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Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse: Medication Safety for Pet Owners

Pet medications, just like human medications, carry potential risks for accidental use or intentional abuse.
Take steps to ensure that your pet’s medication is safe, secure, and only being used as prescribed.

– Lock all pet medications in a safe or lock box.
– Store medication in its original container.
– Always secure the safety cap.
– Store pet and human medications separately.
– Check the label EVERY TIME to avoid the accidental mixing of pet and human medications.
– Adults should make sure that pets finish medication before a child is nearby.
– Monitor all medications. Make sure that the amount dispensed and the amount remaining is accurate.

Properly Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs
Dispose of leftover or expired pet medication quickly, safely, and securely. In doing so, you can prevent unintentional harm or injury to your pet, child, or other family members. By following these guidelines, you may also help prevent the intentional use or abuse of dangerous prescription medications.

– Bring unused medications to secure medication drop-off boxes around the state. To find a drop box in your area, visit
– Do not flush medicines down the drain or toilet unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.
– Some medications may be removed from their containers, crushed with coffee grounds or kitty litter and placed in a sealable bag and thrown in the trash.
– Certain types of drugs, like fentanyl patches, may require special disposal. If you’re not sure what constitutes a dangerous drug, call your veterinarian for safe & proper disposal requirements.

Pet Medications Pose a Threat to Kids, Study Says

National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Opioids MD

Pet MD
6 Pet Medication Storage Tips to Avoid Danger

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Safe Disposal of Medicines

Content contributed by collaboration with:
Decisions at Every Turn Coalition
65 East Union Street
Ashland, MA 01721

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536

Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association
163 Lakeside Avenue
Marlborough, MA 01752