can contain completely different active ingredients, an incorrect dose of ingredients, or no ingredients at all. Counterfeit packaging can be so convincing that when buying pet medicines 62% agreed that they find it difficult to tell which are legitimate and which are fake.

Research by Seresto Flea and Tick Control collar shows that factors that made pet owners feel they may have bought fake product included the medicine having a strange smell, the medicine not seeming to work properly or making their pet unwell, or the medicine having a false expiry date.

Counterfeit products continue to be sold illegally, and research showed that 87% of shoppers purchased pet parasite prevention products from un-accredited sites that have been known to sell counterfeit pet medicines such as ebay and Wish. However, purchasing a counterfeit medicine can cause a serious health risk to pets, and potentially the families that look after them. Unsurprisingly, of those pet owners who felt they had been duped by counterfeit goods, 42% felt worried and 38% upset.

Popular TV Vet, Rory Cowlam, on behalf of Seresto says, “It saddens me that there are those out there looking to take advantage of pet owners who are really just trying to take the best care of their pets. It is so important to think carefully about where you buy your pet medicines, and always check the retailer is accredited. Visiting the brand’s own website to find out where to buy safely is always a good idea.”


To help pet owners navigate the market and ensure they are purchasing Seresto flea and tick collars from a reputable retailer, visit www.seresto.co.uk to locate authorised Seresto stockists.