Tips to Help Keep Our Pets from Ingesting Medications

Spilled MedsJust like we “child-proof” our homes, we always want to keep medications safely out of the reach of our pets.  Never administer a medication unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.  Here are some tips for medications, to help keep our four-footed family members from accidentally ingesting any over-the-counter or prescription medications.

  • Never store loose pills in a Zip-Loc baggie where a pet may get hold of it.  The plastic is too easy to chew into.  It’s also a good idea to remind any house guests to keep their medications high up or out of the reach of pets.
  • Some people like to put their medications in a weekly pill container.  Make sure to store it in a cabinet out of the reach of pets.  Some pets might see the weekly pill container as a toy and possibly ingest not only one poisonous medication but several or even the plastic container itself since it may appear as a toy to them.
  •  Never store pet medication near personal, human medications.  It is all too easy to accidentally administer the human medication to a pet by mistake.
  • Purses and brief cases should be hung up or put up high enough to be out of reach of pets.  “Nosy Rosies” will explore the contents of purses, bags, or easily accessed cases.  By putting the purse, bag, or case high up and out of reach, our important four-footed family members can avoid the possible ingestion of medications that might poison them.

It is also important to note that although a medication might be safe for children, it is not always safe for pets.  Animal metabolism is very different from humans.  Thus, even seemingly harmless over-the-counter or herbal medications might cause poisoning in pets.

If your pet has ingested an over-the-counter or prescription medication, please call Claws & Paws Veterinary Clinic® immediately or the Pet Poison Helpline which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at (800) 213-6680.  There is a small fee for the Pet Poison Helpline.  If you use this service, be sure and write down your case number to have available for your veterinarian.  You don’t want to pay the Pet Poison Helpline fee for an incident more than once if not needed.  The fee per incident does include follow-up phone consultations with the Pet Poison Helpline for the duration of the poison case.  Please remember to bring the suspected medication ingested with you to your veterinarian and the Pet Poison Helpline case number if you have one.  Click here for more information on the Pet Poison Helpline.  It is also a good idea to keep the phone number of your veterinarian posted inside one of your kitchen cabinets.  That way, you are not anxiously trying to find the phone number.  Should Claws & Paws Veterinary Clinic® be closed, click here for a list of emergency veterinary clinics in the surrounding Houston areas.