Medicine Safety Tips

For Pets

Imagine your dog or cat is sick, and you head to the veterinary clinic or animal hospital. The veterinarian prescribes medicine that you hope will make your pet better. But with pets, as with people, medicine errors can happen. In fact, there are many opportunities to make a mistake when a pet is treated with medicines. Errors can happen at the veterinary clinic when prescribing medicines or when dispensing the pet’s medicine. Mistakes can even happen in a pharmacy if prescriptions for pets are filled in the same pharmacies that serve human patients. Or errors can happen at home, when the pet owner gives their pet the medicine.

Preventing Errors When Giving Medicines to Pets!

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent errors with medicines for your pet. First, before you leave the veterinarian’s office, be sure you know the answers to the following questions:

Next, help your veterinarian keep your pet safe by doing the following:

Also, there are some simple steps you can take at home to avoid errors and ensure pets do not accidentally swallow a medicine:

Finally, we encourage people to report errors, side effects, ineffectiveness, or defects with animal medicines to the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). The CVM provides a YouTube video entitled Your Report Matters! How to Report Side Effects or Product Problems with Drugs Used in Animals. The video encourages both veterinarians and animal owners to report adverse events to them. For details on reporting and to watch the video visit here. You can also report errors to ISMP Consumer Medication Errors Reporting Program (ISMP CMERP) here.