Pet Doc: How to dispose of your pet’s medication


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s an issue you may find yourself facing, what to do with the remainder of your pet’s prescription if it has not been used.

Dr. Staci Cannon, Metro Animal Care and Control’s medical director answered these questions and more in this weekend’s editon of Pet Doc.

What should we do with unused pills?

Just like human medications, if we have left over pet medications that are unused, we have proper ways to dispose of them. Most medications we don’t want to flush them down the toilet or pour them down the train, that could contaminate our water supply and cause some unknown side effects we don’t want in our environment.

So there are proper ways to dispose of our medications. Certainly, you can check with your veterinarian and get their recommendations. Ideally, you would have administered all of the medications as prescribed by the veterinarian, but sometimes there are leftovers you no longer need. So pet medications do expire. It’s not really a good idea to keep those on hand because you could have an accidental exposure later on, children or pets could get into medications that could be a problem for them.

The best thing to do is to go online, there are some recommendations from both the FDA as well as the Tennessee state, that will tell you locations where you can drop off and dispose of unused medications. Most of the time those will be at some pharmacies as well as some police departments, actually. There are usually, unused drug take back boxes that you can drop these unused medications.

Sometimes you will take the pills and say OK, my dog, my cat is fine just leave them in a drawer. But don’t give them another pill unless your veterinarian says OK?

That’s right, if you have left over medications, and you think I’m going to save them for later, best to check with your veterinarian to make sure that’s still warranted as a course of action.

Have questions for our pet expert? You can email us at

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