Shelter and Rescue Resources, Vaccines
How Do You Dispose of Sharps for Dogs and Cats
April 17, 2023
Wondering what to do with your dog’s insulin needles? Or perhaps you gave your cat a vaccination and need to dispose of the needle and syringe. Follow these steps to learn how to dispose of pet insulin needles and syringes and other medical sharps.
How Do I Dispose of My Dogs Insulin Needles and Other Medical Sharps
- When you’re finished with the syringe and needle, do not try to recap, remove, bend or break the needle. This is where most injuries occur.
- Dispose the syringe and needle immediately in a puncture proof sharps container. Keep the shapes container away from children and animals. You should check with your state or county’s regulations concerning sharps containers. Some counties accept coffee cans or milk jugs, while other counties will only accept specifically designed sharps disposal containers. It is illegal to dispose of syringes in the trash, recycling bin, or composting bins.
- All sharps must be deposited in a puncture-proof container. “Sharps” is a medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that could cut or puncture skin. Examples of sharps include needles, syringes, lancets, microchips, auto injectors (insulin pens), infusion sets, and connection needles/sets.
- Make sure your storage location is child and animal proof.
- As with all product handing, make sure you wash your hands after handling medical sharps.
- If you are accidentally stuck by a used needle or other sharp, you should wash the exposed area right away with water and soap or a skin disinfectant, such as rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Seek medical attention immediately.
Disposal of Sharps Container
- When your sharps container is ½ full, use duct tape to tightly seal the lid of the container. Label the container with “Do Not Recycle” and “Livestock Sharps” to properly identify the contents.
- Dispose of the sharps container in one of the following ways:
- Local drop box or supervised collection site (drop-off sites for sharps may include local hospitals, health clinics, pharmacies, medical waste facilities or health departments)
- Household hazardous waste collection site
- Mail back program
- Residential special waste pickup service
- Dispose container in accordance with your state or county’s regulations. Go to www.safeneedledisposal.org for your state’s regulations.
If you have more questions on how to dispose of pet insulin needles or other medical sharps, call us at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.