Birth Control Pills and Dogs

Birth Control Pills and Dogs

The Animal Poisons Helpline is often phoned regarding pets (typically dogs) that have ingested oral contraceptives or birth control pills. These tablets may contain a combination of an oestrogen and progestogen, or may be a progestogen only pill (also known as a POP or mini pill). There are a large number of oral contraceptives available in Australia and New Zealand, and the exact hormone present in the tablet, as well as the dose, can be highly variable.

Most oral contraceptives contain low doses of hormones, and therefore the vast majority of pets that ingest these tablets remain well. The risk of poisoning will however depend on the exact pill ingested, the quantity, and the weight of the animal. At very high doses, transient neurological signs and bone marrow suppression may occur. Pets may also eat the semi-rigid plastic blister packaging that these pills come in. This can potentially result in a gastrointestinal obstruction depending on the amount ingested and size of the pieces swallowed.

If your pet has ingested an oral contraceptive or anything else they should not have, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for advice. The Animal Poisons Helpline provides a free service for all pet owners in Australia and New Zealand, and we can rapidly determine if your pet requires immediate veterinary assessment or can be observed at home.

The Animal Poisons Helpline is proudly sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Their support helps to keep this service FREE for all pet owners in Australia and New Zealand.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition: Premium pet food backed by science. From their days as puppies and kittens to their years as senior dogs and cats, Hill’s nutrition starts with science for differences you can see, feel and trust.

Visit to learn more.