Today is Earth Day!
Here’s a simple way pet parents can celebrate Earth Day: pick up dog poop! Dog poop is a problem we deal with on a daily basis. But is it dangerous? How much do you know? Is pet waste a health hazard? Here are the dangerous facts:
1. Dog poop is NOT good fertilizer. It’s toxic to your lawn! The high nutrient concentration in dog poop will burn and discolor the grass, creating “hot spots.”
2. Nearly two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil.
3. You may not live near water, but unscooped poop from your yard is carried by overland water flow or is washed into storm drains, ending up in faraway streams, rivers, and groundwater.
4. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms, and Salmonella. When infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the poop will eventually “disappear”, but the parasite eggs can linger for years! When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs … even years after the poop is gone.
5. Pet waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans. (There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!)
6. Dog poop often contains roundworm larvae, which cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. So when people (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected.
7. Dog poop doesn’t just “wash away” or disappear. So if you’re not disposing of your dog’s waste, you’re putting yourself, your family, your dog, and your water supply at risk.
8. It’s the LAW! Some cities are fining up to $250 for not picking up after your pet!
9. It’s vital for you and your pet’s health to keep your environment clean. Not only can you get sick from old dog poop, but so can your children, who play in the yard, and are more susceptible to disease.
10. Pet feces can also make your pet sick if the pet who left the waste was sick the next pet or human who comes into contact with that waste can become very ill with such illnesses as E. Coli, tapeworm, roundworm, heartworm, whipworm, hookworm, parvo, salmonella, and many more. A single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coli form bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.