OK, I get it. No one really wants to talk about dog poop. But let’s face it—poop happens! However, it’s what happens next that’s the real issue. Read on to find out the potential dangers of leaving your dog’s poo behind.
To Scoop Or Not To Scoop?
Have you ever walked out your door and saw a pile of dog poop—right there on your front lawn? Even worse … have you ever stepped in it? Or how about when you take your pooch for a walk and wind up having to dance around some other pooch’s “you know what!”? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises:
“When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local waterbodies.”
So What’s The Big Deal?
The big deal is—along with being disgusting—dog poop can be loaded with potentially harmful pathogens that can be transmitted to your canine and human family members. It can especially be problematic for children and the environment.
Dog poop is known to host a multitude of parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Some of those poop piles could contain hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, coccidia, giardia, E. coli, and parvovirus (just to name a few). Get this—just one gram of dog feces can have up to 23 million coliform bacteria. Once these parasites contaminate the soil they can remain for months and even years.
According to the CDC:
“In humans, it has been found that almost 14% of the U.S. population has been infected with Toxocara” (AKA roundworms).
The following chart created by The Department Of Ecology in Washington State highlights the various potential hazards:
The Dog Poop Decomposition Cycle
Okay, now let’s step back for a second and chat about the poop decomposition cycle—how the hazardous organisms travel deep into the soil and impact us, our dogs, and our environment. Check out our eye-opening infographic.
How You Can Take Action
Next time you take your dog for a potty break, don’t forget to bring the waste bags along.
If you see someone leave their dog’s poop behind, kindly offer them a waste bag and ask them to pick it up.
Clean your pup’s paws when you get home from a walk. You never know what bacteria they’ve picked up and rubbed a paw wipe on their tootsies can help prevent potentially harmful organisms from entering your home.