What Should You Do With Unused Pet Pharmaceuticals and Care Products?

Research indicates that vets usually don’t explain pawrents how to properly dispose of their pet’s medications.


Do you know what you’re supposed to do with empty flea spot on packaging or leftover deworming tablets? Because if you’re just chucking it all in the trash, you’re doing it wrong. And, according to a new study, you’re not the only one.


The research published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association indicates that more than 60 percent of veterinary care professionals don’t advise their clients on how to properly discard their pet’s medicine. And, considering that roughly 85 million families have at least one pet solely in the United States, it’s easy to see how the lack of information about the disposal of pharmaceutical and personal care products for their furry companion could be a big environmental issue.


The various substances from the leftover pet products easily find their way to groundwater and surface water once thrown in the trash. Amongst many other chemicals, researchers detected the presence anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, insect repellant, antimicrobials- all of which could be coming from the discarded dog and cat care products. However, most pet parents are not even aware of the ecological implications of their actions, which is why the national Sea Grant program is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Association to promote eco-conscious disposal of pet products.


Pet parents across the country will be encouraged to do the right thing and bring the pet pharmaceutical and personal care products they no longer need to a take-back event or a designated depository, similar to those on campuses or at police stations. Essentially, the disposal should be no different than what you already do with your own meds: if you wouldn’t flush a bottle of antibiotics down the toilet, why would heartworm pills be any different?

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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