It is a warm spring day, so you decide to indulge yourself by taking a walk barefoot in the grass. As you stroll along you feel like your in “heaven” and then you step in a pile of dog feces. The problem with dog waste goes well beyond the inconvenience of having to remove the waste from the bottom of your shoe. Your pet could step in it; could eat it or roll in it. But what most owners don’t realize is it could be hazardous to the environment!
A single gram of pet waste can contain over 23 MILLION bacteria and can include parasites, viruses and diseases that can be spread to pets and humans simply by coming in contact with it! Even if you are lucky enough to avoid the “land mines” left by our furry friends, you could still be at risk.
Dog or cat poop left in our environment stands the chance of contaminating our local water source. Yes, the same water you use to shower & cook with as well as drink.
Some of the possibilities that contribute to our local water being contaminated are:
1) Your dog does his or her business in the water while at the local dog beach.
2) You discard his or her feces in a storm drain.
3) The pet feces you left behind comes in contact with large amounts of water
(i.e. rain, sprinklers or from a garden hose) and gets washed down in to our storm drains.
FACT: The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 2-3 days worth of feces from 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and areas within 20 miles of it. This became a reality for San Diego in 2000 when dog beach was closed to surfers and swimmers 125 times.
So why do so many pet owners refuse to clean up dog doo doo? There are many common “beliefs” that people have which contribute to lack of pet waste removal:
1) Fertilizer: Some people assume that since cow waste is used as a fertilizer that dog waste can be used in the same way. This is simply untrue! Dog feces is toxic to your lawn and leads to awful discoloration and burn marks.
2) Out of sight out of mind: Some assume walking trails, bushes and the woods are nature’s toilet. Pet waste attracts flies and other insects which adds another source for which disease can be transmitted.
3) It’s not their job: Some believe that is what the maintenance workers get paid to do. I’m sure they would disagree and you might find that you have a higher bill or that they have refused to care for your lawn until you clean up afteryour pet(s).
If the above has not been enough to change your mind, WOULD AN EMPTY WALLET? Around the world, many communities have laws specifically in regards to pet waste cleanup. Some of these “pooper scooper laws” require anyone who walks an animal outside of their yard to clean up any waste left by their animal. Should you not choose to clean up after your dog, you face being fined. Fines range anywhere from $50 per offense to as high as $750.
Pet owners already face enough challenges such as finding pet friendly housing. Unfortunately, this could be one of the very reasons so many people deny pets or charge outrageous pet deposits and pet rent. So do we really need to contribute to the public’s negative opinions about our four legged friends? I think not!
Here is a list of things you can do to sway the public toward welcoming our furry family members.
• Pick up your pet’s waste and discard it in a proper way every single time.
• Carry extra bags: Whether you’re walking or traveling in your car, you will always be prepared.
• Offer a bag to other owners to ensure they are also picking up after their pets.
• Teach children to clean up after a pet.
• Share these facts with friends & neighbors.
• Put a friendly message on the bulletin board to remind pet owners to clean up after their dogs.
For those of you interested in being more environmentally friendly, use 100% biodegradable bags, natural kitty litter or a dog waste disposal system. Doggie septic systems can be easily installed by you in a discreet area of your yard.
Picking up after your pet is not difficult and only takes seconds to manage. Should you find that cleaning up Fido’s mess in your back yard is something you simply do not have the time or stomach for, hire a professional. Your furry and non furry friends will love you for it!
Author: Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails, Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Service. HTWT provides a guilt free experience to our customers and their beloved animals while clients are away for business or pleasure.
Important Disclaimer: The stories and information on this site are not meant to diagnose or prescribe for you. If you or your pet has a medical problem, you should consult your medical doctor or veterinarian. The ideas and information on this site have not been endorsed or approved by the FDA. In no event shall the owners of this website be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of this information or its publication, including any action for infringement of copyright or defamation. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Opinions expressed here are those of individual contributors. This web site does not verify or endorse the claims of contributing writers.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product(s) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.