Working together on the safe disposal of your pet’s veterinary medicines

Antibiotics, unused flea and worm treatments and other veterinary medicines

We are passionate about protecting our environment and are continually investing in ways to make our practices as environmentally sustainable as possible. This is why we work hard to encourage pet owners to dispose safely of their pet's unused medications. This includes supporting the RCVS Antibiotics Amnesty Campaign held annually in November.

If unused medications are disposed of incorrectly via wastewater e.g. down the sink, toilet or drain; this can contribute to environmental contamination.

Did you know that the safest way to dispose of your pet’s unused flea and worm treatments, antibiotics and other medicines is to return them to your veterinary surgery?

Please check your cupboards for any unused or partially used medicines, including any out of date, and return them to us for safe disposal. This also includes any tablets or pipettes that you have removed from the blister pack but not used or opened within 28 days.

We are often asked by responsible pet owners how best to dispose of unused medications including antibiotics and used medication packaging and here's how:

Returning medicines to your veterinary practice

Liquid medications

  • Please ensure the tops or lids are secured tightly on any spot-on pipettes, bottles or jars.
  • Ideally, these should then be placed in a sealed, leak proof bag. 

Unused tablets

  • These should remain in their original packaging (blister packs) if possible; otherwise, tablets of the same type should be gathered together and placed in a sealable, child proof container

Disposing of used packaging at home

Pipette tubes (e.g. spot on flea treatment)

  • Replace cap securely in case there are any drops of product left inside and dispose of in your normal household waste

Empty blister packs

  • Dispose of these in your normal household waste

Card packaging

  • Remove any label with your personal details on or make it illegible then dispose of the card in your recycling bin

Why are we asking for your help?

Please do not dispose of any unused flea and worm treatments, antibiotics or other medicines via wastewater eg down the sink, toilet or drain. This can contribute to environmental contamination; traces of animal medicines have been detected in rivers throughout the UK.

These products should not enter watercourses, as they could be dangerous to fish and other aquatic organisms.

Returning unused or out-of-date flea and worm treatments, antibiotics and medicines to your veterinary practice ensures their safe disposal by a licenced operator.

Please remember to clear up your pet’s poo. Traces of some veterinary medicines can remain in your pet’s poo, which could also lead to environmental contamination if not cleared up. Scooping it into a biodegradable poo bag and dropping it in to a dog waste bin is the best option.

These simple steps can help to protect the environment. If you are in any doubt about the correct way to dispose of your pet’s medications please, contact us.

The risks of re-using veterinary medicines

Do not share any unused antibiotics or other veterinary medication with other pet owners. This medication was specifically prescribed for your pet’s condition and could cause more harm than good to another pet.

Likewise, if your pet shows recurring symptoms, you should not restart the treatment. Any veterinary antibiotics, other medicine or flea and worm treatment for your pets should only be administered under the advice and direction of your veterinary surgeon.

We take our responsibilities seriously and care about our environment.
Thank you for helping to keep all of us and our pets and our environment healthy and safe.

Please note: we are unable to provide refunds for returned unused medicines, as we are unable to re-stock medicines for resale once they have left the practice. The sale of online veterinary medicines is regulated and monitored. Once veterinary medicines have been dispensed from a veterinary practice, it is illegal to sell your unused veterinary medicines online. It is also illegal for us to supply unused or out of date veterinary medicines to animal charities.

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