Researchers measuring environmental impact of improper pet product disposal

Oregon State University researchers are enlisting veterinary professionals and pet owners in their effort to measure the ecological impact of improper pet product disposal.

The researchers told that to date there has been inadequate research to determine the level of damage being done to the nation's waterways due to improper disposal of pet products including medications and grooming products.

They mentioned triclosan, commonly found in pet products such as shampoos and dog beds, as an example of an agent found in pet products that can harm the environment. Triclosan has been linked with endocrine disruption in frogs, researchers said.

The team behind the study plans on gaining a more in-depth look at the problem with an online survey of veterinary professionals and pet owners that is open now and accessible until Nov. 1. According to, the researchers aim to promote awareness and prevent further environmental damage using insights obtained from the survey.

Researcher Jennifer Lam told the news that she has seen firsthand the need for increased awareness after conducting a survey among veterinary professionals for her master's degree thesis. In that study, survey responses indicated that while many veterinary professionals were aware of the consequences of improper pet product disposal, many did not pass that information along to their clients.

Veterinary professionals or pet owners who are interested in taking the online survey can do so here.

More information on pet product disposal