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Don’t throw those pet drugs away!
When your cat or dog has fully recovered from the condition it was being medicated for, many owners may hang on to extra, unused pet drugs or perhaps throw them away. Tossing old pet medications is not always the recommended way to get rid of these medications, and proper disposal can help the environment and ensure the safety of your pets.
Don't flush those pills
It was long believed that flushing unused pet medications down the toilet was the ideal way to get rid of them. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reported that this method has been polluting waters and causing harm to fish. When medications get into the water stream, they also may cause bacteria to become resistant to certain drugs.
The FDA does recommend flushing some medications, though. Check the instructions on the label of your dog's pet meds to determine what to do. For instance, some pet drugs like Frontline Plus advise owners to wrap the original package in several layers of newspaper before discarding, while others, like Comfortis, might recommend you discuss disposal with your pharmacist.
Properly dispose to protect yourself and the environment
Before you toss any old pet products, make sure you have removed the prescription label, which may contain personal identification information. The preferred method for disposing of pill is to crush them and dissolve them in water, then mix in a material that absorbs the medication, like kitty litter or sawdust. Then, place this mixture in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in the trashcan.
Depending on where you live, there might be special rules regarding pet drugs as hazardous waste. Check with your local or state collection programs to ensure disposing of medicines in the trash is OK. Some states may require you to bring it to a nearby pharmacy to ensure proper disposal.
Know when to toss
Many pet drugs are purchased ahead of time to be given monthly to pets. Heartworm preventatives like Heartgard Plus and flea and tick preventatives like Pet Armor and Revolution are some common examples of monthly medications that you can buy as many as 12 of at a time. Always make sure you have a fresh stock and are not using an old pack when you give these drugs to your pet. Throw away any medication after its expiration date, since giving it to your pet is unlikely to provide the parasite protection it is supposed to.